Teacher Classes 

To help train successful Suzuki teachers, the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) has set up a teacher development program. Teachers interested in studying the Suzuki philosophy, pedagogy and other aspects of the method enroll in courses corresponding to each book.
Click on a heading below to see more information.

Important Information for all Teacher Training Participants

  • Every Child Can! (ECC) must be taken prior to beginning Book 1 training. 
  • Training for Books 1, 2 and 3 must be completed in order.  After that, books may be studied in any order. 
  • Auditions are required prior to beginning Book 1 training. Audition requirements can be found on the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) website.
  • For all teacher training courses except ECC participants must: 
    • Be an active SAA member, 
    • Be 17 or older,
    • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent. 
  • All participants will be performing in class. 
  • All participants (excepts pianists) are required to bring their own instruments. 
  • 100% attendance is required in order to register a course with the SAA. 
  • No videotaping is allowed in class. 
  • All participants should be conversant with the ideas presented in Dr. Suzuki’s book Nurtured by Love
  • Two college credits per unit, undergraduate or graduate, are available through UWSP Continuing Education. 
    • Registering for credits means substantial savings for out-of-state teachers (around 50%). 
    • Contact the ASI office for details. 
    • You must notify us by June 1 if you plan to take teacher training for college credit. 
  • UWSP offers undergraduate and graduate music degrees with Suzuki emphasis. 
    • Scholarship assistance is available during the academic year for highly qualified applicants. 
    • Contact the ASI office for information.

Class Offerings

​Class Date
Course Name​ ​Instructor
July 17, 2016 Every Child Can! Montzka-Smelser 
July 24-30, 2016​ ​​Bass 3 Dixon
​July 24-30, 2016​ Cello Revisiting Unit 1 Dexter
July 17-23, 2016 ​Harp 4 Fedson Leonard
​​​July 23, 2016 ​​Kitchen Table String Repairs II ​​Dalton Potter
​​July 25-29, 2016​ ​​​Kitchen Table String Repairs III ​​Dalton Potter
​July 24-30, 2016 Suzuki Early Childhood Education Stage 1 ​Jones
July 17-23, 2016​ ​​Suzuki Early Childhood Education Stage 2 ​Jones
​July 24-30, 2016 ​​Viola 5 Montzka
​​July 17-30, 2016 Violin 1 Montzka-Smelser
​​July 17-23, 2016 ​Violin 2 Lokken
July 24-30, 2016​ ​​Violin 3 Lokken
​July 17-23, 2016 Violin 4 ​Titterington
​​​July 24-30, 2016 ​​Violin 5 Titterington
​​July 17-23, 2016 Violin 6 Wood
​​July 24-30, 2016 ​​Violin 7 ​Wood
​​July 17-23, 2016 Violin 8 ​Dallinger
​July 17-23, 2016 Violin Practicum ​Felsing
​July 24-30, 2016 Violin Revisiting Unit 1 ​Felsing
​​​July 24-30, 2016 ​​15-hour Violin Supplemental Course: Before the Mozarts Dallinger
​July 17-23, 2016 Teaching Improvisation: Incorporating Improvisation into your Suzuki Lesson Plan. Harrison
​​​​July 17-23, 2016 ​Voice 2 Hofer
​​July 24-30, 2016 Voice 3 ​Hofer

Every Child Can! (ECC)

  • July 17, 2016, 9:00 am-12:00 pm and 2:00-5:00 pm 
  • $115 
  • For teachers, prospective teachers, parents, and others interested in the Suzuki philosophy and method. 
  • Required first course in the Suzuki Association of the Americas Teacher Development Program.
  • Six-hour course provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning. 
  • Taught by Ann Montzka - Smelser

Book 1

  • 28 hours of instruction
  • 15 hours of observation 
  • $775 
  • Must take Every Child Can! (ECC) prior to beginning Book 1. 
  • Must complete the SAA audition process prior to beginning Book 1 training.
  • Latest desaline is 10 days befor the start of the course, however ealier 
    auditions have benifits and incentives.  See the SAA audition deadline
  • Read Dr. Suzuki’s Nurtured by Love 
  • Memorize Book 1 repertoire. 
  • Must take Book 1 before completing other book levels.

Revisiting Unit 1 for Violin and Cello

The Revisiting Unit 1 course is designed for teachers who have registered a minimum of Unit 1 and have at least one year of Suzuki teaching experience. It aims to strengthen and update one’s teaching by approaching the repertoire and its concepts from a fresh perspective.

  • Discussions cover the foundation of Book 1, including:
    • application of the Suzuki philosophy
    • teaching points
    • layering of skills
    • addressing challenges of the beginning student, and more.
  • Format of the course includes lecture, small group discussion, student observation, possible role-playing, and playing demonstration of the teaching points and concepts.
  • Participants will receive an online questionnaire from the SAA, to be completed prior to the start of the course.
  • Entrance Requirements:
  • Suzuki teachers who have completed/registered ECC! and Unit 1 (or 1A and 1B)
  • Have taught at least one year
  • 15 hours of class time
  • 3 hours of observations (An additional 5-12 hrs. of observation are possible leaving you free to do observations of choice)
  • Maximum of 15 participants; suggested minimum of 3 participants
  • No auditors
  • No other course may be taken simultaneously
  • Violin Revisiting Unit 1 July 24-30 facilitated by Christie Felsing 
  • Cello Revisiting Unit 1 July 24-30  facilitated by Jean Dexter
  • $440 (includes 5-12 hours of observation – a savings of $200.)

Books 2 & up

  • 15 hours of instruction 
  • 8 hours of observation
  • $440
  • Books 1, 2 and 3 must be taken in order. After Book 3, further book training may be completed in any order. 
  • Book 5 and above must have completed the SAA advanced or comprehensive audition. 
  • Prepare repertoire to be studied to the point of fluent performance. 
  • Memorization is not required, but is recommended. 
  • Read or re-read Dr. Suzuki’s Nurtured by Love and Ability Development from Age Zero.

Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) Stage 1

SECE Stage One introduces child development from birth to age 3.
  • Topics include:  
    • The importance of the Suzuki approach to early education. 
    • The prenatal and postnatal learning environment. 
    • The baby/toddler class curriculum and goals. 
    • The equipment used in class. 
    • The team teaching approach. 
    • The sequence of the baby/Toddler class curriculum.
    • Teaching strategies.
    • A brief introduction to prenatal music stimulation.
  • Daily written class observation assignments are given each trainee. Each trainee has an opportunity to lead an activity in the daily baby/toddler class during the training week.
  • 25 hours of instruction and observation
  • $495
  • Taught by Sharon Jones
  • Prerequisite reading is Nurtured By Love and Ability Development from Age Zero by Dr. Suzuki, and Lullabies, Actions Songs and Rhymes (Handbook and CD) by Dorothy Jones.

Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) Stage 2

The second stage delves more deeply into topics and includes:

  • Study of the baby/toddler class curriculum and goals
  • The importance of the baby class sequence and key teaching strategies
  • Discussions of the skill level of babies and toddlers
  • An emphasis on parent education
  • An outline of a four week prenatal music stimulation program
  • Guides to prenatal resources
  • 25 hours of instruction and observation 
  • $495
  • Taught by Sharon Jones
  • Stage 1 is a prerequisite

Violin Practicum

The SAA Practicum Unit™ is a short-term unit developed to enhance the SAA’s system of short-term workshop training. While unit core training mainly focuses on Suzuki repertoire and instrumental technique, the emphasis of the Practicum is on honing the art of teaching. Topics to be explored will include communication skills, teaching strategies, diagnostics and observation. In a nurturing and supportive environment of peers, using video footage from their home studio and on-site teaching, participants will practice self-assessment skills to identify their strengths in teaching and those areas in need of improvement. In keeping with the SAA’s commitment to life-long learning, the Practicum will provide teachers with an invaluable opportunity at any stage in their development.  The practicum may be taken any time after Book 1. 
  • Violin Practicum presented by Christie Felsing 
  • Class maximum of five
  • $470
  • July 17-23, 2016

15-hour Violin Supplemental Course - Before the Mozarts

  • Topics:
    • Examining a possible "Tween Book" experience for violin students (between the end of Book 8 and the Mozart Concertos.)
    • Supplemental repertoire outside Baroque style that expands technique and expression and provides students with a toolbox of skills to enter the world of Mozart and beyond.
  • $440
  • Presented by Carol Dallinger
  • July 24-30, 2016
  • Registered core courses through Book 4

15-hour Violin Enrichment Course - Teaching Improvisation: Incorporating Improvisation into Your Suzuki Lesson Plan

  • Topics:
    • Connecting improvisation to our Suzuki experience,
    • Using games to build layers of improvisation technique, and
    • Applying new approaches to improvisation with a daily tune that we can share with our students at home.
    • Hands-on exploration of proven approaches and techniques for the development of creativity in our own playing and in our studios
  • Presented by Randal Harrison Hoecherl
  • $440
  • July 17-24, 2016
  • Bring your instrument and music stand
  • Includes observation of four demo classes with students of various levels held at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • No prerequisites
  • May not enroll in an additional course during this week

Kitchen Table Violin Repairs Level II – Basic Stringed Instrument Repairs and Maintenance

  • An in-depth demonstration of actual repair processes and techniques.
  • Learn how to install strings and tailguts, basic maintenance, and potential repair needs.
  • Enroll early - the class will be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met.
  • Presented by Dalton Potter, Potter Violin Company
  • $185
  • Saturday, July 23, 2016, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Kitchen Table String Repairs Level III

This is a very intensive, fast-paced, hands-on course that will enable most string teachers, band and orchestra directors to acquire the basic skills necessary to maintain the stringed instruments under their care. By the end of the course, each student will have fit at least one bridge on either a violin, viola or cello.  Additionally, each student will have resurfaced a fingerboard, re-cut and re-glued a nut, reset an existing soundpost, learned the basics of measuring and cutting a new soundpost, and entirely set up an instrument by themselves.
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 5:00 - 6:00 pm; Wednesday and Friday, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, July 25 - 29
  • Presented by Dalton Potter, Potter Violin Co. 
  • Workshop Cost: $420 
  • Participants or sponsoring schools are expected to purchase the requisite tools for their own permanent use. 
  • Kitchen table violin repairs can be a messy process, so students are asked to wear closed footwear and “stainable” clothing or smocks. 
  • Enroll early-the class will be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met. 
  • Tools (totaling approximately $650) and materials will be available for purchase at the time of the course.

Institute Observer

  • Available for teachers who wish only to observe the teaching of students enrolled at the American Suzuki Institute. 
  • Observers may not attend Teacher Training classes
  • Observers are free to design their own schedule.  There is no course work or performing participation requirements. 
  • Any adult who is not enrolled in a Teacher Training classes, or is not the parent/guardian of an enrolled student must enroll as an observer. 
  • Observer fee: $200 per week or $40 per day, no registration fee required

Free Midday Lectures

  • Three to four lectures per day scheduled Monday-Thursday at 11:05am. 
  • Attendance is optional, unless assigned by the teacher trainer of your class. 
  • Topics may include Suzuki Philosophy, communication, parent-child interaction, goals, early childhood development, working with teenagers, or instrumental techniques and musicianship. 
  • You will receive a schedule of lectures upon check-in.
  • An oppertunity for added value unique to the America Suzuki Institute

Free Symposium  


Registration Information

  • Optional seminars for teachers to learn and share information and ideas
  • 5:00-6:00 pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, July 18, 19 and 21.
  • Teaching Violin Group Classes presented by Terry Durbin
    • Monday:  Group lesson design: structure, frequency, length, levels/ages included 
    • Tuesday: Generating group ideas and developing a curriculum for the semester.  What are the teaching points and how to adapt them to group class 
    • Thursday: Neuroscience, engaging the child, games, fun, and class management techniques
  • Violins required
  • Free, no registration required