June 20th-July 5th, 2005

Students from the music reading demonstration class

Students from the music reading demonstration class.

Dilva Sanchez, Vice President, Suzuki Association of Colombia writes:

The VII Suzuki Festival of Colombia ended and, as happens every year, we are left feeling satisfied after seeing new teachers taking courses and new students participating in the festival. Many teachers have consistently continued their training. This year we had 16 violin teachers in Book 6, six in piano Book 4, and in the second year of offering guitar, we had six teachers in Book 2.

During the last week of our festival, we had a new and enriching experience. Caroline Fraser suggested to the piano and guitar participants that they teach one of their own students a regular 30-minute lesson in front of the Teacher Trainer and our colleagues. This was like a small step towards a practicum course, which turned out to be a very agreeable way of examining our work and a great opportunity to learn new teaching strategies, which will help us become better teachers.

William Kossler writes:

Oscar Mora teaching in the Mini-Practicum

Oscar Mora teaching in the Mini-Practicum.

Last summer was my second trip to Bogota, Colombia, to give guitar teacher training courses. It was very rewarding to hear the stories of teachers who had spent the year “planting seeds” and were starting to experience the harvest of ability being developed in their guitar students.

The best part of the week was a “mini practicum,” which allowed for what was a “free association” review of the basics, from parent education to Pre-Twinkle and onto the technical outline of the first several books. What distinguished this from an overview was the freedom from a syllabus, which allowed the course to follow the natural unfolding of the ideas, questions and concerns of the teachers in the class. This freedom allowed the class to be steered in the direction of greatest need for the trainees.

The guitar programs in Argentina and Peru are alive and well, and Colombians are the “new kids on the block”. It is a real pleasure to be associated with the development of these programs.

Maria Luisa del Río, Peru writes:

Colombian violin teachers: two sets of twins

Colombian violin teachers: two sets of twins!

Roxana del Barco and I arrived in Colombia on Friday, June 24, to start the teacher training courses in Early Childhood Music, levels I and II. We had eleven teachers in the level I course in the mornings and twelve teachers in the level II course in the afternoons. We gave demonstration classes with babies 0-2 years for level I teachers and with children 2-4 years for the level II teachers. It was very moving to see how many of the babies had already experienced the activities and were familiar with the repertoire. There are various programs of Early Childhood Music being developed very successfully in Colombia, and the babies’ reactions and achievements show us the results of the work of their teachers and parents, many of whom received training during the previous year’s festival. There were mothers and fathers accompanying their babies, demonstrating a total commitment to the Suzuki philosophy and a tremendous respect for their children. The presentation involved babies and their parents, accompanied by seven violinists who decided to join us playing Mozart’s “Le petit riens.” The musicians learned the music by ear and in just one hour, demonstrating true Suzuki spirit. Thanks to Dilva, Eric, Pilar, Juan Pablo, Andres and especially to Lisbeth and Jaime who were there to help us unconditionally at every moment during the entire festival. Roxana and I returned home very satisfied with the results and with hope that the Suzuki spirit will reach the hearts of many more families in this beautiful country of Colombia.