Ask the Experts

How can the SAA help us to create a community in our home programs primarily among teachers?

One of the most wonderful features among Suzuki teachers is the sense of community. I am always received positively by the teachers I meet at the SAA annual conference, or leadership retreat, and the same is true for the teachers in my community. It helps if you have a common activity in which to participate. If not, the only time I see the teachers in my home town is at a conference!

Here are some ideas to combine forces:

  1. Share a recital with another teacher. This can be for convenience of sharing costs, but also serve the purpose of getting to know each other.

  2. Form a group with the teachers in your area. It could be any type of organization, informal, a non-profit, or a chapter affiliate. If you do this, you can combine and charge a registration fee to pay for a newsletter, concert space, graduation concerts and even help fund teacher training. This takes extra time, but is worth it to be a part of a larger group. Parents see this and feel more confident with their teacher, feel the Suzuki method is stronger, and it is, if the teachers are getting ongoing training. Or have some group statement like: all incoming parents read Nurtured by Love. This gives the teachers an easier time in setting up new parents.

  3. Call or email a teacher in your area and just ask to go out for coffee. Remember, reaching out to other teachers and being a force for community is how it all starts!

  4. Use the SAA website. There is a online directory, where you can find other Suzuki teachers in your community—try searching the name of your city. It doesn’t matter if you teach the same instrument. Observe lessons, share recitals and participate in a graduation concert or a play-in. It will help your students connect with the wider Suzuki Community, which will in turn help build your studio.

  5. As SAA members, we are the SAA. Reach out to new or experienced teachers by inviting them to participate in a concert, help with group class or other special event. If you wait to be invited, it might not happen. Help make your own community grow by reaching out to others.