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Newsletter February 2020FacebookTwitter

Don’t miss out—register now for early bird rates! (Ends March 21)

Register Now for Early Bird Special

Instrument Rentals

String instrument rentals for use during the SAA Conference will be available through Schmitt Music.

Conference Roommates

If you are interested in finding a roommate for the conference click here.

Conference Overview

Sessions begin on Thursday, May 21, at 4:00 PM. Conference concludes at noon on Monday, May 25.

Special features include masterclasses with featured guest clinicians: Almita Vamos (Violin), Paul Ellison (Bass), Astrid Schween (Cello), Rebecca Albers (Viola), Lorna McGhee and Bart Feller (Flute), Paul Wirth (Piano), Benjamin Verdery (Guitar), Elizabeth White Clark (Harp), Yumi Kendall (Chamber Music) and Paul Leenhouts (Recorder). Additional masterclasses by Danny Gee Cordova (Viola), Richard Mooney (Cello), and Caroline Fraser, Marina Obukovsky and Miguel Aguirre (Piano).

This year’s conference will also include Organ, Trumpet, and Voice.

The Suzuki Early Childhood Education area will present a demonstration “Baby Class.” Applications for participants ages 0 through 3 are encouraged.
Sign up for the SECE here.

Featured workshop clinicians include Yumi Kendall (Positive Psychology), Jeremy Dittus (Dalcroze), Beatriz Ilari (IRSTE & Early Childhood)


Opening night mini-recital with Yumi Kendall and Rebecca Albers and Keynote with Judy Bossuat-Gallic (“Your Wildest Dreams”)

Other featured presentations during the weekend (Just to mention a few!)

  • “Is Dr. Suzuki Present in Your Lessons?”—Michiko Yurko
  • “A User-Guide to Your Brain” – Molly Gebrian
  • “We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”—Sanford Reuning
  • “Compassionate Qualities of Suzuki Teachers” – Karin Hendricks
  • “William Starr: The Living Legacy of a Suzuki Pioneer” – Amy Gesmer-Packman, Hiroko Driver-Lippman, Helen Higa, and others. Also featuring Judith Starr.
  • “A Vision for the Suzuki Method in the Americas” – Edward Kreitman


  • Conference Exhibits – Bring your shopping list!
  • Welcome Reception – Time for food and relaxation with friends!


  • Harp & Flute Recital with Elizabeth White Clark and Nancy Wood
  • Flute Recital with Lorna McGhee, Flute, and Katie Leung, Collaborative Pianist
  • “Maestro the Pot-Bellied Pig” with Elizabeth White Clark, Harp, and reading by Gerald Elias – presented in English and Spanish
  • Cello Recital with Astrid Schween, Cello, and Katie Leung, Collaborative Pianist
  • Guitar Recital with Ben Verdery
  • Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas I & II—Kirsten Marshall(I) and Emmett Drake(II), Conductors
  • Suzuki Young Artists String Ensemble—Marilyn Kesler, Conductor
  • Cello Choir—Rick Mooney, Conductor
  • Advanced Violin Performing Ensemble—Tom Wermuth, Conductor
  • Viola Ensemble – Alyssa Hardie Beckmann, Conductor
  • Flute Performing Ensemble & Flute Choir – Rebecca Paluzzi, Elizabeth Shuhan
  • 2020 Vision: Emerging Instruments Ensemble —A special concert featuring our newer/smaller instrument areas: Voice, Trumpet, Organ, Bass, and Recorder


For your choice of rooms at the Hilton Minneapolis, please use this link.
Book now!

Conference Sponsors

We are pleased to welcome Alfred Music, Kawai America & Schmitt Music as Gold Sponsors. Silver sponsors include Connolly Music, Robertson & Sons Violin Shop, Southwest Strings, and KUN Should Rest (a new sponsor for 2020) at the Bronze level. Additional Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Please inquire:


Upcoming Deadline for Latin American Scholarship Applications

The next deadline for application for Latin American Scholarships (Scholarships awarded to Latin American SAA members for training units in Latin America) is April 1, 2020. Other annual deadlines are October 1, and January 1. Applications are submitted online.

For applications in Spanish:

For applications in Portuguese:

(Note: North American Scholarships are due annually on February 4.)

Suzuki Association of the Americas Annual Meeting

The SAA’s Annual meeting will take place at the Conference in Minneapolis, Saturday, May 23, 8:30 AM, Hilton Minneapolis Ballroom. In addition to news, updates, and future plans, SAA Certificates of Achievement will be awarded to this year’s recipients.

Board Election

Current active members will receive ballots online for the annual election of new Board members. Election will take place between March 1, 2020-March 31, 2020. Watch for an email reminder. A paper ballot can be issued to anyone with no internet/email access.

Upcoming Calendar

March 1-31 SAA Board Election
March 20 Last date to register for last SPA of the season
March 31 Early Bird Conference registration ends
May 1 Hilton Minneapolis guest room reservations close
May 8 Last day for Conference pre-registration: after May 8 walk-in registration only.
May 21-25 19th SAA Conference, Hilton Minneapolis and Minneapolis Convention Center
May 23, 8:30 AM SAA Annual Meeting, Hilton Minneapolis Ballroom
May 26-August 20 2020 Institute season

Parents as Partners Logo 2020 Transparent

What is Parents as Partners online? A video series that you can sign up for now, and have access to all year that includes short videos about motivation, practice and helpful ideas for parents. Register now to hear great ideas from teachers and parents in our community that will help teachers and parents work together to help our students be successful. Find out more.


Special Opportunity: Your school, studio, program, or Library needs its own set of SAA Journals!

ASJ Fan Spread

We are offering back issues of the ASJ @ 12 issues (your selection or ours) for $20, complete with a standing file box per dozen journals. Most issues available from 1991 through 2017. (Single issues may be ordered @$3 each (US) Note: Outside of the U.S., call for additional mailing fee. Click here for ASJ issues and indexes. Once you know what issues you would like, you can call the SAA office to order.

Senior Center Ballroom Holiday Performance

Senior center ballroom holiday performance

Annual performance sponsored by the city of Dublin, CA, to perform at the Dublin Senior Center ballroom for the community.
Submitted by Jianni Song, San Ramon, CA.

Have a great picture to share? We are looking for photos of students performing in their community. Did you invite the neighborhood to a book recital? Or the general public to a group concert? Have you played in an assisted living facility, street fair, or mall? Submit your own picture today!


Spa Email

SPA courses are scheduled only for the months from September through early April. Don’t miss these opportunities!

Upcoming SPA: Apr 3–4, 2020

Suzuki Principles in Action
Suzuki Association of Washington State
Bainbridge Island, WA

Sign up here.

Upcoming SPA: Sep 5-6, 2020

Suzuki Principles in Action
The Music School at Sound Crossing
Windsor, CT

Sign up here.

The SAA needs YOU to host a 2-day SPA course at your school or other program facility!

You provide the location, help spread the word, and brew the coffee. The SAA does almost all of the planning——registrations, contracts, clinician travel & more!

Experience hassle-free planning & fret-less hosting—who doesn’t like that?

  • See improvements in teacher/parent cooperation.

  • Develop new collegial connections.

  • Raise levels of excellence in your own teaching.

Suzuki Principles in Action © (SPA) may be offered from September through early April. SPA welcomes all Suzuki instrumental, vocal, and Early Childhood teachers who meet the minimum requirements. PLAN NOW! Click here for more about the course, or call the SAA Office for further details.

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The Suzuki Association of the Americas is a nonprofit organization of teachers, parents, and educators dedicated to the advancement of the Suzuki Method in the Americas.

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Suzuki Association of the Americas
PO Box 17310, Boulder CO 80308