Your faculty members have collectively developed a more formalized and updated Book Level graduation system that will continue Dr. Suzuki’s vision to nurture admirable character in every child through excellence in music.
When he was living, Dr. Suzuki would wake up around 5:00am every morning and listen to hundreds of tape recordings sent to him from all over Japan. He incorporated a Suzuki Graduation System where students, when they reached certain playing levels, would record several polished review pieces and in return receive his constructive comments about their playing. This was a celebration of accomplishment.
It was never a “pass or fail” situation since he trusted that a teacher would only have a student prepare and submit a recording when they were musically ready. Dr. Suzuki also knew it was the process of preparing these recordings where the real learning and progress took place.
The purpose of Book Level Graduations are
New to graduation process
Book 1a - These new guidelines have added a Book 1a graduation for any student who has not yet graduated Book 1. This will provide our beginners with a bite-sized goal, and uphold the principle that carefully setting foundational skills in the beginning is of utmost importance long-term.
4 Graduation Opportunities Each Year - in addition to graduations at Solo Recitals, we have added two other graduation moments during the Academic Year -- in May at Musical Achievement and in September at a designated Group Class.
Repertoire Lists for each instrument - pieces that correlate with graduation levels for each instrument taught at ISA. A student will be ready to perform these pieces when they are in “review mode,” rather than newly-learned. The pieces should be played with accuracy and ease, showing musicality with beautiful tone, posture and poise.
Your private teacher will be working with you to help prepare for each appropriate graduation level for your child. Complete graduation guidelines can be found here.
For those who missed it, here is December's "Chat with our Triangle." It is a time to hear moments of sharing and inspiration from members of our community. The Suzuki Triangle is the interaction between parent, teacher and student that makes the Suzuki Method unique and meaningful. We want to connect to each other through this experience and provide a network of support.
For those who missed it, here is November's "Chat with our Triangle." It is a time to hear moments of sharing and inspiration from members of our community. The Suzuki Triangle is the interaction between parent, teacher and student that makes the Suzuki Method unique and meaningful. We want to connect to each other through this experience and provide a network of support.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced 479 organizations will receive almost $10 million through the Arts, Cultural and Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) grant program. This initiative is made possible through a partnership between the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC), providing operational support to local organizations whose operations were disrupted by COVID-19.
"These organizations help enhance the quality of life here in our great state," Crouch said. "I am pleased to see the arts and cultural sector, which adds to Indiana's tourism economy, get this funding."
"Ensuring the arts and cultural community can survive is what this grant will do for so many organizations across the state," said Lewis Ricci, IAC's Executive Director. "This funding can help bridge the gap."
Award amounts were determined by a formula which included factors for budget size, previous amounts of CARES Act funding received and amount of eligible expenses, resulting in an equitable distribution to organizations in all areas of the state.
Mrs. Walls shared these meaningful words with her parents after the Solo Recitals, and we wanted to amplify this sentiment, and thank you for all you do with your Suzuki Student(s).
Your work, parents, is key to their success. Thank you for nurturing your children so well in this skill development. Not only are your children growing in their character by learning patience and perseverance, you parents are modeling these things for your children. I see so many beautiful things each week when I’m with you all that I can’t even put into words at times. But if you’ll allow me, I will try:
I see moms gently urging a child to keep going through a frustrating moment not being able to find a note to a new song she’s on or squelching a meltdown with a funny comment to diffuse a situation; I see Dads that are right there beside their child, guiding elbow movements on the bow side, and shaping bow holds over and over and over, never getting angry, but quietly helping a child get it; I see grandmothers and grandfathers that are eagerly taking their grandkids to lessons and classes, aiding in many practice sessions over the years, driving miles back and forth so their grandchildren can learn how to play the violin. What gifts you are giving to your kids!
It’s hard when you’re in the thick of it to see the growth. So I’m just trying to encourage you parents that it IS worth it; keep going; I see the growth that’s happening!
I KNOW it’s hard though. I’ve lived through it. I urge you, when it’s hard, to not give up. I truly believe musical skills help the brain SO much. Even if your children don’t go on to pursue music, the skills they are learning now can, and will apply to so much that they’ll do. They can persevere when things get tough at a job; they are learning empathy by seeing others learning how to bow that difficult passage that they had such a hard time with; they are learning team-player skills in group class, that it’s not just about them and what song they’re on, but on what the whole class is learning together. They’re learning that tackling a big task can be most successful by breaking it down into smaller parts, getting successful little by little until the challenge is thoroughly learned and then able to produce a beautiful skill once it’s all put together. I hope you can see what I see eventually, if not now.
Know that I truly am blessed by your children. It’s a joy and a privilege to teach them each week.
Born and raised in Temuco Chile, Laura Barceló has been an activemember of the Indianapolis arts community for over 20 years. A violinist with a music degree from Butler University and an MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, she is the Controller at Three Sixty Group, as well as an owner of Indianapolis Violins, a full-service violin shop in the Near East Side of Indianapolis.
Laura is excited to join the ISA’s board, as she is passionate about making music instruction and musical instruments available to children of all backgrounds, regardless of their financial situation.
Laura lives with her husband Chris Ulbricht, a violinmaker, in the Old Northside neighborhood of Indianapolis.
For those who missed it, here is the first of our monthly casual Suzuki chats on the first Tuesday of each month via zoom. It is a time to hear moments of sharing and inspiration from members of our community. The Suzuki Triangle is the interaction between parent, teacher and student that makes the Suzuki Method unique and meaningful. We want to connect to each other through this experience and provide a network of support.
This month's conversion includes:
We hope you can join use for future calls. We understand life is busy -- feel free to dial-in over your lunch break, turn off your camera, mute your audio, and just listen in for that little bit of inspiration you need to get through the day. A Zoom link will be sent the morning of the call to all enrolled families.
Recently I was reflecting on what positive things I could say about the year 2020. After thinking about it, I realized that the year 2020 marks our sixth year with the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy. I thought back to our early days, attending lessons with our three year old daughter, along with our toddler and infant. I remember during those days of singing, clapping, and dancing to the rhythm of Mississippi Hop Frog that I had the feeling that we were giving our daughter a great gift with the introduction of music, and I had the realization of just how hard this journey might be. I wondered how we could possibly find a way to practice consistently, and I worried over how quickly or slowly she made progress.
If I could go back in time to speak to my former self, I would try to encourage her to recognize that this journey may be challenging at times but to recognize that practice routines and piano skills are simply tools that will produce the really important result, a beautiful heart.
~ Meredith Bowes
ISA is thankful to be a recipient of a NonProfit Restart Grant from The City of Indianapolis and the United Way of Central Indiana. This grant has reimbursed ISA for expenses related to capital improvements and supplies necessary to reopen during COVID.
We are truly excited to welcome our Suzuki students to the 2020-2021 school year. All of your Teachers and the Board of Directors are remarkably devoted to impacting children’s lives through the Suzuki method.
Whether in person or online, we are still planning 'normal' lesson details, sending the plan for 'normal' group classes and how we will implement pandemic safety protocols, but there are many other priorities occupying our attention and reflections. Very little about the start of this school year seems 'normal'.
How do we raise our children during a pandemic? How do I help my sons understand deeply about racism in America? How do I help them be the change we want to see in the world?
What can I be personally responsible for - to eliminate systemic racism and inequalities in our country, in our city, on our block at 40th and Central? I don’t have all the answers. I actually have more questions than answers. But I have a desire to be part of the solution. To be an ally. To be a good community member. To build a better future.
So right now I’m listening. I’m educating myself. And I vow to be sensitive, to recognize my privilege, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other — together with our diverse community. To create a place and space that respects all, uplifts all, and welcomes all.
So if any of you want to talk about these things, to discuss, to contemplate, please let me know. To discuss how our Suzuki community can be a microcosm of an arts organization that provides equitable opportunities for all children, I welcome your voice. I’m listening. And we are in this together.