Suzuki Association of Washington State (SAWS)

Get to know the Suzuki Association of Washington State by understanding its history.

Jeffery Cox learned about Suzuki pedagogy from his high school teacher, Doris Preucil. After getting music degrees from Yale and Eastman, he started a Suzuki pedagogy program in the music department at Central Washington University. Central students could enroll in teacher training and a group of young students provided the “lab” as part of the training. During his years as violin and viola professor at CWU, 1978–1984, he was concerned that there was such a gap between the west and east sections of Washington—with great teaching going on in both regions. It seemed natural to try to bring everyone together in the centrally-located Ellensburg. He started hosting an annual festival and linked it to the appearance of a number of the major Suzuki pedagogues of that time. Teachers could come early for some training. The Trainer would also teach during the day of the festival and participate in the final concert. Of these early festivals, Jeff Cox said, “It was sort of a radical idea at the time. . . We had no idea if teachers, students, parents would travel to Ellensburg, especially from across the mountains!”