A Suzuki Teacher Training Journal – Week 1 (and 2) – By Michael Hill

A Suzuki Teacher Training Journal – Week 1 (and 2)

Admittedly the class has met twice so far, but I took two weeks to wrap my head around just what it was I wished to share with students, families, and even other teachers through this journal. With that in mind, I’d like to share the welcome to the Suzuki world I received from a fantastic fellow teacher: “Welcome to the journey.”

For those that don’t know me from Notable Beginnings, my name is Michael Hill, I am a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, and I was not a Suzuki child. I started the piano somewhat young at age 11, the violin at age 13, switched to viola a little before college, and then the musical world swept over me through two degrees, music festivals, various orchestras, chamber groups, recitals, new and old music, and several studios, school visits, masterclasses, you name it! Several years ago a very good friend of mine suggested I look into taking the required coursework and becoming a registered member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas if I was really serious about teaching. With some encouragement, I registered for the Suzuki teacher training course through the University of Louisville with Dr. Terry Durbin. I have completed and registered books 1 – 4, observed many lessons, classes, and workshops, and I’m going back for more! I wish I was a Suzuki child. From a very young age, students can learn, and it is very comprehensive, so it can be adapted for students of all ages. Every child can.

This year I will be completing and registering books 5 – 10, and I’d like to share my journey with you. Whether students are experiencing a very “Suzuki” lesson or a more traditional based approach for older students which incorporates many of the philosophies and pedagogical principles of Dr. Suzuki, this journey and experience has shaped the way I guide every student through their lessons, other musical education, and the world beyond.

What did you miss in books 1 – 4? The Suzuki Talent Education or Suzuki Method combines music education with a philosophy that promotes the total development of the student. There are many goals of each song, book, and supplemental exercise/song, and every teacher/student is different. I will say that for me, throughout these first 4 books (the first several years) students will have developed the ability to listen and learn new material, read and learn new material, and will have the technical ability to continue throughout their education. Personally, I hope to help them find a love of learning, of facing the joys of a new challenge, and along the way they will be awesome violin/violists, too.

There is a lot more, but that would involve a blog detailing the entire year I took the course. I am happy that this course started very similar to the last years ago with Nurtured by Love – there’s a new translation, and I highly recommend checking it out, parents and teachers alike.

Thank you for reading this introduction! As I have now been introduced to my course work for the year, I hope you will follow me throughout this experience. I was very happy to have two friends come to town to take their Every Child Can course a week before I started book 5 – 10 class. What did I share with them? “Welcome to the journey.”