Suzuki Association Chapter Wise
August 2018
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SAA News

Recorded and Online Information About Chapter Scholarship Programs

In June, leaders from the North Texas Suzuki Association, Suzuki Association of Ontario, and the SAA had a recorded conversation about scholarship programs. Both organizations have strong scholarship practices, and after the Chapter Round Table session at the SAA Conference in May, many other organizations wanted to hear details. We made this recording to answer questions and hear about their success!

How does your Chapter manage scholarships? Are there things you hear here that are useful to your group?

Join the online discussion as well!

To get to the Chapter Leadership Discussion Forum:
- Log in to your SAA account at
- Click the “Discussions” tab, second from the right
- See “Chapter Leadership” near the top, click and you are there!

(If you do not see “Chapter Leadership” under the “Discussions” menu, we don’t have you listed on our back end as a board member. Contact your President or Membership Secretary to add you. If you are the President or Membership Secretary and don’t know how to add someone to your leadership roster, email !)

Next webinar topic: Websites!

Have you helped your Chapter revise or rebuild your website? What features were you looking for? Where did you go for help? What could you do on your own? Write to to be interviewed in the next online recorded conversation.


Suzuki Association of Utah Increases Frequency of Parent Education Newsletters

Suzuki Association of Utah logo

SAU sends out both an e-newsletter and a mailed paper newsletter. Both go out to all teacher and family members of their organization. The e-newsletter goes out monthly and has quick updates about events, but no articles. The paper newsletter goes out quarterly to everyone as well, and contains more extensive articles on parent education, in depth instrument area spotlighting, and inspiration for teachers. It was so successful, they upped their frequency!

From the SAU:
In the 2016-2017 year, the SAU board voted to increase the (mailed) paper newsletter frequency from 3 times a year to 4 times a year. We as a board have worked to make these newsletters increasingly more valuable and a source or Suzuki Parent education rather than just filled with news items. Newsletter themes have ranged from “Ideas That Work” (Dozens of quick, positive practice ideas from parents and students”); to “Book Reviews” (SAU board members reviewed several Suzuki, education and talent development books of interest to parents); and for our newsletter coming out in November: “Why we are grateful for Suzuki.” We have also started a email newsletter full of news, reminders and photos that is sent to parents and teachers the first week of each month.

Want to see a copy? Ask

Southeast Texas Suzuki Association: Creative, Wise, and Resilient

Southeast Texas Suzuki Association

In 2016, STXSA was a brand-new chapter. They provided a plethora of activities, education opportunities, and connection points for their community in the 2016-2017 year. After this, they realized not all events had robust attendance and wisely decided “… for the next year (2017-18), we would have fewer events and focus on those that were more well-attended.”

Then, the area sustained considerable damage in Hurricane Harvey. As reported by Claire Eary at the 2018 SAA Conference Chapter Round Table session, “The hurricane really affected our community, our teachers and students. …People had to be rescued from their homes, got out on boats, helicopters. A lot of our members helped with cleanup as well as people from Houston,” Dallas, the Fishburn Violin Shop, Lisle Violins, the SAA Hurricane Relief Fund, and other organizations.

If you need inspiration for activity ideas, here’s a list of their first year’s projects:

  • Bach at the Beach
  • Fall Musicale
  • Spooky Suzuki Play-in
  • parent education talk
  • Teacher Development Meeting
  • Holiday Community Concert
  • Winter Workshop
  • Teacher Development Video
  • Chamber Music Workshop
  • Ribbon Festival
  • Graduation
  • Spring Workshop
  • Summer Community Concert
Solution Finders

Suzuki Association of Minnesota Graduation Handbooks = WOW!

Suzuki Association of Minnesota

Graduations can be a tangle of information with the herculean job of communicating to teachers, students, and parents about how to prepare, how to upload and evaluate recordings, and then the logistics of the day. Whew!

Check out SAM’s very thorough Graduation Handbook. If you are looking for a source of ideas on how to give solid information about your event, check out all they have available on their website!

Suzuki Association of Ontario One Page Welcome Letter

Suzuki Association of Ontario

During the 2016-2017 year, the SAO worked on creating a one-sheet letter, designed to welcome new teachers taking training units in Ontario. Vice-Chair Lenni Jabour developed this document and distributed it this summer to the trainers running ECC! classes, and other training units this summer. Great thinking, SAO!

SAO Welcome Letter

Leadership Links
Chapter on Board Blurb


Sometimes I get focused on the phrase “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Uh, oh. Did I wash my hair today? Are my pants too 1990? Did I put mascara on both eyes?!

But instead of thinking of first impressions visually, let’s think of emotional first impressions. Our brains are wired to have “firsts” of any type stick out in our memory. What do you remember about your first Teacher Training course? Your first day in college? First day on the Chapter board?

Imagine a first lesson with a new student. What do the parent and child feel if their first lesson is welcoming, calm, organized, and clearly communicates what is expected? Or, what do they feel if the first lesson starts 10 minutes late, has multiple interruptions, and the teacher ends up talking about their personal life more than about what the student should be doing that week? Yikes!

Take some moments to think through the on-boarding process of your new leadership members. How do you introduce them to the rest of the board in a way that appreciates the personal skills they bring? Do you prepare the rest of the board to welcome them? How do you inform them of existing programs? Is there a system that clarifies what they are personally responsible for and invited to create? Even if all of these questions can’t be answered as strongly as you imagine they could be, starting with an awareness of the potential of the moment will already create a shift.

In these volunteer leadership positions, there is a natural coming and going of people. If we can make a strong, memorable on-boarding process with new leaders, it not only sets the tone of acceptance, appreciation, and accountability for their service on the board, but also prepares them to on-board the future new leaders in an efficient and warmly memorable way.

-Margaret Watts Romney
Chapter Liason

Read more about these key Moments here.

Also, how creating a personal moment between leaders and individuals strengthens the organization.

A fun and fresh look at leadership: Six Leadership lessons from children’s books

❦ Connect: Build community among all students, parents, and teachers.

❦ Educate: Provide resources and/or support to teachers and parents, incoming and current, concerning Suzuki teaching and philosophy.

❦ Support: Financially benefit teachers and students for further enrichment (i.e. scholarship programs for conferences, institutes, workshops).

❦ Celebrate: Arrange Concerts, Graduation, Celebration, Cross Instrument Recitals, Honors Recitals, etc. to rejoice in music together.

❦ Respect: Support the Suzuki name/brand/legacy by requiring SAA membership for teachers as well as broadening membership and providing grassroots feedback to the SAA.

Questions? Comments? Write to

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