Suzuki training, level 2

Today begins a five-day virtual seminar on Suzuki Brass, Level Two, and I am participating. It is being hosted by Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, Canada. There are several Suzuki disciplines happening during this time offered by this Suzuki Summer Institute. The assistant director of this Suzuki Institute is Natalie DeJong, a trumpeter and a long-time champion for Suzuki trumpet/brass.

Ann-Marie Sundberg, the Suzuki Brass teacher-trainer

The Suzuki Brass Teacher-Trainer is Swedish trumpeter, Ann-Marie Sundberg. She is the only Teacher-Trainer of Suzuki Brass in the world. ¬†She is “Zooming” in from Sweden. This level-2 course is the very first one offered in the Suzuki Association of the Americas. In Suzuki, when you are on a “level” there is a book that is used with that level. So, for Level 2, we use Book 2, which is not published yet–we’re using a prototype. But Book 1 has just been published, and, like all Suzuki books, it has a companion reference recording. It’s played by Canadian Brass trumpet rockstar, Caleb Hudson.

I am so excited, because after the level-1 course I took in 2016, I learned so much about teaching trumpet and music–not only teaching to children, but also to older students.

This  course is graded on attendance, participation, observations and making recordings.

Suzuki Brass Level Two course participants

We introduced ourselves to each other at the beginning of the session today. I already knew one of the other participants–Daniel Gianola-Norris, a trumpeter from California. He and I were both present in 2016 in Calgary (physically, not virtually, then!). There are participants from all over the U.S., Canada, and even one participant from Thailand. We actually have Jim Markey, bass trombone with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, participating.

Just as I write this post, I am listening to a 6-year-old girl named Polly play one of the pieces from Book 2 by Bela Bartok, and then she played “When the Saints Go Marching In.” She sounded fantastic, and I am starting to enter that emotional state of being inspired and awed.

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