Morris Offman Memorial Scholarship

Morris Offman

The Morris Offman Memorial Scholarship is awarded biennially in odd years to a string player for Suzuki teacher training.

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Morris Offman was born in 1911 in Lodz Poland and died in 1993. At the age of six years, his father died of pneumonia and his mother elected to journey to America, the Promised Land. She also had a two year old daughter and was advised to take only the baby as she was a woman traveling alone. She left Morris with his grandparents to be raised. When Morris turned sixteen years old, his mother sent him a ticket to join her in Detroit, Michigan.

His career was rooted in the auto industry working for Chrysler Corporation for most of his adult years. He married Leah and had two children. It was very important that both of his daughters were raised with a musical education. Phyllis, the oldest studied piano and Judy studied violin.

When Judy wanted to study piano also, Morris refused to let her study two instruments. His philosophy was “it is not good to be a jack of all trades but better to be a master of one!”

Morris was very supportive of Judy’s career as a Suzuki violin teacher and of her repeated trips to Japan to study with Dr. Suzuki. He was very proud to stop people on the streets and say “Do you know what the Suzuki Method is?” and if they did not he proceeded to quote the philosophy and the wonders of our method.

When he lost his wife, he moved to Houston to be close to his daughter Judy. He sat in on many lessons, group classes, masterclasses and recitals and loved to help in any way. When he was young, he attended a concert of Jascha Heifetz and treasured that memory for all of his life. He also was quite fond of Itzhak Perlman and all Klezmer music.

Morris loved listening to good music and only wished that he had the opportunity to have learned to play an instrument at an early age.