Prelude Strings Concert, Spring 09′

I was very pleased with this Springs Prelude Strings Concert.   Compared to other concerts I have heard them play in the past I thought this one showed quit a bit of musical maturity.   They are really beginning to shine in their own right as an exceptional performing organization for their age level.

Pieces where played with real expression and feeling.   Eyes were very much on the conductor with a very professional attitude.   They were all taking themselves very seriously as musicians.   You had the feeling that much of the music was nearly memorized.    Even notes in the upper register were rather in tune and played with a good tone.   This is notable since the pieces they are playing have steadily become more interesting as well as difficult over the years.

It is even more pleasing that we have 4 students from TEC participating in these wonderful orchestras.   This has been a great place to develop there skills as orchestra members from the very beginning.

Bravo Prelude Strings.   I hope that some one’s dad got some video of the performance this year.  I would love to have a sample to share with future families.   Wish more of the younger children from our program had attended these concerts.   I am sure they would have found a concert of this length manageable and inspiring.

Announcement below

Prelude Strings Concert

Saturday, April 25,      11:0-11:45am

free admission & parking

Samsvick Chapel, on the campus of

Google Map
This is the Spring 08′ Concert of the Chamber Strings and Prelude Strings Youth orchestra program.   This is a Preparatory orchestra program in which 4 of our violin students currently participate in.   Arya, Kayla, Tianrui & Katherine have been working hard all year.   We invite you to come and give them encouragement at this years final concert.
This is also a good family concert to bring young children to.   It is short enough for PreTwinklers and Twinklers to see older students playing their instruments.

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Spring Concert Flyer

Spring Concert Flier






Who stands behind every Volunteer


Recently I was invited by Dr. Jimenez, the Executive Director of  OCCTAC to attend a banquette called the ‘Spirit of Volunteerism’ held  at the Disney Land Hotel to honor  volunteers in the OC area.    It was sponsored by the OC Register and the Volunteer Center of Orange County, organizations I often drive by on the way to OCCTAC on Fridays to teach the Santa Ana Suzuki Strings.    I got to meet and have lunch at one of many tables with about 7 other volunteers at OCCTAC which Dr. Jimenez wanted to recognize that day.     We were treated to entertainment by dancers from the OC High School of the Arts and a slide show of all of the 250 volunteers who were being honored that day.

The people being recognized had many different kinds of motivations and resources for their desire to volunteer.     Many of them expressed an interest and value they already had in animals, culture or the environment.    Some had gifts financial or spiritual and had  time on their hands to go out into the community and work with other people.    Some like Ms. Cynthia were blessed by a sense of gratitude for opportunities they received in life and felt driven by an obligation to make the world a better place for future generations.

I couldn’t help but wonder who supported these volunteers when they were out there burning the candle at both ends?   Who was there waiting patiently in the wings for them to come home to do family things?   Who believed in them and appreciated the value of the gift that they insisted on pursuing?   Who was willing to share the indulgences that these generous volunteers had for the need to share with strangers in their community that they might not ever meet?

If they could all fit on the back of the certificate,  there would be quite an extensive  list of family, friends and students who put up with this Suzuki teacher and tolerated her audacious and outrageous vision that all of our children have access to the best possible education that music can provide.    I appreciate both the financial and emotional support that all of you have provided over the years.


Spirit of Volunteersim Awards, Certificute

Spirit of Volunteerism Awards, Certificate

Making friends at Day in the Park


We had a successful event last Saturday at Day in the Park.    I want to thank everyone that came and played at our booth for the crowds.   Even though attendance was a little slow this year, this was our target audience:  local families with young children.   It was great experience for our students to serenade the little children who came by and sat themselves down under the shady tree at the entrance to the event.   This was a very appreciative audience even if you were just one of our Twinklers.    See link to Day in the Park Event photos:

TEC booth at Day in the Park

Jacob and Sophie with the Mayor of Irvine

Jacob and Sophie with the Mayor of Irvine

One of the treats of being at the park early enough to help Ms. Cynthia unload and set up the booth is that the Mayor of Irvine has a tradition of making the rounds with a photographer in toe.     This year it was Mayor Kang and he had a surprise for Jacob and Sophie.    After listening to Jacob play some of his first Twinkles for everyone the Mayor couldn’t stand it any more and just had to get his hands on a Fiddle.   Much to our surprise he recalled a favorite Suzuki tune and a few other favorites from his own childhood as a violin student.   He says that he still has the Suzuki Violin at home which he studied on.    If you go to the Day in the Park photo album linked above you can see all of the photos of him playing on Ms. Cynthia’s violin. 

Thank you Mayor Kang.   You are a real inspiration.   See how far studying the violin can take you.   We need more elected officials who have music in their backgrounds.

Jacob gives the Mayor a turn on Ms. Cynthia's violin

Jacob gives the Mayor a turn on Ms. Cynthia's violin

Even though it was a slower year for this event we still made some friends.    Keep a look out for a few more new faces in the studio.   Later some of our friends from the Santa Ana Suzuki Strings came by to play a few tunes with us.    And finally 3 of our students who came straight from their last Prelude Orchestra rehearsal came by and gave us quite a nice serenade under the trees from Suzuki Books II, III and IV.   See Announcement about their concert this Saturday.    Ms. Cynthia got to play harmony with these students.    If anyone has better pictures of these moments please send them to me for the blog.
Thank you to everyone who came to help with Day in the Park.     I also want to thank the Day in the Park event volunteers.   They were very helpful and open to our issues of playing music in the Sun on a hot day.
   By the way, has any one seen what happen to our beach balls?     I’m still looking for them.

Training of a Suzuki Teacher, documented.


I was just on my SAA membership profile and noticed that they kindly put all of my Suzuki Teacher Training Experience on an accessible document.   Below you can see all of the training I received state side as well as with Dr. Suzuki.    Going all the way back to Doris Preucil you can see the first classes I took at the University of Northern Iowa where I met Martha Holvik and read my first copy of Nurtured by Love.     A book I read all night and into the next morning until I could finish it.    The UNI was also the place where I 1st met John Kendall when Dorthy Delay came from Juilliard to do master classes at Martha and Doris’s invitation.

In 1986 Dr. Suzuki came to the Institute at Stevens Point, Wisconsin where I took Book 5 with Allen Lieb.     Sensei was scheduled to do a group lesson on stage with all of the teacher trainees.   It was the first time that he worked with my bow hold.    Later after class Allen and Bette convinced me that I should attempt to go to Japan.   That they were kindly willing to recommend me.


You can see where it took me the next two years to save and prepare all of my paper work for the journey.    The month that I was scheduled to leave for Japan the last Centuries Emperor Hiro Hito died.   They decided to hold the funeral on the day that I was arriving at the airport.    My flight was almost cancelled for a reschedule.   Then they called back and said I would be arriving the day of the funeral when their was almost know one at all in the airport.   It was a national holiday.    The ride up the mountain to Matsumoto was very quiet.  It rained all day.   I took it as a significant passage of time.

My plan was to stay for 3 months.   Some how they became 3 years.  I soon became completely involved in the experience of Japan and studying at the Kaiken with Dr. Suzuki.   That story is a complete website in itself.  

After graduation at TERI I stayed on until February of the next year just to savor the experience of being there with out the pressure of preparing for the graduation.    I also made a point of scheduling my departing flight on the 3rd anniversary of Hiro’s Funeral.


That Spring California erupted in Flames.   It was a sign of the economic tide that was to come.   I sat watching the news and found my self wondering what I could do in this new home to make a difference.   It was great to see Bette Dyer again in 93 at Occidental in Pasadena, in LA.    I went back to visit Stevens Point one more time while its founder was still active.   So much had changed.   After being in Japan for 3 years I saw things so differently.  I had changed and I had so much to do.   We needed to find better ways to teach American children.    This list does not show the Montessori training and teaching or the Kindermusik activity.

I am grateful to all of the teachers you see on the list below.   They gave me a view to a whole new way of looking at teaching violin.    Seeing one of my students play a Seitz Concerto at the age 6 for John Kendall at a workshop in LA was very rewarding.    It was as close as I could get to sending such a student back to meet Dr. Suzuki.    Most of all I continue to feel an obligation to Sensei to do more.    I can not do enough to continue his work in the world.

Ms. Cynthia


Suzuki Association of the Americas

Cynthia Faisst

has completed and registered teacher training for

Level order

Course Location Date Trainer
How Muscles Learn Southern California Suzuki Institute Jul 2025 2003 Susan Kempter
Violin Foundation 1A University of Northern Iowa Jul 1014 1978 Doris Preucil
Violin Foundation 1A Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Foundation 1B University of Northern Iowa Jul 1014 1978 Doris Preucil
Violin Foundation 1B Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 2 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1318 1984 Evelyn Hermann
Violin Book 2 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 3 American Suzuki Institute Aug 49 1985 Evelyn Hermann
Violin Book 3 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 4 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1116 1985 Bette Dyer
Violin Book 4 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 5 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1015 1986 Allen Lieb
Violin Book 5 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 6 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 6 Southern California Suzuki Institute Jul 2529 1993 Bette Dyer
Violin Book 7 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 8 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 9 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Violin Book 10 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 20 1989Dec 20 1991 Shinichi Suzuki
Overview Books 1-10: Violin Southern California Suzuki Institute Jul 2227 2001 John Kendall
Recent to Older in Date order

Course Location Date Receipt
How Muscles Learn Southern California Suzuki Institute Jul 2003  
Overview Books 1-10: Violin Southern California Suzuki Institute Jul 2001  
Violin Book 6 Southern California Suzuki Institute Jul 1993  
Violin Book 10 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 9 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 8 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 7 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 6 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 5 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 4 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 3 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 2 Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Foundation 1B Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Foundation 1A Talent Education Research Institute Feb 1989–Dec 1991
Violin Book 5 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1986
Violin Book 4 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1985
Violin Book 3 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1985
Violin Book 2 American Suzuki Institute Aug 1984
Violin Foundation 1B University of Northern Iowa Jul 1978
Violin Foundation 1A University of Northern Iowa Jul 1978

Suzuki Association of the Americas
1900 Folsom St Ste 101
Boulder CO 80302

Last updated
Jan 26 2009

Why talent is overrated, book discusion for Suzuki teachers.


I have seen Mr. Colvin interviewed by Charlie Rose and found it interesting.   But much to my surprised I found it listed as a reading and discussion activity for Suzuki Teachers on our 1st on line Virtual Leadership Retreat.   I am looking forward to a lively discussion among my fellow professionals across the American hemispheres.

Book Discussion for the VLR

The book Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin will be discussed during the Virtual Leadership Retreat. There is a review of the book in the latest issue of the ASJ on page 31. Read the book in preparation for the VLR, or at the very least this article by Colvin on CNN: Why Talent Is Overrated.

Why talent is overrated – Oct. 21, 2008.

Copies of the American Suzuki Journal can be found in our studio.    There are a few articles from it published on the Suzuki Association site.   I encourage parents who would like to stay informed about Suzuki activities nationally and globally to become members.   See benefits.

Mr. Colvin talks about a wide variety of talent which includes business talent, technologist, scientist and sports in addition to musicians.   I am sure he will have some things to say that music teachers will disagree with.   This first chapter certainly suggests that we should be in pursuit of thoughtful practice and repetition.

If you are already reading this volume I invite you to use this venue to start your own discussion on this post.   As I reread the copy available and participate in the teaches leadership retreat in April I will update this post.

I would like to go back to that interview with Charlie Rose and remember who Mr. Colvin is.

TEC students appear on line, in OC Register, with Prelude Strings.


On Friday, January 16, 2009


It was such a nice surprise to hear that several of our TEC violin students appeared with the Prelude Strings Orchestra and  the Prelude Chambers Strings when they were featured on the Arts section in the Orange County C Register at the beginning of this year.

The Title of the article reads:

They keep time together

MORNING READ: Do Prelude music students believe in practice? Check the contract.


By TIMOTHY MANGAN,   714-… or  


If you get a chance read the article and let Timothy know how much we appreciated seeing one of our favorite musical organizations covered in the press.    The article was exceptionally informative about the life and inner workings of these very special youth orchestras.

I am just as pleased that we always have a hand full of students from TEC particpating in each of the Prelude strings orchestras.   This has been a valuable and inspiring musical experience for each of them.

Yes these kids sign a contract promicing not to miss more than 2 rehearsals per semester.   Several of our TEC students have earned a button that says  ‘I can’t, I have rehearsal.’  by having perfect attendance.    See :


I have a rehearsal

I have a rehearsal

Several of our students at TEC say they can be recognized in the video.   So far I think I have spotted Kayla and Katherine in the video.   But I am not sure because it is so dark.   I am still looking for Tienrui.   It has wonderful interviews with the director Helen Weed and founder Annette Brower.


I have definately spotted Arya with a beautiful bow hold looking up at Ms. Weed with real focus.    MINDY SCHAUER took the very inspiring photos which can be purchaced on line.   I especially enjoyed the one with a sign that says “No note Left behind”    Maybe Suzuki Sensei would say “No Beautiful Tone left behind”


I look forward to seeing more articles about the efforts of young strings players in Orange County in the future.    We can use the inspiration these days.


Prelude Strings and Prelude Chamber Strings will be having their Spring concert coming up on a Saturday morning April 25th from 10:00 to 10j:45.  in Samsvick Chapel at Calvary Church in Tustin.   Watch for it.   It is just the right length concert for a budding young PreTwinkler to attend.    I hope to see some TEC Pretwinklers there.


Remember Prelude Players.  Your task is to keep us inspired.

Weekly Group Lessons at TEC, keep students motivated about practicing for their private lessons.

Every  Suzuki program should offer group lessons each week as a supplement to their weekly lesson.   All students taking a full 30 min. weekly private lesson at TEC is encouraged to participate in the group so that they can continue mastering and reviewing the violin skills that they are acquiring in from their personal instruction.  

TEC Group lessons are on  Saturdays at OCCTAC and share with the SASS program where we have more classroom space for children to move around in.   It is wise to check the schedule on the as there are sometimes adjustments in the schedule.    We have it linked on our Google Calendar on the the TEC ED Center pages at the top.

Group lessons are an opportunity for all of the Suzuki Violin children to meet and play together.   In order to stay motivated about practicing at home young violinist need to be making friends and relationships with other musicians.  It is an opportunity to review pieces and skills everyone knows and it is an opportunity to hear more advanced students who play pieces that younger students aspire to play in the future.

All Suzuki Students in our program from Pretwinkler to Advanced students are encouraged to participate.   New students and shy students are encouraged to come and observe.   Younger children are invited to watch more advanced group students for short periods at a time depending on their attention span.   Parents can learn more about the breadth of the program by observing students at different levels and skills.

The PreTwinkle group is an opportunity for our youngest children to bond and become comfortable with the teacher and new Suzuki friends they will be studying with in the future.   Through games and play they prepare their ears and their bodies for holding and playing the violin.   In a social group setting we can build up their endurance to hold  thier instruments with good posture for longer periods at a time

In the Fall older students are busy reviewing the pieces that they will need for Festival and auditioning for orchestra.   We would also like to have informal recitals at this time, at least 4 times a year  where the children have the opportunity to play their pieces for others.   Please watch for these in the Calendar.

Most importantly group lessons is a place where children can experience more of the fun of playing with friends and develop confidence in themselves. Children who have ample opportunities to review pieces they know and can play them easily begin to relax and enjoy their playing more. See advice from thie award winning Suzuki student.

Ray Chen: I started playing the violin at the age of four. I’m not quite sure where I got the idea; however, I do know that it was my idea, as I picked up the toy guitar, put it under my chin and played it with a chopstick… the lessons then followed. I started with Suzuki Method, which was fun and made me want to play. Every Saturday there would be a “group lesson” where all of my teacher’s students would gather and have a lot of fun. At the time, there were two things that were important to me about those group lessons: the part where I played in front of everybody, and the break where we would snack on cookies and cordial.

My teachers back in Australia have included the Hawkins Family. I studied with them for five years. They were very involved with Suzuki and emphasized the “having fun” part of playing music. It seems like a lot of players these days are forgetting this important aspect, especially as they get older and become more self-conscious.

–1st prize winner Ray Chen about group lessons in his Australian Suzuki childhood.

We have been noticed by :Paget Suzuki Strings

We have noticed on the web by another Suzuki program.   They have put a link on their site to our pages about Listening.   This happens to be one the best read pages on our site.   Imagine that.    Parents and teachers from other music programs can not learn enough about listening.   We appreciate the flattery and hope to become more useful in the future.

If you haven’t found time to read the articles on this page I encourage you to do so.    You can also find it and print it out at  When you finish reading “Listening for Success”   you might want to check out the link on

Paget Suzuki Strings Pages    below our link and see what Suzuki Institute of Seattle recommends for extra listening and reading.

If you can’t guess where this Suzuki Program is check out the link above.  It will knock your socks off.   The Violin teacher,  Jyrki Pietila happened to be in Matsumoto studying with Dr. Suzuki just before Ms. Cynthia showed up to start her training.

Thank you for your attention.   We were glad to be helpful. Tags:

TEC students participate in Prelude Strings Concert 08′

This Saturday on the 26th of April, four of our students at TEC will be participating in the Prelude Strings Concert.   They are Kayla, Arya, Tianrui and Katherine.   They are in books II, III and IV.   We are very proud of their accomplishments and look forward to hearing a good concert.

 This is there final Spring concert after a year of hard work.  These violinist have become much better musicians for the experience.  They will have the summer off until auditions in the fall so don’t miss it.

The concerts is at Samsvick Chapel, Calvary Church of Santa Ana (1010 N. Tustin Ave.), from 11:00am to 12:00am.    Admission is free and open to the public.

This is the perfect concert for a young Pretwinkler to attend.   It is a family event and the parking is also free and reasonable.    We look forward to seeing your there.

More later after the concert.