My final takeaways from my Suzuki workshop

Today was the last day of my Suzuki Trumpet Unit Two course taught by Ann-Marie Sundberg, the teacher-trainer from Sweden, and organized by Natalie DeJong, teacher at Mt. Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, Canada. It was fantastic in many ways, but I am also glad to be able to focus on some upcoming projects that have been on the back burner, like preparing for a 4th of July concert and a recording session in two weeks.

My biggest takeaways from this course are that that I still have a lot of growing that I can do as a trumpeter and teacher. For instance, I got some great feedback from Ann-Marie that I can really use to help my own articulation (fundamentals, once again!). And hopefully I can pass this refinement on to my students.

Screenshot of my wonderful fellow students at the Suzuki Unit 2 course 


Also, I realized how important it is to tap into the power and wisdom of a group of dedicated people like there were in this class. My fellow students were professional and incredibly knowledgeable, each one. But together we were even more amazing, and we were able to offer each other so much excellent advice and support. So my advice to my readers is to:

  1. Seek help and take advice from people you respect.
  2. Network and maintain supportive relationships that can help you find solutions in the future.
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Five observation observations

Today, another workshop day with Suzuki Trumpet, Level Two. This seminar is going well, and we are all soaking in so much, so that we can be better teachers. I observed two hours of guitar Suzuki lessons and a masterclass. These were with young kids, but the level was pretty high (book 4, which means that the kids have taken lessons for at least about four years).

These lessons were virtual and more like college-level lessons. A lot of specific suggestions and plain old talking about how to be a better guitarist. But I still came away with some of my favorite observations:

  1. Ask a lot of questions, prompt students to remember previous lessons.
  2. Offer options suggested by students themselves (like their preferred dynamics).
  3. Have peer comments be focused on complements.
  4. Throw in historic facts (but make them short).
  5. Work on some details before going through whole piece.
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