Parents as Partners

Parents as Partners Online (PPO) was a six week event that featured over fifty inspirational talks on various parent education and Suzuki related topics. This unique program was intended to nurture parents, whether new or veterans to the Suzuki Method.

Response to PPO was much more than originally anticipated, with 6,552 parents and teachers enrolled! Such a turnout reflects a keen interest in continued parent education, plus a strong desire for garnering more practice ideas to implement along one’s Suzuki journey.

Sessions ranged in length from three to twenty-five minutes and were available via the SAA website to allow participants to view things at their convenience. A variety of topics were featured, including:

  • Talks about teens and talks by teens
  • Practice perspectives from parents and creative practice strategies from teachers
  • Discussion of the transition to independent practice and the changing roles of all parts of the Suzuki triangle
  • Insights on parent-child relationships and grandparent-grandchild experiences
  • Memories of Dr. Suzuki and touching childhood recollections
  • The importance of listening and magical ways to incorporate this much needed component into one’s daily routine
  • Balancing busy schedules and suggestions for how to manage frustrations
  • Understanding the value of review and utilizing repetition
  • Interesting new research on talent; seeing the value of observations
  • Recital preparation in relation to stage fright
  • Teacher appreciation with trust and respect
  • The WHY? series on subjects such as Tone, Posture, “Not” the New Piece, Suzuki, and Classical Music
  • The importance of group classes and building community
  • How Suzuki study is not just for the young
  • Insights into personality styles
  • A glimpse into various Summer Institutes

Opportunities for dialogue during the PPO also existed, with participants having the option of posting comments following a talk. Feedback ranged from:

“I now have a renewed desire to share precious moments with my daughter, as we both continue to develop and increase our joy in music”


“Your kids must secretly treasure your practices. While they may gripe and groan, you are silently establishing an amazing relationship with them. I’m sure music will bind you all together for life. At the same time you’re establishing a way to be a team conquering difficulties as well as rejoicing successes!”


“What a great reminder for us all to keep perspective as we continue on our journey with Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy. It is not an easy thing in today’s society, but the long term vision is so important.”

Teachers were encouraged to incorporate PPO into their studios by having casual parent get-togethers, sharing ideas from the videos, arranging follow-up discussions or even challenging fellow studio parents to watch a post a day!

“For the sake of the children, let us educate them from the cradle to have a noble mind, a high sense of values, and splendid ability.”
—Shinichi Suzuki (Nurtured by Love)

In addition to the recorded presentations, a live call-in show, “Time with Teri”, was offered for parents to ask any Suzuki related question of current SAA Board chair Teri Einfeldt. A transcript of the call was made available to all PPO subscribers following the show.

PPO had the unique component of “Tales from the Heart”, which encouraged participants to share a personal story of how Suzuki lessons positively touched their lives. Inspirational quotes by Shinichi Suzuki, musicians, philosophers and educators were listed with each talk. And, weekly drawings were also done, with recipients receiving a free copy of Winning Ways or a gift certificate generously donated by SHAR Products.

Parents as Partners Online proved to be an enriching experience for all! The SAA was pleased to be able to offer such an educational program and extends a special thank you to all those who helped make the 2011 Parents as Partners Online project possible, either financially or by contributing a talk. Additional appreciation goes to SAA webmaster Jenny Ferenc, who helped produce the event online, and PPO coordinator Christie Felsing.

Featured Sponsor:

SHAR Products

Additional Sponsorships:

Connolly Music Company
American Suzuki Institute and Patricia D’Ercole, Director

“One of the greatest dignities of human kind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare of each new generation.”
—Fred Rogers

Presenters and Contributors:

Susan Baer, Gilda Barston, Mark Bjork, Judy Weigert Bossuat, Jennifer Burton, Carol Dallinger, Teri Einfeldt (with teen panelists Rachel Margolis, Anny Li, Tiana Piscitelli, Luke Piscitelli, Emily Surprenant, Ian Sunde, Andrew Sunde, Selah Kwak, Nathan Kwak, Chas Pfeifer, Elizabeth McDonald), Patty Erusha, Christie Felsing, Margaret Ferry, Linda Wear Fiore, Mark George, Everett and Santha Goodwin, Rita Hauck, Helen Higa, Carey Beth Hockett, Michele and Mercedes Horner, James Hutchins, Nancy Jackson, Marilyn Kesler (with Okemos panelists Jennifer Spurbeck, Kwi Ferry, Sulin Campbell and Nicki McGaugh), Edward Kreitman, Charles Krigbaum, Meg LanFear, Gail Lange, Cathryn Lee, Alice Joy Lewis, Steve Lichak, Rebecca Martin (with parent panelists Jennifer Blankenship, Julie Stibbards and Cat Akerson Bendl), Amy Matherly, Sarah Bylander Montzka, Hikari Nakamura, Patricia Purcell, Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Susan Reed, Kathy Rollings, Janelle Severson, Lucy Shaw, Diane Slone, Ann Montzka Smelser, Paul Salerni, Dominic Salerni, Edmund Sprunger, William Starr (with Boulder Suzuki Strings panelists Emily Anne Bowman, Stacey Brady and Amy Gesmer-Packman), Beth Titterington, Elizabeth Stuen-Walker, Betty Wahlig, Janis Wittrig, various Suzuki institutes including: American Suzuki Institute, Great Lakes Suzuki Flute and Recorder Institute, Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute, Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, Ithaca College Suzuki Institute, New England Suzuki Institute, Northwest Suzuki Institute, Ogontz Suzuki Institute, Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute

Thanks for the support from the following:

SAA Board of Directors: Teri Einfeldt, Chair, Mark George, Chair-elect, Elizabeth Stuen-Walker, Secretary, Susan Baer, Ellen Berry, Dan Browning, Marilyn Kesler, Sarah Bylander Montzka, Marilyn O’Boyle, Patricia Purcell, MaryLou Roberts and Pamela Brasch, ex officio

SAA Staff: Pamela Brasch, Deb Yamashita, Chris Davis, Libby Felts, Jenny Ferenc, Anita Hamilton, Whitney Kelley, and Beth Stanley

SAA Premier Business Members: Alfred Publishers, Coda Bow, Connolly Music Company, D’Addario, Potter Violin Company, SHAR Products, Southwest Strings, The String Centre, Super Sensitive Musical String Company, and Suzuki Nagoya

“Our life is worth living only if we love one another and comfort one another. I searched for the meaning of art in music, and it was through music that I found my work and my purpose in life. Once art to me was something far off, unfathomable and unattainable…. But I discovered that the real essence of art was not something high up and far off. It was right inside my ordinary daily self. The very way one greets people and expresses oneself is art. If a musician wants to become a fine artist, he must first become a finer person. If he does this, his worth will appear. It will appear in everything he does, even in what he writes. Art is not in some far-off place. A work of art is the expression of a person’s whole personality, sensibility and ability.”
—Shinichi Suzuki (Nurtured by Love)