Della Lucinda Gardner and Linda Perry in the Kaleidoscope Concert

Della Lucinda Gardner and Linda Perry in the Kaleidoscope Concert

Fifty years ago, Dr. Suzuki brought the first Talent Education Tour to the United States.

I was teaching in Alton, Illinois, and going to school at Southern Illinois University, studying Suzuki education with Professor John Kendall. Little did I know that I would soon witness an event that would forever influence music education in North America. Mr. Kendall, after having visited and observed Dr. Suzuki’s teaching in Japan, helped to organize a US tour of young Japanese musicians representing Dr. Suzuki’s teaching. The musicianship and technical facility of the young musicians in the tour group was unbelievable, especially when one considered how young they all were. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience during that performance. The young children inspired us all with their artistry. Their unison playing was impeccable.

We knew Dr. Suzuki’s method and philosophy needed to be studied and explored so we could teach the Suzuki method here in the United States. For so many music teachers like myself, our teaching lives were suddenly thrust onto a new path.

Generations of children have been influenced by Dr. Suzuki’s work, but yet there is much left for us to do. A new generation of teachers needs to have the opportunity to take teacher training. Suzuki Summer Institutes are wonderful but should not be the only place offering training for Suzuki teachers. It would be wonderful if more colleges, universities, and conservatories taught courses in the Suzuki method and philosophy in order to reach more of our young aspiring music teachers.

We also must educate our young parents as to the possibilities available to them for their children. It is important that we as Suzuki teachers be advocates in our own communities through as many means of communication as possible, social media being one avenue for reaching parents and families, among others.

Two years ago at the biennial SAA conference in Minneapolis, we were again awe struck by the amazing performances of our own young Suzuki students during the Kaleidoscope Concert held in Minneapolis Orchestra Hall. For many, it was the highlight of the conference. Not only were their performances brilliant, but the love and importance of music in their lives was so apparent. These children represented a great future, made possible through our sharing Dr. Suzuki’s teaching with new generations of children.

I am pleased to announce that a one-hour professionally produced audio version of the 2012 Kaleidoscope Concert is now available for all to hear. You can help to bring more awareness of Suzuki education to others in your community by asking your local radio station to air the Kaleidoscope Concert.

Ask your local station to arranging for an airing of the program by contacting WFMT:

Estlin Usher, Stations Relations Coordinator
WFMT Radio Network
[javascript protected email address],
(773) 279-2112

Let us all do our part to bring an awareness of the powers of music in the lives of our children.