ISA Students performed at the IndyBaroqueMusic “London Trios” concert on January 19. This concert featured ISA's Chamber Quartet, Chamber Trio, and Violin Students for a Twinkle Finale.
Happy New Year from the ISA! With the turning over of our calendars it is always a good moment to take stock of where we are and where we are going. It is going to be an exciting year at the ISA with growing numbers of students and exciting opportunities for student performances and outreach this year. I am especially looking forward to our Annual Concert in March when we all gather together as an ISA family and celebrate all of the musical achievements of our children. What a gift that they are being given: to pursue the noble art of music while developing character and beautiful hearts. As we are all “in the trenches” of practicing with our children who more often than not drag their heels and roll their eyes at us, remember that vision that the patient, persistent investment you are making will bear fruit richly in their character for the rest of their lives.
As the new President of the Board of Directors, it is my great honor to serve the academy, our faculty, our families, and our students. I must publicly give a huge heartfelt thanks to Lisa Heid, whose term as President just ended in January. Her tireless work over the last three years has made an impact on the academy that cannot possibly be overstated. Her investment in a significant season for us has been like an iceberg: what most people will see is only the tiniest tip of the incredible contribution that she has made. Thank you, Lisa, for everything you have done and have given to the ISA. We truly wouldn’t be where we are today without you!
Gone are the days when I can feed my sons a steady "listening diet" of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Suzuki recordings. I guess they now have a mind of their own, and want to listen to something called "Top 40" and "YouTube"???
I literally could listen to Bach all day long, and never tire of it. 'Mama no fun' is sometimes my nickname. I'll stick with Bach and the like for myself, but I want my sons' musical experience to be relevant to them, with real world inspiration, and a connection to their current culture.
It was our pleasure to have the opportunity to meet Mr. Jordan Hamilton at the Michigan Cello Festival in November. Mr. Hamilton helps relate his traditional instrument, the cello, to a modern audience. His mash up of Blackbird with Bach was breath-taking as he merged songwriting, loop pedals, sample machines, and vocals to create a sonic landscape of experimental hip-hop, folk, soul, and classical music.
There are many great artists out there like Mr. Hamilton. I encourage you to seek them out and help your Suzuki student be inspired by all the creative voices out there.
Imagine fast forwarding thirty years, and having a dinner with your grown children and their retired music teacher. I had the special opportunity to experience that very moment with one of our ISA families, the Powells, and Eleanor Bricetti, the founder of what was then the Children's String Academy.
Jenny and Sarah took lessons for the better part of a decade with Ms. Bricetti, and had a unique and meaningful connection as students and teachers. They have kept in touch all these years later, and reveled in sharing about their memories of big group concerts, playing in Halloween costumes, and remembering about all the different students in the program.
The most touching moment came at the end of the dinner, when Jenny and Sarah's mother, gave Ms. Bricetti a big hug after dinner, and they said how nice it was to reconnect. She looked her in the eye and said "Well, you practically helped me raise my children all those years."
Hearing those words nearly brought tears to my eyes. How fortunate are we to have these relationships between our families and our teachers in the Suzuki method? And thirty years from now, we won't recall if our child forgot a bow circle in their piece, or played the right chord, but we will remember how special it was to be part of this meaningful and nurturing community where we can help each other raise our children together.
Thursday October 3 was a proud moment for Indy Suzuki, as students performed for local government and leaders at the City Budget Hearing at the Phoenix Theatre.
As a new grant recipient from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, ISA was invited to perform at the Budget Hearing to help demonstrate the impact of Arts Funding on our city and youth.
The Parks and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to support the City’s 2020 arts allocation, including the 10% increase proposed by Mayor Hogsett for a total of $1.1M from the City’s budget. The next step is the full council vote on October 14.
Our Indy Suzuki community was proud to have been a part of this larger initiative with other Arts leaders to secure the first increase in City arts funding since 2009 in a landscape of significant budget challenges and competing priorities.
Thank you for being part of our community, and special thank you to the families, faculty, volunteers and board members who represent ISA and support the Arts in Indy.
We are pleased to share that ISA was awarded two grants recently. The Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis awarded ISA $2,000 for our annual concert series, and the Associated Chamber Music Players awarded ISA $1,200 for our Chamber Music Program.
It is an exciting step for ISA in diversifying our income but there is more to do. Contact board member, Erik Rohde at Board@IndySuzukiAcademy.org, if you would like to help in future efforts at grant writing.
The ISA Chamber Quartet, coached by Dr. Lori Honer, had the opportunity to open the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Concert in Holliday Park on June 6 with the IndyParks Summer Concert Series.
ISA Violin and Cello students had the opportunity to perform with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra during their June 6 Concert.
Violinist Morganne Aaberg is a founding member of the interdisciplinary ensemble Artists By Any Other Name. With Artists By Any Other Name, Morganne performed in and produced shows featuring chamber music, dance, drama, and visual art in the US and abroad.
Morganne enjoys teaching violin and music literacy classes. She has served on the faculties of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Diller-Quaile School of Music, Cuyahoga Community College’s Orchestra Program, and Cleveland Institute of Music’s Sato Center for Suzuki Studies. Morganne has taught at several summer festivals, including Midsummer Sound (Barrie, Ontario) and the Meadowmount School of Music (Westport, NY), where she served as assistant to Dr. Ann Setzer (Juilliard/Mannes).
Morganne earned a masters degree in violin performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a bachelors of music in violin performance from the Mannes School of Music. Morganne is currently working towards a PhD in music education at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
The month of May can be a nostalgic time when you suddenly look at your child and realize how much they have grown and matured over the past school year. During the April Solo Recital, it was inspiring to hear the performances, and take notice of just how far each child had progressed this year. As Suzuki parents, we notice the little things -- the improvements in posture, the beautiful tone of every note, the musical phrasing and dynamics, and we realize the hard work it took to get there. We appreciate the many little small steps that add up to amazing progress over time.
As an Academy, we also reflect back at this year, and recognize the many small steps the organization has taken to make a positive impact. Building on collaborative partnerships, we had variety of wonderful concert experiences with Suzuki Columbus, IndyBaroque, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Our Board of Directors continues to thrive, adding a new member, and renewing the terms of many leaders who serve the ISA with dedication. We invested in the growth of the Academy by expanding our studio spaces into the Lower Level, striving to increase the number of students we can serve. With your generous support, the ISA continues to prioritize the development of our most valuable resource -- our amazing faculty -- and supports their Summer Teacher Training.
It is a genuine treasure to have a fantastic team of faculty to work toward our vision of helping every child reach their potential through excellence in music. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with your child and family, and look forward to a wonderful Summer and a great 2019 - 2020.
At just 8 years old, Yasseen practices Judo, is an accomplished pianist, and, most recently, an app developer. His parents enrolled him in the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy (ISA) Piano Program when he was three years old because they believed it would put him on a path to develop traits of discipline, consistency, patience, and hard work. His parents are convinced that time spent with ISA has instilled in Yasseen not only broad, life-long qualities such as a love of music, the importance of hard work and patience, but also more basic, practical skills, like how to record the audio for an app. Yasseen's love of music eventually led him to a love of math. His love for math then developed into an interest in coding.
Yasseen wanted to develop a fun way for players to challenge one another in a number guessing game. Together with his father, Yasseen developed the app Versus: The Number Guessing Challenge. After they submitted the app to the Apple's App Store, Apple’s Editor contacted Yasseen to feature Versus on the “Today” tab of the App Store. On average, only one out of several thousand developers get to be featured in the App Store. Yasseen’s remarkable achievement means millions of people worldwide would see his app. Yasseen told us about his love for coding and his journey into app building.
What inspired you to create the app?
One night my father and I were debating the fastest way to find a number between 1 and 1,000. That led to the idea of creating the Versus game. I really wanted to create an app because it’s more interactive and it allows you to play either against your friends or your device.
What is your goal for users downloading the app?
My goal is for users to have fun, but most importantly to inspire young developers to follow their dreams. I want to give them hope that if I can do it, they can as well.
Do you plan on creating more apps in the future and, if so, what kind?
Yes! I'm planning on creating more game-related apps that would be fun for car trips. All kids get bored in the car.
As you can see, Yasseen’s development career has barely begun. Through his daily Suzuki routine he has not only sharpened his problem solving skills, he has also gained the patience and confidence to follow his dreams. Yasseen hopes one day to be a computer engineer in the medical field. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!