Suzuki Trumpet Training, Part I

Ann-Marie Sundberg, the only Suzuki trumpet teacher-trainer in the world
Ann-Marie Sundberg, the only Suzuki trumpet teacher-trainer in the world

I just got back from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Mount Royal University was hosting the very first Suzuki Trumpet Teacher Training ever given in North America. I was one of ten students in the course, and the teacher was the only teacher trainer in the world: Ann-Marie Sundberg of Sweden.

I knew a little about Suzuki music education, because my two children have both developed in Suzuki studios (violin and flute). I have been impressed for years by their early start, rapid progress and confidence as young instrumentalists. Compared to my education as a trumpeter, they are much better technically, they have a far greater and more serious repertoire, and their ears are more refined than I was at their age.

Swedish Suzuki Trumpet Class
Swedish Suzuki Trumpet Class

I read about Ms. Sundberg’s Suzuki teaching and  teacher training a few years ago, and I eventually wrote to her asking how I could  learn how to teach Suzuki trumpet. She wrote back, saying that I would have to fly to Sweden three times in one year in order get the certification. As much as I would like to visit Sweden that many times, I realized it would be quite an expensive undertaking. I put it off that year.

Natalie DeJong teaching Suzuki trumpet at Mount Royal University
Natalie DeJong teaching Suzuki trumpet at Mount Royal University

Fortunately, one of her students, Natalie DeJong, who is on the faculty of Mount Royal University, arranged to have Ms. Sundberg come to Calgary in Alberta, Canada last August (2016) to give an eight-day seminar to do the entire training for the first unit (training to teach the first book of Suzuki trumpet). So, when I heard about this possibility, I signed up right away.


Shinichi Suzuki leads a violin group class of children in the United States (date unknown)
Shinichi Suzuki leads a violin group class of children in the United States (date unknown)

On the day before the trumpet training, I took the required all-day prerequisite course called Every Child Can. I formally learned about the general history and philosophy of the Suzuki school, named after the founder, the Japanese violinist, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, whose revelation came when he realized that “all Japanese children speak Japanese.” In other words, all children learn effortlessly how to speak their own language regardless how difficult that language is. He applied this language learning process to music learning. But perhaps the most important take away from learning about the Suzuki philosophy is that it is not primarily for teaching children how to be better musicians, but it is a way to nurture them to become “fine and noble human beings.” That is a concept I can truly believe in, and I am really excited about teaching students of my own very soon. 

Next: Suzuki Trumpet Training, Part II 


7 responses to “Suzuki Trumpet Training, Part I”

  1. Natalie DeJong Avatar
    Natalie DeJong

    It was fantastic to have you in Calgary this past summer Stan for the first Suzuki Trumpet Teacher Development course offered in the Americas! It was such a great group of people, and it’s exciting to think that more Suzuki Trumpet studios will open!

  2. oh man! where is part 2? I want to hear how it went. I’m a parent who’s maybe interested in suzuki trumpet for my child…

    1. Part 2 is up, Brian. Sorry it took so long, but I hope the next post gives you some more information.

  3. William Averitt Avatar
    William Averitt

    I played trumpet approximately 50 years ago and started getting my lip back in shape by blowing on my mouth piece. When my wife 1st heard me blow on the mouth piece she said “is that your mating call? Good luck”.
    Anyway I realize that I have to start start from the beginning and would like to purchase a beginners trumpet book.
    With practice I hope my mating call will improve.
    Are there any seminars around Houston, Texas?
    Billy Averitt

  4. Billy, good on ya for wanting to play again! There are many fine beginners books. For instance, you can’t go too wrong with the Rubank:

    As far as Houston, there have to be dozens of good teachers in the area. I would recommend calling a music store or a local music school for recommendations. Then stick with it! Good luck!

  5. Daniel Murphy Avatar
    Daniel Murphy

    Where can I get book 1 from for trumpet?

    1. Daniel, I’m still not sure it’s published.

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