Suzuki bass pioneer Virginia Dixon (I interviewed her last year for Contrabass Conversations—check it out here) is offering several opportunities during 2009 for Suzuki bass teacher training. This is an excellent opportunity to get training in a field that is still in its early stages of development. There is great demand nationwide for teachers with Suzuki certification, and there are still relatively few bass teachers currently active with this certification, so this is an excellent opportunity for bassist interested in teaching.
Virginia is a great person and a great educator, and I really had a lot of fun interviewing her for the podcast last December. I can’t believe that we did this an entire year ago–how time flies! Anyway, check out the following offerings if you’ve got an interest in broadening your teaching skills and options.
A note from Virginia Dixon
I am excited to announce the Suzuki Bass Teacher Training courses for 2009 and to share with you some of the newsy events of 2008.
By far the most scenic course will be my Book 1 course at the Colorado Suzuki Institute at Beaver Creek, Colorado from June 14 through 21. This is resort condo living at its most reasonable. I can also advise you on how to camp in some glorious mountain scenery for much less and where bare bones hotels are. There is also ample scholarship. The institute can be reached at www.coloradosuzuki.org or by calling (303) 399-5764.
Book 2 will only be offered at my house this summer, and only if there are enough requests. Please consult with me so we can begin planning. This would be a chance to observe my home students and to see some of Chicago.
My Book 3 course will be at the American Suzuki Institute at Stevens Point, Wisconsin from August 3 through 7. It was the first and remains the most famous of the summer institutes. Here you can see the full gamut of Suzuki education as the student progresses from the earliest fun and games through an advanced chamber music program. The local camping can also spectacular! They can be contacted at www.uwsp.edu/cofac/suzuki or by phone at (715) 346-3033.
Stay tuned for the first Book 4 course to EVER be offered. I hope we can schedule it for 2010. If you will communicate your desire to take it with me, then perhaps we can find a time and place where all interested people can attend.
Scholarships are always available at the institutes and the association (suzukiassociation.org/teachers/guides/scholarship/), and deadlines are generally February 15, or March 15 for the Colorado Suzuki Institute where fundraising pies sold for $2000 last summer.
If you have any questions (and you may have many) check with Stan Haskin’s excellent blog, Glued to the String at www.gluedtothestring.blogspot.com/2007/07/steps-to-suzuki-training-for-bassists.html, or please feel free to write me directly. In addition to distilling a great deal of information that will make entry into the Suzuki world much easier, he has done a great interview with me and included some pictures. Enjoy!
Also Jason Heath’s interview with me may be of interest at www.contrabassconversations.com. Mine is Contrabass Conversation No. 52. Jason does a wonderful job with his Double Bass Blog, and if you are not familiar with it, it is a gold mine of bass information.
This year I was appointed a European Suzuuki Association Bass Teacher Trainer, the first in Europe. In November I travelled to Copenhagen to deliver the first installment (of three to be continued in March and November 2009) in their Level 1 course. We now have 9 Europeans from 7 countries teaching bass by the Suzuki Method, including Denmark, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Iceland, France, Switzerland, and Italy. They are an inspiring, hard-working, fun-loving group and include many extremely fine players. ESA can be contacted at www.europeansuzuki.org/teacher_training.htm.
At the beginning of 2009 I also travelled to Peru and taught Book 1 at the XXIII Festival Internacional De Musica in Lima, Peru. Five wonderful bassists from Argenina, Mexico, and Peru attended, and have been creating little bassists ever since. I will be returning to Peru from January 3 to 14, 2009 for Books 1, 2, and 3. There is still time to contact them at www.suzukimusica.com.pe. A trip to Peru can easily include a four-day adventure to ancient Cuzco and mysterious Machu Picchu.
I also taught Book 1 for the first time in Edmonton, Canada in July at the Alberta Suzuki Institute to two great bassists. Toscha Turner threw a wonderful party at her lovely house and garden. Ted Tessier showed us his goats who we got to bottle feed as well as his ducks who we chased around, all on his farm in the rolling hills of Alberta. The institute happens only every other year.
This year also marked the creation of my website at www.elmhurst.edu/~virginia/. Please check it out!
We now have Suzuki bass teachers in place on three continents! Needless to say that I am very excited!
I hope to see you soon!
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