The entire Committee was present for the call: Andrea Cannon, Mychal Gendron, Seth Himmelhoch, Bill Kossler, Andy Lafreniere, Frank Longay, David Madsen, Mary Lou Roberts

Welcome to the Guitar Committee new members Mary Lou Roberts and Mychal Gendron!


  1. The SAA Virtual Retreat online during April
  2. Suzuki Guitar at GFA
  3. Continuation of the printed newsletter
  4. South American progress report on Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay, and Peru, Mexico
  5. Suzuki Guitar in Brazil
  6. Suzuki Guitar in Japan
  7. Additional miscellaneous topics


  1. The SAA Virtual Retreat online during April

    Andrea offered the following information concerning the Retreat:

    • the deadline for registration has been extended to March 25th.
    • you are supposed to prepare 3 questions to pose to the online forum.
    • information is available online and in Journal . It continues April 4th to 30th. We are all encouraged to join to show support for the effort.
    • David is to do a talk. The details have not been finalized.
  2. Suzuki Guitar at GFA in Ithaca

    • Andy has a student who is competing, as does Scott Gossage and Julia Miller. Adam Kossler and Chas. Pheiffer are competing as well.
    • On Saturday June 20th Andrea’s group is to play in a showcase concert for which they had to win a competitive audition. They will play a Casellacci piece, Rak Rumba, Take the A Train, and some Bach Inventions.
    • Andrea will also do a presentation on how they prepared for the performance.
    • Andrea says next year’s GFA is in Austin, TX. The dates are 6/22/10-6/27/10.
  3. Continuation of the printed newsletter

    • The Committee is thinking it’s a bit obsolete to do a print newsletter. Maybe a nice pdf for downloading would be better.
    • It is also suggested that we send a yearly email newsletter.
  4. South American progress report on Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay, and Peru, Mexico

    • Frank is doing work in Mexico, Mary Lou in other countries. Mary Lou reports that in Lima, teachers were from Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay, and Peru. It was a good year, and the training brought up especially the issues of changing fingerings, and properly sized guitars.
    • Mary Lou suggests that we provide an exhortation to trainees to try to keep to the fingerings in the books, so as to preserve the pedagogical content of the material. If changes are suggested, we need to consider how it will affect the student’s long term learning.
    • The Committee agrees with Mary Lou’s suggestion, with the understanding that we need to also be always open to the ideas of others, and to considering other options to the existing fingerings.
    • The Committee agrees that in regard to fingerings we must balance two objectives: we should encourage trainees to be creative in responding to their students needs in relation to fingerings, and we need to also communicate the fact that that the existing fingerings are well thought out and have relevance to other upcoming repertoire in the books.
    • In South America, trainees must play all the pieces from a given book in order to get credit for training in that book. Some took the course and will send a DVD of their playing later to get the credit. Nine trainees took Book 8, five took the Practicum.
    • For the Practicum, the lessons on the videos were in Spanish.
    • There was a also especially good communication and sharing of ideas from the advanced trainees down to the Book 1 class.
    • Mary Lou saw an Improvement in the number of children with small guitars. Both parents and teachers came away motivated to make sure that the children did not continue to play improperly sized guitars
    • Mary Lou is sending notes for translation to the children concerning observation and polishing points.
    • A teacher named Carlos Alberto Cardena was contacted about starting a listserv in South America.
    • Frank stated that insistence on high standards and on basics is important for the trainers who go to South America.
    • Frank says he observed many of the same things in Mexico.
    • Mary Lou suggests using CDs of more advanced programs to help show what is possible when kids are well equipped and properly taught.
  5. Suzuki Guitar in Brazil

    • Elio Galvagno from Italy recently asked Bill if we had any contacts in Brazil.
    • Mary Lou says the Brazilian government has sponsored Suzuki violin and it’s so big that unfortunately all the work is group class. There are no guitar teachers coming from Brazil to the festivals in Lima.
  6. Suzuki Guitar in Japan

    • Frank will be meeting K. Toyoda on his next trip to Australia.
    • Mary Lou asks can Frank ask Toyoda about Suzuki guitar in Japan? Bill mentions that there is not much interest in it there.
    • Frank met a Japanese fellow who is reporting from Japan who is interested in Suzuki guitar in Japan.
    • Frank asks what about the father of K. Yamashita? Does he teach young kids? Also there is the Nibori School which is widespread in Japan. The committee agrees that we wish to know more.
  7. Additional miscellaneous topics

    • Bill says there is one more institute in Alaska that needs to be added to the Institute list, and that he is going up there.
    • Bill Kanengiser is contracted to do the CDs for books 8 and 9. It’s just logistics now and it will be done soon.
    • There was discussion concerning the writing of articles for the SAA Journal. The members of the Committee will share the responsibility for making sure the guitar has a constant presence in the Journal. Other members of the Suzuki Guitar Community are encouraged to write articles also.