Practicum class with Caroline Fraser
I would like to share with you my reflections on having taken the Piano Practicum which was offered as part of the 7th Suzuki Festival held in Bogotá in June, 2008.
This practicum course was one of the most gratifying experiences for us, the participants, speaking from a pedagogical point of view. I should admit that, yes, it was stressful due to the fact that we had not been familiar with the course beforehand, and we were fearful of the kind of devastating evaluations we are accustomed to receiving in our traditional education system. However, we could see that the very same principles of the Suzuki philosophy were being applied to us. We all learned from our strengths and we ourselves came up with the answers, embarking upon a marvelous exercise in self-discovery.
Smiling practicum participants
My experience was most enriching because of the possibility of receiving feedback for my work with my own students. This goes far beyond the theory which we hear about in the unit courses and which we observe in the master classes. Of course, this theoretical understanding is of great importance to us in our training; however, we all know that that it is quite different when we are faced with the real life situation with students, parents and the institutions where we work. In this course we felt enormous support and each one of us learned how to become better Suzuki teachers.
I think that the Practicum is one of the best courses I have ever taken and I believe that it is fundamental to our training as teachers. I think I have lost the fear of seeing myself teach and of sharing my teaching style with my colleagues. I clearly see that the videos we make can be very important learning tools, and they will be a routine part of my classes from now on. I will participate in any other Practicum course which is offered. It is a marvelous experience!
—Translated by Caroline Fraser