It is with mixed emotions that we write to let you know that our Executive Director, Sarah Beck, will be leaving the ISA later this month. She has accepted an offer from the University of Indianapolis to serve as the Assistant Director of Student Activities. Please join us in congratulating Sarah on this new chapter in her life. Over the past eleven years, Sarah has been instrumental in the growth of the ISA, and she will be greatly missed. Her leadership during the past 18 months in particular has been exceptional, always keeping the wellbeing of the families and faculty as her top priority and navigating the COVID crisis with admirable skill and thoughtfulness. Her contributions to the long-term success of the Academy cannot be overstated.
The Board is delighted to announce that Rachel Osterhouse, the ISA’s Assistant Director for the last four years, will serve as Interim Executive Director for the Academy while the Board considers the best future direction of the Academy leadership positions. You all already know Rachel as an extremely talented musician and teacher who also possesses the administrative and leadership skills that have helped support the success of the Academy over the last several years. She has grown in this position, and we look forward to her continued leadership as Interim Director.
The Board is very confident that Rachel is the right person to fill the shoes left by Sarah Beck as she starts her new position at The University of Indianapolis and grateful that she has agreed to serve in this position. Please join us in welcoming Rachel to this role!
We are pleased to welcome Rachel Gries and Candida Wiley to our faculty.
Rachel Gries grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and started playing the violin in a Suzuki program when she was just four years old. She holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Indiana University in Music Performance. While at IU, she studied Violin Pedagogy with Mimi Zweig. She started Suzuki training in 2010 and is registered in Violin Books 1-5 and Viola Books 1-3 and Book 6. While she has worked with many wonderful teacher trainers, she is especially thankful for the time she has spent with Linda and Roger Steig and Bill and Doris Preucil. Continue reading more about Rachel.
After a twenty-four year career as a full-time orchestra musician, including positions as Associate Concertmaster of the Omaha Symphony and Assistant Concertmaster of the Tulsa Philharmonic, Candida Wiley moved to Indianapolis in 2002 to dedicate herself to teaching. Fascinated with the pedagogy of the violin, she has studied and taught Alexander Technique, which teaches the least forceful use of the body, and which has decisively shaped her approach to playing and teaching. She also pursued training in Suzuki Institutes for many years, and has completed Suzuki Violin Training Units 1-8. Continue reading more about Candida.
Congratulations to all our students participating in the video projects premiered at our Annual Concert on March 14. If you missed the livestream, you can view the videos here. Great work everyone! A big thanks to ISA parent Ryan Fraley who put these together.
We are thrilled to welcome Larry Powell to our faculty and offer Suzuki Trumpet starting in August 2021!
Larry Powell holds a Bachelor’s degree in All Grade Music Education from the University of Indianapolis and a Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance from Butler University. Inspired by walking alongside his own son during Suzuki violin lessons, Larry sought out Suzuki Trumpet Teacher training, and is among some of the first Suzuki trained trumpet teachers in the United States.
Larry has been on the faculty of the University of Indianapolis since 2007. As an adjunct he teaches applied lessons, coaches the UIndy Trumpet Ensemble, coaches the student brass quintet, teaches the brass masterclass, and performs with the UIndy Faculty Brass Quintet. He formed the trumpet ensemble in 2015 and the ensemble was the first group from UIndy to be invited to an international conference, performing as a prelude ensemble for the 2016 ITG conference in Hershey, PA.
As a performer, Larry is currently Principal Trumpet with Anderson Symphony Orchestra, Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed extensively as Principal, Asst. Principal, section, or extra with all of the following orchestras: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Ballet Orchestra, SouthBend Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Columbus (IN) Philharmonic, Orchestra Kentucky, Evansville Philharmonic, Terre Haute Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Kokomo Symphony and Waukesha Symphony.
Read Larry Powell's full bio here.
Join violin faculty, Karen Walls, as she shares her reflections on the Suzuki Method.
Join Suzuki violin parent, Stacy Buckley, as she shares her experiences over the past 6 years, and what she values about the Suzuki community at ISA.
Our friends at Indianapolis Violins received a grant from the Lowe's Foundation and were featured in this mini documentary. A couple of our students and our executive directory, Sarah Beck, also make an appearance.
This month it was a joy to speak with one of our graduating seniors, Aidan Zumbolo and his mom Jaime Saylor about their 11 year journey in the ISA and what it has meant to them. You can see this video on our YouTube Channel and take away great nuggets of wisdom from their reflections about the last decade.
It's been said that when a parent looks at their child, we see them in three dimensions: the baby they once were, the growing child, and the adult we hope for them to be. It's inspiring to hear Aidan and Jaime talk about their cherished memories performing for others and what it meant to them to carve out daily time together over the years through Suzuki.
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.