Ask the Experts

How can SAA raise awareness about the association?

In order to answer this question, I think it is necessary to make two clarifications. First of all, the SAA is its membership. Secondly, I think recognition of the SAA as an organization is secondary to raising awareness of the Suzuki method. Without the method, there would be no reason to organize those who adhere to the philosophy.

It behooves every SAA member to do all he/she can to disseminate information about the method and the SAA. After all, the more people recognize the Suzuki method as the gold standard of music education, the more valuable and sought after every Suzuki teacher becomes. In turn, each teacher member has an obligation to participate fully in the teacher development program in order to best serve their students and proudly reflect the values of the SAA.

The model we have for raising awareness is Dr. Suzuki himself. He started with little more than an idea, and within his lifetime, that idea spread epidemically throughout the world. How did that happen? Teachers and parents jumped on board because they saw evidence that his idea had power and they wanted to be part of that. The success of the Suzuki method well applied is our advertisement. It spreads by word of mouth—or perhaps sound of ear, if you will. How, then, can members make their students visible as products of the Suzuki method?

  • Advertise concerts and recitals. Put up posters or flyers at day care centers, coffee shops, schools, music and book stores. List your events in the “What’s Happening” section of your local newspaper or on your local classical music radio station.

  • Invite the entertainment editor of your locate paper to cover an event.

  • Encourage students to play at their school for show-and-tell or talent shows.

  • Find opportunities for students to play in the community for art festivals, sports events, retirement facilities, children’s homes, holiday events, symphony concert intermissions, grand openings, music clubs, etc.

  • Encourage students to make note of their Suzuki training in their bios or vitas.

How can members help spread the word?

  • Attend the SAA Leadership Retreat in May to learn how to improve public speaking skills.

  • Volunteer to give an interview for the local newspaper or classical music station.

  • Offer to speak at meetings for music clubs, women’s clubs, Rotary Clubs, Lion’s Clubs, etc.

By spreading awareness and knowledge of the Suzuki method, we not only improve our value in our local community, but the value of every fellow member in the SAA.

—Dr. Sue Baer, SAA Board