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2018 Teacher Training at the San Diego Suzuki Institute

The San Diego Suzuki Institute is continuing to expand its teacher training offerings this year with three different classes:

July 29
10:00am - 5:00pm


Every Child Can!

Every Child Can! is an introductory course on the Suzuki philosophy and its application to education. For parents, teachers, prospective teachers and others, this course provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning. For teachers, ECC serves as the first course in the Suzuki Association of the Americas Teacher Development Program.


July 30 - August 3
9:00am - 4:00pm


Overview of Viola Units 1-3 for Violin Teachers

A survey of viola books 1-3. Teachers attending the course need to have completed an SAA audition and have violin or viola units 1-3 already registered in order to attend.

This overview course is 15 hours total with 8 hours of observation time. Both violin and viola teachers are invited to attend.


July 28 - August 4
Starts at 10am July 28. Ends 1pm August 4. Daily schedule wil…
Recent posts

Parenting Trickle Over?

So my husband and I are expecting our first child in a few months.  I decided to make this blog post as a way to capture this "moment in time" so that way I can go back to it in a few years (with a few thousand tantrums under our belts) and laugh.

I've been teaching for almost ten years now.  While teaching in no way prepares you for things like 2am projectile vomit or teething, it does give you quite a bit of experience dealing with things like temper tantrums.  Naturally this has made me wonder how much teaching will rub off on my parenting skills.

I have no answers, really.  More just musings.  It occurred to me that I've been intensively watching other parents interact with their kids for a long time now.  I've even had to go so far as to praise or correct a parent on how he/she is handling practicing situations as they come up at home.  Doing this every day for years has naturally made me form subconscious opinions about what kind of parent I want to be.

So …

The Importance of Music Theory

There is never enough time to get everything done in a music lesson.  And even if there is enough time, it doesn't necessarily mean that the student is mentally on board.  All your grandiose plans can easily go out the window the moment the student walks in sobbing (for something totally unrelated to music, of course).

So it's always a balancing act.  As a musician and teacher you feel a need to pass on all of this knowledge floating around in your head.  As a business person you are also cognizant of the fact that the parent sitting in the room with you is paying for violin lessons and not spending every week discussing counterpoint.

The moment I first took on private students I was pretty adamant about spending at least some time teaching each student some sight reading.  It was something that none of my own private teachers ever spent much time on and, as an adult, I always felt was a resulting weakness of mine.  While I could read music on a basic level, things like key si…

"Daily Do" in Circles

Singing "Daily Do" helps student learn to keep a steady beat, sing intervals, scales and triads using solfege and hand signs and the relationship of major to minor.

The Value of Music Education

Music educator Richard Gill argues the case for igniting the imagination through music and for making our own music. In this talk, he leads the TEDxSydney audience through some surprising illustrations of the relationship between music and our imagination.

Richard Gill has been Music Director of the Victorian Opera Company since its inception in 2006. He has also been Artistic Director of OzOpera, Artistic Director/Chief Conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Adviser for the Musica Viva in Schools Program.

Currently the Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony's Education Program, Richard has frequently conducted for Opera Australia and OzOpera, Meet the Music (SSO), Discovery concerts (Sydney Sinfonia); Ears Wide Open (MSO), and Canberra, Queensland and Tasmanian symphony orchestras.

Richard's many accolades include an Order of Australia Medal, the Bernard Heinze Award, an Honorary Doctorate from the Edith Cowan University of Western Australia, Hon. Doc. (ACU), and t…

Like Throwing A Punch

The concept of "tone" is difficult.  It's especially difficult for young musicians because it is not only intangible but also hinges on the notion of quality.  At the ripe old age of six, the difference between a good quality meal and a bad quality meal usually boils down to whether or not dessert was included.  In other words, a student may rush through a piece with terrible tone but still views the playing experience as a good one for reasons the adult may not agree with.  Playing "as fast as possible" is more important than playing "beautifully."

So developing beautiful tone is an ongoing process.  It's also not something that's going to happen overnight.  It's a balance of physical expertise and musical maturity.  It's also a bit like trying to explain what color is to someone who's never seen color before.  How do you describe the difference between a "rich" purple hue and a "faded" purple if the person has…

Tone Starts with the Legs

Something I've been working on with my students of late is "using the legs to create tone."  No, this doesn't mean holding the bow with the legs!

It's more along the lines of lifting a heavy object.  While it's easy to focus on just the arms, lifting something heavy is a full-body activity.  The same goes for an instrument.  It's easy to think of music as "just" an intellectual past time.  But that's the trap!

So if we approach the instrument with the same mentality as we would approach any other physical activity then focusing on the legs makes perfect sense.  Using the legs and core muscles promote good posture and breathing.  Good posture and breathing allows all muscles to function more efficiently and fatigue at a slower rate.

This increased efficiency allows us to create a more relaxed, powerful sound on our instrument.  Almost all of the weird sounds that happen on a string instrument (and, I'm sure, any instrument) are the result…