on pedagogy

It’s 11:18 pm in my neck of the woods and my honey isn’t home yet. So I am researching blogs. Two blogs in particular:

Urban Semiotic

and

Hoarded Ordinaries

And I am seeing something extraoridnary that is happening in the blogoshpere, something that is dear to my heart.

Teaching.

I am a violin instructor of The Suzuki Method. I studied The Suzuki Method from age five and began to study pedagogy formally at age seventeen. I studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan at the Talent Education Research Institute in my early twenties. I began teaching informally at age fourteen. I have taught my entire life.

I currently teach about 20 young people per week from age four to their early twenties. I have known some of these students for almost twenty years. Each week they come and we get out our instruments and we continue our study of music and tone and our relationships grow deeper.

Now, when I went to college, there was only one computer lab on campus. Today, University life is obviously much different. I was aware that students could read PDF’s of their reading materials on line, and find their grades and such, but what I didn’t understand until just now was the amazing relationships that are being forged between students and teachers via the internet.

The bond that I have only known through physically working with each one of these students one on one, week after week over the years is occurring at an accelerated pace for teachers online because they are available and open to their students via their blogs. With playful comments and writing contests, these amazing teachers are using the internet to create a learning community.

Suzuki Method needs this.

Somehow.

I had never considered this, not once.

Do my students read my blog?

If you are one of my students, will you leave a comment to let me know?

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18 Comments

Filed under blogging, Suzuki Method, Teaching

18 responses to “on pedagogy

  1. David W. Boles

    Fascinating entry!

    I will be curious to see if your students read you blog and if they do if that will in some way affect what you post. 😉

  2. Muse

    Hey…my boyfriend is a Violin Luthier.

  3. David – does that affect your blog?

  4. Muse- Wonderful! We can never have enough Luthiers! Does he have a blog or a webpage?

  5. Muse

    He started one just a little bit ago and he’s a slow typer so he doesn’t update as much as I’d like him to. Also I don’t think he’s posted anything about being a luthier but I will encourage him to. He even went to China 2x on business to look at violin factories.

    http://sneakerart.blogspot.com

    ps. These links are on him:

    http://firstact.com/studio/violins.asp (he made all of those)

    and here he is:

    http://firstact.com/studio/making-of-1-details.asp?step=3

    He doesn’t work there anymore.

  6. EG

    Hi,
    I am a violin luthier in MA. I worked for five years for the son of Samson Reuning, the first teacher of the Suzuki method in the US.(To my knowledge) If I can help you out, let me know. I have access to almost everything Suzuki in English. Maybe we can get together and write a book about the Suzuki Method’s impact on musical history!
    My email is – electriceasel@comcast.net

  7. Muse

    That would be the boyfriend I was referring too 😀

  8. EG – Mr. Reuning was one of my teachers at the Suzuki Institute in San Francisco back in the 70’s! Small world! What do you mean that you have access to almost everything Suzuki in English?? I have written a book about my experiences with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan called Beautiful Tone, Beautiful Heart and I am planning to dust off my scanner and publish it here! What do you believe to be the biggest impact that Suzuki Method has had on musical history?

  9. Muse – I understand about the slow typing situation. My husband is a very slow typist too 😉 Your boyfriend is an interesting character! There are some good violins coming out of China these days. Thanks for posting the links Muse! I am always amazed by the profession of violin making. All the details making such a tremendous difference! And the inlaid purfling really gets me. It seems much easier to me to just play it!

  10. Muse

    He’s an amazing guy.

  11. David W. Boles

    Hello suzanne1 —

    No, I write what I feel and if they read it, great, if not, great. They read but they don’t post. 🙂

  12. Hello David Boles:

    So students don’t post. I wonder why…
    I’ve started adding the url of this site to the tail end of my student’s violin study sheets. No explanation, just an address. I wonder how many of them will take the initiative to have a look…

    How do your students get the address of your blog?

  13. EG

    I believe that the greatest thing the Suzuki method has provided to musical history is the idea of accessibility. So many teachers have an agenda, or at least an ego! Suzuki takes the music to the student like no other method has ever done. It’s quite simply, “don’t be afraid because this is “classical” music, this is fun, and it is yours to master”. The instrument is a tool for getting to that place and the method is the map; it is a wonderful place full of history and magic and I wish every child could have a look.
    EG

  14. Wonderfully said and so true! And Every Child Can! It is a magical place and it’s so beautiful when a child’s life is transformed simply by the presence of music in their environment and by their own expression through music. It can alter entire families too! I’ve seen it happen.

  15. My dad used to play in the Berlin Symphonics … back in the 60s. No lie!

  16. Mike- Such an amazing Orchestra. How awesome for your Father to be a part of that legacy! I heard that the Berlin Phil used to only accept men… Even today The Berlin Philharmonic has 121 men and 6 women with normal contracts–5 tutti strings and a harpist. Despite that unfortunate fact, they are still wonderful 😉

  17. David

    I just stumbled across your blog. I’m a Suzuki piano teacher living in Berlin. Having seen the words Suzuki and Berlin in this blog, I thought it would nice to chime in.

  18. Thanks for dropping by David! Gutten Tag! Please come by again and thanks for commenting~ My Mom is a Suzuki Piano Teacher here is Utah USA and we went to the International Suzuki Conference in Berlin together in 1987. My friends and I were just wondering where the next International Conference might be- have you heard any word?