"The Suzuki Alumni Project is the inevitable culmination- and continuation- of joy for me. Colleagues around the world who have expressed pride --of bold, humble, modest, loud, grateful sorts-- in their Suzuki roots have inspired me to harness that collective energy and channel it into a united effort: to celebrate the Suzuki method of music education.
For those of you already involved in the Suzuki method in some way: tell us who you are, and tell us your story! I invite you to create you own “top (ten) moments of Suzuki Joy”, as I have done below, and email it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org). For those of you lurking for inspiration, thank you for indulging me in a “Suzuki kid” pursuit of going down memory lane with my Top Ten Moments of Joy from my Suzuki life so far:
#10 • Nancy Hair, my first Suzuki cello teacher (when I was age 5): she gave me a clip-on Raccoon for my bow tip, to feel the weight of the whole bow.
#9 • Carol Tarr, my second Suzuki cello teacher (age 6-7): tissue vibrato!
#8 • from Alice Vierra, my third Suzuki cello teacher: in group class, at the Unitarian Church of Arlington, I realized I could teach myself perfect pitch! (5th grade)
#7 • from Rodney Farrar, Suzuki Institute teacher: keyhole bow angle
#6 • Games group class at Suzuki Institute! with Pam Devenport
#5 • Unit practice from Grandfather: The nine families of unit practice, “Divide and Conquer like Alexander the Great!”
#4 • Practicing (i.e, negotiating) review pieces with Nicolas, my older violinist brother
#3 • Four Family Get-Togethers – once/month gatherings with Suzuki families consisting of capture-the-flag, potluck dinners, performing our latest Suzuki pieces for each other’s families, and dessert.
#2 • “Practice only on the days we eat”- Suzuki mantra lived up to in my home growing up!
#1 • The Suzuki Alumni Project: As grateful Suzuki “kids”, it is our sincere obligation to pay it forward- and back!- to the Suzuki education that gave us our musical roots. Our shared joy is The Suzuki Alumni Project."
"The violin gave me my voice and my identity. As a shy and introverted young girl, I never felt comfortable speaking in front of anyone, in English or in Japanese; but somehow, having the violin in my hand gave me a source of confidence in who I was which remains to this very day.
After attending the Suzuki Book 1 violin recital of an older boy I admired, I was set on playing the violin. I remember proudly being front and center as the shortest and youngest violinist playing the advanced pieces at Suzuki group recitals. I also remember the excitement of inviting all of my school friends to my solo Suzuki Book recitals and the great anticipation of being rewarded with strawberry bavarois made by my mother for the reception afterwards (which made focusing during the last pieces of the recital very difficult). My Suzuki education has had a great impact on both my musical and personal development for which I will always be grateful."
"For over a decade now, I have been working with artists and musicians to help them create & re-create their visual brand. Although I have never seriously played an instrument before**, hiding underneath my uncle’s grand piano and being enveloped by the sound while he practiced the famous Bach Goldberg Variations, Brahms and Beethoven sonatas for hours, was one of my favorite things to do as a child. The piano became my favorite secret hideout at my grandmother’s house, a familiar presence, a friendly voice. Now, not only through my work, but as the mother of young children studying an instrument, warm memories from those early days flourish daily. Consider me an honorary Suzuki Kid!
I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to collaborate with The Suzuki Alumni Project and all the dedicated individuals that are joining forces in this amazing journey!
** (Except for a 3-month run with the recorder, some basic music theory and maybe a year of choir when I was 7 or 8… my very brief -yet apparently valuable- musical education LOL!)"
Vanessa is the CEO & Creative Director at ILÚ Media & Design (ilumediadesign.com)