In San Francisco I had the opportunity to catch up with my former teacher from Wheaton College, Virginia Dixon. She is a teacher-trainer of the Suzuki Bass Method and all around great teacher of young and older students alike. In addition to grabbing dinner with her at a local burger place in the city, I had the chance to attend her session on Suzuki Bass which I found very informative and refreshing. It was focused primarily on the state of Suzuki Bass and the application of the Suzuki philosophy in studio settings in both the United States and abroad. While I don’t specifically teach the Suzuki method, here are some of the most significant things I took away from the session: 1) Importance of the mother tongue approach and starting students at young ages 2) Every child has the opportunity to succeed- even at later ages, although it may be significantly more difficult and 3) The benefit of having a ‘core’ repertoire (ie. the Suzuki books) even if you choose to supplement with other music or materials. While books #1-5 are available now, the more advanced repertoire [yet to be published] is moving into the area of bass concerti such as Dittersdorf and Koussevitsky. For me it’s probably not going to be a question of if I ever take Suzuki training, it’s like going to be the question of when– since I would definitely like to learn more about Suzuki at some point.
More information about Virginia can be found on her website: http://www.elmhurst.edu/~virginia/Virginia%20Dixon%20Home%20Page.html