American Suzuki Journal 39.4

Cover picture by Andrea Yun

Published August 2011

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American Suzuki Journal 39.4


Honoring Carolyn McCall: A Creative Suzuki Spirit

The SAA would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Carolyn McCall for her many years of service to the organization and Suzuki community at large. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 19

Courage at the Hitz Home

For thirty-four years, I spent hours each day teaching children to play the violin. The violin lessons were more than music; we worked with one another’s spirits. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 21

Strings in Kenya

Growing up in the rural Kithoka community in central Kenya, Bishop Lawi Imathiu didn’t have the opportunity to go to high school. Until 2005, when the bishop founded the Bishop Lawi Imathiu Secondary School, a step in fulfilling the bishop’s vision of bringing education back home in Kenya. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 32


Chair's Column

Suzuki Flute Students on Practicing

I made sure all my students had specific goals to work on during the week I would be away, and as part of their practice projects, I gave them a questionnaire on the subject. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 15

Suzuki Organ: A Promise for the Future

I remember growing up as a young pianist always being fascinated by the gigantic pipe organ in my church. The pipes that were taller than a house always impressed me, and the many keyboards and buttons on the console intrigued me. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 17

Grace Notes: Brief Tips for Suzuki Teachers

Teaching & Learning

Practicing Tool: Magic Beads

We’re all on the lookout for good ideas to use in practice. I discovered the idea of using counting beads a short while back from the incomparable Carey Beth Hockett on her website. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 49

Money Talks: Solutions for Sensitive Financial Issues in the Studio

For some teachers and musicians, money can be a sensitive subject that was never discussed when we took pedagogy classes in college. Many of us went to college back in the times when few musicians ever took a business course of any kind. Following are some basic ideas that might help teachers amend sensitive financial issues in the studio. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 56

Concert Manners

Listen regularly to the type of music your child is studying. Include recordings of pieces on upcoming concerts. Attend concerts to learn standard concert behavior. Seek out free concerts with open seating, at least at first. Sit quietly in the back.… Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 57

Positive Psychology and the Suzuki Approach to Talent Education

Positivity is a fundamental of the Suzuki philosophy of education, and it is believed to be part of the success of the approach. Recent discoveries made by positive psychologists confirm that Suzuki’s philosophies on education are not only effective, but they encompass the ideals of this innovative movement taking place in the field of psychology. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 58

Viva Twinkle! : Twinkle Variations for Guitar through Book 5

During the most recent Virginia Suzuki Institute I was lucky enough to hang out all week with Teacher Trainer Bill Kossler and guitar instructor Fred McKinney. After the long days of teaching and observation, we had some great brainstorms on a variety of Twinkles we use to teach different skills. We even came up with some new ones. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 62

Effective Approaches for Video Recording in Studio and Practice

For the past few years, I have been informally experimenting with the use of video recording technology in the Suzuki private lesson setting. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 64

25 Ideas to Involve Parents in the Suzuki Experience

There are many ways to involve parents in the Suzuki experience—the first step is to help get them interested and involved. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 65

Evidence-Based Practices for Teaching Students with Autism in the Suzuki Studio

With great vigilance, families affected by autism search for places in the community where they may find acceptance and support. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 66



Sweat slowly slithered down my torso. Years of performing experience has taught me the art of maintaining a constant outward calm (even in the most stressful situations), but this trickle of sweat now revealed my true emotions. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 25

Learning How to Play: Why Review is Useful

I am an adult violin student studying at the Suzuki Institute of Boston. Since I started taking lessons, I have dutifully reviewed pieces because it is expected as part of the Suzuki Method. Now I think I know why. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 31

Latin America

Practicum: A Great Way to Sharpen Your Teaching Tools

Practicum Un gran medio para afilar tus herramientas de enseñanza. Con comentarios de Etna Diemecke y Fabiola Sigala Este extraordinario taller nos ha llevado a apreciar aún más el arte de enseñar. Este arte involucra el instrumento, la música, el alumno y los padres… Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 72

News From Here & There

Side by Side in Harmony: Inner-city school strings in Ireland

When I arrived at St. Joseph’s National School in the north of Dublin, Ireland, early one morning about five years ago, I had very little idea what to expect. Dorothy Conaghan, whom I had met a few years earlier while… Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 27

Senior Strings

The title of Kay Collier Sloan’s fantastic book They’re Rarely Too Young and Never Too Old to Twinkle was put to the test in January 2009. I was working as an administrative assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of… Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 30

Stories, Poems & Tributes

If My Violin Could Speak…

If my violin could speak it would say, “My Kennedy you make lovely music when you focus and play. When my strings are in tune with rosin on my bow, I’m ready to perform with you at your recital show. Please be gentle and try not to… Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 69

My Instrument Case

When someone asks me what is in my instrument case, they would think I would say my violin, but I answer, something I love to do. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 69

Why More People Should Listen to Music

It was late when I got home, and I knew I would stay up late trying to finish my mountains of homework. But, if I could redo the events of that evening, choose a different path that would have allowed me to get home earlier, and complete my work by eight o’clock, I wouldn’t. Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 70

If My Violin Could Talk…

It is dusty. There is a strong smell of pine coming from the rosin lying next to me. My velvet blanket covers me as I wait for my owner to take me out of this dark, musty coffin. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 71

News & Information

Profile: Marilyn Kesler, Board of Directors Chair-Elect

Meet newly-appointed SAA Board of Directors Chair-elect Marilyn Kesler. Kesler begins her two-year term as chair-elect on August 1, after which she will become board chair. Read more ▶

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ASJ 39.4, page 14

Leadership Retreat Wrap-Up

S—T—R—E—T—C—H It’s been a long time coming. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that I might be one until relatively recently. And to actually take on the role and don the mantel, to embrace the responsibility was like diving into the… Read more ▶

ASJ 39.4, page 42