It is amazing what can happen in a country when a whole team of violinists decides to work together for the happiness and growth of the children. I have been honored to be a part of this kind of work in Bogotá, Colombia. In June I taught a great team of violinists for the eighth year in a row. There were 18 teachers enrolled in the Book 7 Teacher Workshop Course, and they all worked hard to master this level of playing and teaching. In the Latin American courses, the teachers play the whole book for the trainer in order to register the course, and almost all of them did this for me. The ones who didn’t will send me a videotape or play next year. There were two teachers who played Book 6 after taking that course last year. So everyone continues at their own pace, as prescribed by Dr. Suzuki, and we keep working toward common goals knowing that we will all get there.
Many of these teachers have also attended Suzuki Festivals in other Latin American countries, particularly the one in Lima, Peru, as well as Suzuki institutes in the United States. Though many of them have already taken all ten units of violin training, they still come back to repeat the courses when I am there, remembering that review of material is how ability is developed. They really understand the Suzuki Philosophy!
There are several Suzuki Music Schools now functioning very successfully in Bogotá, Cali and other cities in Colombia. The Conservatory at the National University has a strong Suzuki component which is influencing music education in the whole country. It is wonderful to teach the students of these teachers at the student festival. I hear beautiful tone and good intonation, and I see smiling confident students playing for parents who know how to help their kids. The Suzuki Method is alive and well in Colombia. Thank you for allowing me to teach you and be with you for all these years!