Become a Chapter Affiliate

What is a Chapter Affiliate?

A Chapter Affiliate is a local Suzuki Association that has met the requirements of the SAA to not only be endorsed by the SAA, but also to receive their support, benefits, and international recognition. Chapter Affiliates are extremely important to the SAA because they allow the philosophies and goals of the organization to be implemented at the local level, and likewise, the Chapter Affiliate receives the benefits of recognition and promotion at the national level. In essence, Chapter Affiliates are one of the most important and effective keys to weaving your local Suzuki community into the whole national and international Suzuki movement.

Chapter Affiliates are not only beneficial for the international community, but most importantly, they are valuable to you. Chapter affiliation benefits you and your area in the following ways:

  • Helps you connect more closely with the teachers in your area.
  • Offers education and support for both teachers and parents.
  • Provides scholarships and other benefits for students and teachers.
  • Keeps you updated through websites and newsletters posting local events and other information.
  • Connects you with the SAA, which provides support and resources.

How do you become a Chapter Affiliate?

If you are part of an organization or group of Suzuki teachers interested in becoming a Chapter Affiliate, the SAA is more than willing to help walk you and your organization through understanding and completing this process. There are several basic requirements for becoming a Chapter Affiliate:

  • First, Chapters must be comprised of or encompass a specified area, usually a state, province, or smaller area and must be inclusive of all Suzuki instrument groups.
  • They must also maintain 100% SAA membership (for which we provide confirmation resources) and a minimum of 30 teacher members. In addition to teacher members, Chapters may also include parent members.
  • And finally, Chapters must be incorporated and include by-laws that are consistent with the SAA’s own by-laws (for which we provide guidelines to achieve and maintain).

Benefits of Affiliation

Services and materials provided by the SAA

  • Support and consultation to leaders through

    1. One on one phone calls between Chapter Liaison and Chapter President/Chair
    2. Leadership Retreat sessions focused on Chapter leadership
    3. Conference sessions focused on Chapter leadership
    4. Chapter Wise newsletter “Leadership Links” section
    5. Discussion section on SAA website accessible only by current Affiliated Chapter board members
    6. Participation and access to recorded Web info series focused on Chapter topics (scholarships, website development, by-laws, engaging membership)
  • Affiliated Chapter logo displayed on SAA member pages

  • Two emails a year to be sent by the SAA to all SAA members in Chapter’s area for announcements such as membership opportunities and events.

  • Website lists of SAA members residing in Chapter Affiliate’s designated area.

  • Inter-Chapter communication and support through Chapter Wise newsletter “spotlight” and “Solution Finders” sections.

  • Resources such as best practices for volunteer recruitment and retention, board structure and meetings, steps on how to set up workshops including “Every Child Can,” and technology resources.

  • Creating Learning Community Awards honoring achievements at Chapter level.

  • Collaborative membership campaigns promoting Chapter Affiliation membership in “Short Score” Newsletter.

  • SAA Chapter Affiliate Logo Package and guidance on use of logo.

Goals of the Chapter Affiliate

❦ Connect: Build community among all students, parents, and teachers.
❦ Educate: Provide resources and/or support to teachers and parents, incoming and current, concerning Suzuki teaching and philosophy.
❦ Support: Financially benefit teachers and students for further enrichment (i.e. scholarship programs for conferences, institutes, workshops).
❦ Celebrate: Arrange Concerts, Graduation, Celebration, Cross Instrument Recitals, Honors Recitals, etc. to rejoice in music together.
❦ Respect: Support the Suzuki name/brand/legacy by requiring SAA membership for teachers as well as broadening membership and providing grassroots feedback to the SAA.

Ways the Chapter Goals can be fulfilled:
- Create student events—such as play-a-thons, graduations.
- Implement parent education programs and parent networking opportunities.
- Initiate local fundraising including special events.
- Offer student scholarships.
- Initiate new program promotion.
- Sponsor/Co-Sponsor local workshops for students and/or teachers.
- Implement teacher recognition program.
- Network/mentor new teachers.
- Promote Suzuki programs in area schools.
- Market Suzuki education on a local level.
- Create and identify potential diversity projects (all special needs).
- Train future chapter/SAA leaders.
- Identify parent and teacher resources.
- Collect information and data for research.
- Support SAA membership.
- Provide grassroots feedback to the SAA.
- Submit chapter news to the editor of American Suzuki Journal and SAA webmaster.
- Represent chapter at biennial conferences and leadership retreats.
- Participate and help sponsor Teacher Corps programs and teacher development courses.


Annual Chapter Affiliate dues will help support or assist with SAA’s cost to administer the following programs on behalf of Chapter Affiliates:

  • Annual chapter leadership training (at either the Leadership Retreat or Biennial Conference).
  • Recognition programs.
  • Future grant funding programs.
  • Use of a Chapter Affiliate logo, logo guide.
  • Teacher recruitment across North and South America.
  • Marketing efforts to increase awareness of the Suzuki education.
  • Chapter Affiliate presence on SAA web site, in Membership Directory, the American Suzuki Journal.

Dues Rates

Each Chapter Affiliate, even though the SAA requires 100% teacher membership in the SAA, will charge a dues rate of $1 per member, which includes all non-teacher members of each Chapter Affiliate. This is also known as a per capita, or per head, rate structure. Our rationale is that:

  • the SAA will indirectly provide services to all Chapter Affiliate members regardless of their member status with the SAA.
  • teacher members should not be the only ones contributing financially to an organization that ultimately provides benefits to students and their families; we encourage parents to belong to the SAA but if they choose not to, the $1 per capita dues structure will provide support to that end.
  • the Chapter Affiliates would have a favorable opportunity to increase their dues rates using the affiliation with the SAA as a marketing tool to both increase their own revenue and to incorporate the SAA dues rate into their own rate structure.
Suzuki Association of Southwestern Wyoming
Teacher Members 38
Parent Members 67
Student Members 13
Other Members 8
Total Members 126
Total due to the SAA for annual dues:
Number of members x $1

Dues Collection

The dues collection process will be on a calendar year as follows:

October 31: Chapter Affiliates are required to submit all their annual reporting

November 30: The SAA will provide invoices to all Chapter Affiliates for their annual dues.

January 15: Chapter Affiliate dues are to be received by the SAA and will reflect current membership status for the upcoming year, January 1 through December 31.

As with other dues rates, it will be necessary from time to time, as the SAA deems appropriate, to amend Chapter Affiliate dues rates. The SAA By-laws discuss dues rates and changes.

Application Process

To apply, your organization will need to make some modifications to your governing documents: Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. The changes relate to mission, dissolution of the organization and the requirement that membership must be open to all who are interested in the mission of the organization. This includes all instrument areas, parents and other interested parties. Also, the name of the organization should reflect the inclusiveness. Please find the sample articles of incorporation and sample by-laws that provide the required language.

Downloadable Chapter Affiliate Forms

Model Articles of Incorporation

Model by-laws


Directions for forming groups

Directions for existing groups

Who To Contact?

If you have any questions about requirements or the process of applying to be a Chapter Affiliate, please do not hesitate to contact the SAA office at 1-888-378-9854 or by email at [javascript protected email address] .