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San Diego Suzuki Institute is now a registered 501(c)(3)

As some may or may not know, I became the director of a Suzuki institute in 2017. Starting up this type of business very much felt like a roller coaster ride at times. But the moments of stress felt totally worth it in the end after we pulled off our first successful year.

With 2017 under the belt it was time to start thinking about how the institute can grow moving forward. I am very pleased to announce that the San Diego Suzuki Institute is now a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. The non-profit structure does add an extra element to keep track from the business side. But ultimately this type of model seemed to be something that would open a lot of doors for us.

The biggest positive change is that we are now able to accept donations. Donations will allow for a multitude of scholarship opportunities that we have been previously unable to offer. We would love to be able to offer financial support to both students and Suzuki teachers interested in furthering their careers with t…
Recent posts

Growth Mindset

Establishing the growth mindset is one of the most important jobs of a teacher.  It's also the most challenging because you are at odds with potentially other teachers, children the student interacts with, and possibly even the student's parents.  This is not to say that all of a student's social interactions are negative.  The point is that there could be conflicting messages.

I had a teacher trainer once tell me, "Always praise the process, not the product."  The advice stuck with me and became a sort of mantra that helps me to shape the words that I choose to use during the lessons.

It's not easy!  Over many years of teaching I've come to realize that praising the process is not quite as clear-cut as the pictured chart would have you believe.  For example, saying something like "You're so talented!  You played that beautifully," is obviously something that reinforces the talent is set mentality. 

But what about the grey-area phrases?  &q…

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…

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…