We’ve had a lot of questions at the office lately about digital downloads of Suzuki Method recordings.

As retro as a cassette tape?

First, a little background. Bear with me if you’re an old hand and have heard this before.

The Shinichi Suzuki’s approach to music education (the Suzuki method or Talent Education) is supported and guided around the world by the umbrella International Suzuki Association, of which there are five regional associations, including the Suzuki Association of the Americas. The ISA was designated by Dr. Suzuki as the sole authorized organization that can grant rights to the use of his name and the marks “Suzuki,” “Suzuki Method,” and other similar terms throughout the world.

Some of these rights are granted by the ISA to Alfred Music Publishing, the sole publisher of the Suzuki Method repertoire materials outside of Japan—which is to say that any actions regarding the availability of digital downloads go from the ISA through Alfred to distribution channels like iTunes and Amazon. From a recent update to the SAA office from Alfred:

Many Suzuki audio recordings will soon be available for download from sites such as iTunes and Amazon. Recordings for over 50 of the most commonly used books will be sold. These will be sold by album as requested by the ISA. Unfortunately, Alfred doesn’t control the timing of the release of the music on external sites so we are unable to provide a date that these will be available. Continue to check your favorite site.

Soon to be available are:

Bass School 1-3, Cello School 1-8, Flute School 1-5, Guitar School 1-9, Harp School 1-2, Soprano Recorder School 1-2, Viola School 1-8, Violin 1-8, Solos for Young Cellists 1-2, Solos for Young Violists 1-2, and Solos for Young Violinists 1-6.

We hope this answers some of your questions. Right now, it looks like we just have to be patient. (We are looking into the piano recordings.)

Another couple of updates from Alfred:

AMPV numbers

Beginning in 2010 Alfred began a new system to make it simpler to tell when corrections or changes to a book have taken place. Any time a correction is made to a Suzuki method book, Alfred inserts an AMPV (Alfred Music Publishing Version) number on the title page above the copyright. This will allow teachers and retailers to check the version that they have. If any further corrections are made, the number will be increased. Not all volumes have this AMPV number. Only volumes that have had corrections or are new since 2010 will have this. Later this winter, a list will be released detailing the latest AMPV number for those volumes.

Viola Volume 9

Viola School Volume 9 is available in several formats including the book, the CD, and as a book and CD kit. The repertoire included is Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 5, No. 3 (J. Hummel/D. Preucil), Andante e Rondo ungarese, Op. 35 (C.M. v. Weber/D. Preucil), and Sonata in A minor, D 821 (F. Schubert/D. Preucil).

Duets for Violins

The popular book Duets for Violins (0093S) has been updated. The music now correlates with the revisions and corrections that have been made to the Violin Volumes 1, 2 and 3. The updated volume carries a new subtitle: Updated to correlate with the Revised Editions and an AMPV number of 1.0 on the title page.

Violin ebooks

Ebooks are now available for Violin Volume 1, Viola Volume 1, Cello Volume 1, and Bass Volume 1. The violin ebook contains only English. Soon to be released will be an ebook in each of the other languages normally found in the violin book. Each ebook includes the complete music and text of the print book as well as the audio, which is linked to the music. These multi-touch books can be purchased on iBooks and read on iPad® and Mac.®

Tell us in the comments: What’s the demand like in your studio for Suzuki Method digital recordings and ebooks?