Latin American Suzuki Ensemble in rehearsal.

Latin American Suzuki Ensemble 2008 in rehearsal.

Why I support the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble and Suzuki Americas 2014

When speaking to prospective donors about the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble and Suzuki Americas 2014, people often ask me why they should make a donation to bring students from Latin America to the SAA Conference in Minneapolis. They ask if they should instead donate to bring a Suzuki student from the US or Canadian to the Conference. Better yet, if a Suzuki parent, they tell me that perhaps they should pay for their own children to attend the Conference instead.

Suzuki students in North America are fortunate to have access to world-class teaching. We have built training programs such as summer institutes, masters degrees in Suzuki pedagogy, and studio-based training programs that have produced a large body of teachers and teacher trainers who are making a difference in the lives of children from Florida to Alaska. This is not yet the case in Latin America.

We want to share with the Latin American students and their families our vision of what can be accomplished when parents, students, and teachers work together towards excellence in both skill and character development. Bringing these students to Minneapolis will allow them to experience firsthand the result of our vision-guided work. Furthermore, they will take this experience back to their countries and help their peers, parents, and teachers to reach higher levels of engagement and personal growth.

The American and Canadian students will also benefit from this project by participating in an ensemble at the conference alongside their peers from Latin America. This will be a unique experience for all participants, where spoken language barriers will disappear and music will take place as the unifying language.

I am passionate about this project and I count on your support.

–Rolando Freitag, Violin Teacher Trainer, SAA Board of Directors

We all know that for students and teachers in Latin America, a trip to the 16th SAA Conference would be a life-changing experience. But since we are being asked to help financially, how do we benefit? What’s in it for us? Why should we make a donation?

When I was first invited to travel to the Suzuki Festivals in Latin America, I admit to being a bit reticent (and my mother was downright worried). After all, the only information we had to go on was from the press, and frankly it wasn’t all that pretty. However, having worked now for six years as a Teacher Trainer for recorder players in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, I consider these wonderful folks to be family—Suzuki family. And where I come from we go out of our way to help family, especially those in need.

Deserving students I know well from Huancavalica, the most financially challenged region in all of Peru, have passed their auditions with flying colors and are hoping to attend the Conference. My hope is that by donating to the cost of their travel, many families in the North American Suzuki community will have the deep privilege of connecting with these serious, hard-working students; some will even be making music alongside them! In doing so, they will help to realize Dr. Suzuki’s vision of developing understanding, tolerance, and world peace through the joy of music. So let’s pitch in and help them by donating to the cause!

–Mary Halverson Waldo, Recorder Teacher Trainer

Select “Latin American Ensemble Conference 2014″ from the Fund menu.

Thank you for your support!