Discount Violins in the Music Store Window or website


New Violin in its case

The New Violin



Has your child been eyeing that cute violin in the music store window this holiday season?

My advice: Buy yourselves a cookie and think about it.   A musical impulse purchase at the music store can be very expensive. Don’t do it without the guidance of a trustworthy music teacher, who does not take commissions from any music store.

urselves a cookie and think about it.   A musical impulse purchase at the music store can be very expensive. Don’t do it without the guidance of a trustworthy music teacher, who does not take commissions from any music store.

Let me explain why:

  • Returns of instruments to your music store can be next to impossible.
  • Any music teacher who must rely on the sales of musical instruments to make a living should not be in the business of teaching. Find yourself a better violin teacher. Your child deserves it.
  • Teaching while retailing violins poses an ethical problem.  It is not recommended.
  • A trustworthy music teacher offers you a number of good affordable choices for finding the right size instrument for your level of study. They are completely neutral as far as violin or music shops is concerned and have only your child’s needs at heart.
  • Do not even buy a gift certificate from the music store because once again it can not be returned if they don’t carry what you really need for your student.
  • It is important to choose the teacher you want to study with before spending money on a violin so you can be sure of choosing the right size violin for the student. I have had too many new students who have been tricked into buying a violin that is too large for my students.
  • Music shops do this to get more than one purchase out of parents who discover that they have made an impulse decision on an instrument the store was having difficulty unloading from its inventory.
  • A qualified independent music teacher with a degree in music education can save you money in instruments and materials in the long run. Do not trust the teacher who works for the music store.
  • There are more violin teachers available on your Google search for your area than you can see on the first page of your screen. Don’t settle for one of those teacher referral sites that you or the teacher have to pay for.
  • Search for an independent music teacher who has a program that you can visit in their studio. Check out their credentials on their website. Visit them and see out they work with other children in your community. Ask for references from other parents.
  • Avoid using a referral site that sends a teacher to your home. These are inexperienced teachers who are underpaid for driving around in their cars and may not have adequate credentials to be teaching because the agency is skimming off of their work. You should worry about inviting such a person into your home. One does not know how these people are being vetted.

This itemized quick list was created by a Suzuki Violin Teacher who studied in Japan with Dr. Suzuki for 3 years and who has her BA in Music Education. She has been teaching in the Orange County area for 20 plus years and has heard all the horror stories from parents about the things they have been through to get reliable music education for their children without being scammed.

I feel compelled to write this because I have seen more than the usual rip offs going on lately with music retailers and entrepreneurs trying to get into the business. I am ashamed to say that not everyone in the music business has your musical needs at heart.

When your child sees that violin in the window or the Christmas display at the mall keep them inspired. There is a qualified credentialed music teacher out there who can’t wait to meet them. But take the time to do some research on their aspirations so you make sure the Grinch does not take advantage of your musical dreams or Christmas fantasy.

I teach here in the Orange County area and you can go to my website at for more advice where this came from.  See also my Pinterest link.   There are also several books that parents and new students should read before purchasing a violin.   More Posts to come.

Sensei said “Every Child” (even if he needs an arm.)

When Dr. Suzuki said “Every Child”  he meant it.

He didn’t mean:

Well …”If they don’t have any learning disabilities. or  If he has good vision.  or If she can hear normally. or If she has fingers.  or If he has both arms.”

While I was in Japan one of the students who impressed me most was a teenage girl who played the violin on her right shoulder because she was missing fingers on her left hand.  It was not a problem for her to hold a bow with this hand while she played Beethoven’s Spring Sonata for a recital.

More than 15 years later I am teaching violin at a non-profit in Santa Ana which serves special needs and underserved children.  My classes at the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center are inclusive of children who are sometimes facing challenges.  But up to this point none of them were missing any limbs.

When one of my newest students approached me about studying the violin without a right forearm I couldn’t bring myself to say no.  The fact that he was missing part of his arm was not the biggest obstacle I expected to be challenged with.  I kept him in the PreTwinkle Violin class and started working with him.  I thought,  If we can put a man on the moon surely there is a way we can give this child full access to a musical instrument like the violin.    I was willing to collaborate with any technician would be willing to assist me in adapting any prosthesis he was already using for this problem.

Well, it wasn’t that simple.  Expect to make a few mistakes before you find the right device for a child who is growing.

It was up to me to find some way that we could make the violin accessible to this child.  So I rolled up my sleeves and went online searching everywhere I could think of.  And then I started asking everyone, including my sister the Special Ed teacher.  I had to work fast because this student moved through all his PreTwinkle work faster than any other student in the program.  I found myself scrolling through the entire FB page of the E-Nable community who are known for creating affordable hands for children with 3D printers.

Finally, I found a technologist I already knew personally as a musician right here in OC.  Embarrassed for not thinking of him sooner, I asked Gene if he could help us create a bow arm for my OCCTAC violin student so this child could hold a bow with his left hand instead of his right hand.   His immediate response,  I quote,

“We’re on it!”

Gene Wie not only mobilized a student team from one of his high school classes of techie students who are inspired to create solutions for children like my violin student, he is assisting me with the problems of reverse engineering a violin so my OCCTAC Suzuki Violin student can play it on his left shoulder comfortably.

To learn more about this ongoing project go the link for:


Source: limbART – Gene Wie



Time for Three: Ask PBS to bring their music documentary to Orange County for our children

Our favorite  String Trio, Time for Three just did a documentary on PBS.  But it was in Indiana.  Help bring it to PBS in Orange County.

Contact and let them know that you would like to see this program by inspiring musicians that your children can look up to.  You just have to hear this t believe it.


Wouldn’t your string play be inspired by that?

Nick Kendall is the grandson of John Kendall, one of my teachers and the father of Suzuki Method in America.  He and his friends are exemplary musicians equally talented in both classical and alternative styles.

Learn more about what our favorite Trio has been up to:

Time for Three: new album, documentary and mashup | Classical Music | NUVO News | Indianapolis, IN.


They have been recording more videos and Albums.  Including one with Christmas music.

Check out their new website:


Suzuki Violin’s bookshelf: for-new-students


If you are thinking about getting your child started with violin classes here is a list of the most important books you will need to begin with.

 Suzuki Violin’s bookshelf: for new Students on Goodreads

The most important of them is the Suzuki Violin Book, Volume 1, Revised Edition with the CD.  The CD is especially  important so that you can get a head start listening to the Twinkle Variations softly in the background with the single repeat button.   Your goal is to start memorizing the rhythms of the first 5 variations.
Ability Development from Age Zero As a  Parent, you are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the Suzuki Method. We know that parents are busy and don’t have time for more than a few minutes of reading between all the events in their day.  Start with an introduction to the Suzuki Method that has short chapters explaining a few of the basic concepts.

This little gem of a book by Dr. Suzuki is filled with his insights about how children learn from their environment at an early age.

If you are starting a child who is between 3-6 years of age you will want to have lots of ideas for practicing at home to make it enjoyable and help you remember some of the games you played in class. The Pre Twinkle Book: Poems For The Youngest Suzuki Children will give you lots of ideas to encourage the repetitions you need to develop mastery of new skills from your lesson in a playful manner. In the back of the book are more silly words and poems for learning and singing the songs from book I that you are listening to on the CD. You will get lots of mileage from this little book.

There are a few more books on the list you may find helpful depending on what kind of learner you are. A new version of
which provides a biography of Dr. Suzuki’s story.

If you have difficulty remembering details from your lessons one good souse used by many new teachers is

The easiest Suzuki oriented catalogue to use is: It is small and user friendly.

But if you can’t find it there a larger catalogue you can try is: Shar may still have better stock and prices than Amazon most days.

You will be plenty busy listening to the CD and reading the first book in the list but if you have more questions go to my main website at and give me a call.

Scientific proof that Playing an Instrument as a Child is still One of the Best Choices You Make

New research shows just why being a musical child is so important.

via Playing an Instrument as a Child Was One of the Best Choices You Made – Mic.

 “Music Enrichment Programs Improve the Neural Encoding of Speech in At-Risk Children,” was the first of its kind, according to Northwestern, that observed the effects of musical training on children involved in an already-existing program that targets at-risk kids.”


Great examples of Musical Leadership

Great examples of Musical Leadership

Not even a flood can stop these kids.   What a great inspiration these young musicians are.   It makes me proud to be from Iowa.   If I had had access to the internet when I was a young musician I would have been organizing a musical movement like these kids.   Because Iowa is such a hard place to get out of, a giant corn field snack dab in the middle of  the country.    I thought nothing ever happened in Iowa.   Well I can’t say that today.

Read their blog on Iowa Makes Music and find out how these kids from river city Iowa are taking their musical abilities out of the practice room and making a difference in their local communities.   If they can be such a hit coming from a place like Iowa what’s stopping the rest of us.

Here’s just one example:

   Hi, I’m Kelsey a ninth grader at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf, Iowa. I play the cello and so I wanted to participate in the Iowa Makes Music Arts Leadership Program because I am very passionate for music and I want to spread the sound of it to my community. I will perform my Chinese repetoire at at least 10 different community places in the Quad Cities (Iowa and Illinois). Ex) libraries, book stores,  retirement homes, hospitals, day cares…etc.

“Music is the bridge between different cultures and generations.” Like they say, one person can make a big difference. I hope that I can inspire some of you to do so as well!

Check out the Iowa story on From The Top.

A bow hold that challenges us all

When I first saw this young man play I thought. Here is a child missing fingers looking for an instrument to make music on,  that could not be deterred. Suzuki Sensei would have just beamed. I can just hear him saying something like, ” See, even if you don’t have fingers you can hold a bow and play the violin with your elbow. See how the elbow plays the violin in front of the body. The elbow is where the tone starts with the motion of the arm.”

Right about now my students are so happy that I can’t think of an easy way to attach their bows to their elbows. It would be an innovative violin lesson they would never forget. Just one more crazy way to understand how their bow arms really work.

For now I will just have to think about how Adrian uses his whole body to move that bow and lift it to the strings without a long forearm. This is clearly an extraordinary adoption that those of us who have an arm and hands in the way are not motivated to pursue. What impresses me is that Adrian does not let lacking a full arm get between him and his music.


Adrian Anantawan – Intro to his Doc

 It is a challenge posed to every Suzuki Teacher and parent that every child can benefit from the enrichment of music in their lives and maybe even change the lives of the people he plays for.   We are humbled by the fact that we are the ones most likely to create the obstacles in a young

persons life if we do not appreciate Suzuki Sensei’s vision.

If you are a violin student please watch Adrian Sensei’s amazing master class.

By the way Adrian, when are you coming to Orange County, CA to play for my students at SASS and TEC. You have to come and check out our new concert hall at the Performing Arts Center in Santa Ana.

See also:

Transcription – audio podcast Interview with violinist Adrian Anantawan


Pandora gets violin music on line

Finally Classical Music can get a melody in edge wise on line.

Finally Classical music can get a note in edge wise on the net.   Here’s a place where young string players can find and sample a wide range of classical music.    I will be bookmarking and creating stations for string music.

You can listen to as much as 40 hrs a week.

The Music Instinct on PBS


 Along with Bobby McFerrin and David Levitin the author of This is Your Brain on Music.     The site has many articles, interviews, videos and educational media.

The Music Instinct | PBS.


This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
by Daniel J. Levitin. Plume/Penguin, 2007.

NOVA Musical Minds

Whether you are thinking about starting musical instruction or you just enjoy music the book,  Musicophilia by renown neurologist Oliver Sacks is a fascinating read.  It is not weighed down by technical medical  jargon but full of amazing stories about the people from his practice.   If you can’t bring yourself to read the book try to see the Nova documentary series Musical Minds.

Here is one of the a promotional videos.  

 Due to rights restrictions, this program is only available for streaming on the NOVA website for one week, from July 1-7, 2009.

promotional videos from YouTube


If you missed the program on PBS you can get additional supporting web links, books  and media on the Musical Minds website.   The DVD is also available.   Oliver Sacks is scheduled to answer some of your most pressing questions about music and the brain on line this summer.

NOVA | NOVA Short | Inside Oliver Sacks’s Brain | PBS



If you are thinking about starting your child in music instruction this Nova series is a must see for all parents.

Ray Chen Bio

A little more personal information about Ray Chen.    What a wonderful role model for Suzuki Students around the world.   He takes time to honor some of his own role modelsEnjoy.

Ray Chen [0/8] First Prize QEC 2009 for violin

See more from tecstudio’s Ray Chen play list on You Tube

Congratulations to Ray Chen

This last month something happened that would have made Dr. Suzuki very happy.    A young Suzuki Violin student from Australia just won a very prestigious international violin competition.   Not only is he an amazing and gifted violinist but, he has no qualms about putting the references about his Suzuki childhood in his bio.

A must see requirement for all of my students.

The Queen Elisabeth Competition was established in 1937.    At the time it was known as the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition.    Ysaye was also a very famous violinist and composer of his time in Belgian.  H.M. Queen Elisabeth and the celebrated Belgian violinist and composer were behind this magnificent project.    It was not until after the war, in 1951, that the Queen Elisabeth Competition really came into being.   Since this time it has become a non profit foundation which awards 6 laureates each in violin, voice piano and composition.   It is an organization that helps gifted young artist start their careers.   So it is a very big deal.

You will find the best video of his playing on for as long as they post it.    There are CDs for sale of the sessions.   My hope is that a DVD will be available of the violin finalist so that students can see them in this quality. Three different recitals where played by those who made it into the semifinals.   At least three more works were performed for a jury by those who made it to the finalist.   The above link includes a full video of all three performances.

Sonata in A major
CHO Eun-Hwa  ( composition finalist)
Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY  Concerto in D major op. 35  


Notable is also the MOZART  Concerto n. 4 in D KV 218 which also includes his version of the cadenza   [CADENZE: R. CHEN] .   This is one of the Mozart concertos at the end of the Suzuki Violin Books.   Thank you Chen for making this recording available to Suzuki children the world over.  What a fine interpretation.

I could not help but notice  what I am sure the jury saw in Chen’s performances.   It was so much more than just playing all the right notes in the right places with the right interpretation.   Technically it was fluid and effortless as if the bow and the violin was an extension of his own body.   It was also the elegant agility that I have seen in Hilary Hahn.   You easily forgot how difficult the music was.   But it was more than that.   Clearly there was something in Chen’s playing that was missing in the other performances.

Ray played with such   a complete lack of self consciousness and enthusiasm for every note.   He was so at home and comfortable in each musical venue and style that you could not imagine that he had any fears about the performance.    He played with such exuberance, as if he was having the time of his life.   Ray seemed completely lost in the adventure of creating music and he took the audience along on the ride with every note.

I think Dr. Suzuki would have taken great delight in Chen’s performance.   To see him play the TCHAIKOVSKY  made me sense the power of Sensei’s presence in the world again.   It was an affirmation that as a Suzuki movement we are headed in the right direction.   Even the youth who chooses to take on the rivalry of musical competition should be able to do so with imagination and joy.

Sensei used to joke about living till he was 120 years old.    When you see Chen play you can not  help but believe that he found a way to cheat death with the next generation of young violinist.  Ray Chen’s site

Also a great joy to see playing was runner up Lorenzo Gatto.

Take time to see Gatto’s Mozart in the semi finals.  KV 219 is the other Mozart which Suzuki uses in the last two violin books with the Joachim cadenze.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Concerto n. 5 en la majeur KV 219 | Concerto n. 5 in A KV 219

We can not wait to see Chen play live in Orange County, CA.

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.

View Larger Map


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.