Suzuki Teacher Training Courses
Applications invited for September 2020
Applications are invited for this teacher training course for cellists. It is mostly practical and aims to be as comprehensive as possible.
The aim is to improve your playing and performance and enable you to teach all ages from 4 - adult with confidence.
The teaching of young children is based on a framework of the principles of Shinichi Suzuki and will be of technical, stylistic, musical and spiritual depth. Children need to start lessons as early as possible with the benefit of their parents, whose mature minds are able to help them to practise effectively.
As a fully qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique, Angela is able to develop good postural habits and quality of movement in her pupils. Years of experience in the Early Music Movement as a continuo player in major baroque orchestras in London have enabled her to develop a new dimension in cello technique and over 20 years with the ensemble Red Priest allow her to pass on the skills of performance.
Observation is an integral part of the course and pupils are available on a regular basis, both as individuals and in groups, for supervised teaching practice.
This is what one trainee said about the course:
I cannot praise Angela enough for what she has put into this course. I came to her having been an orchestral musician for ten years. I had done some teaching before, but was always very frustrated, both with my own teaching and with much of the traditional teaching which I had received throughout my career. I had spent this time 'repairing faults' in playing and had very little concrete information on how to play and how to teach. 'It is just something you do' they say.
The Suzuki method provides a really solid framework for teaching with a really strong emphasis on technique. Once induced into the Suzuki method there is no looking back. The method provides a logical step-by- step approach. To this method Angela is able to bring her years of professional playing plus her in-depth knowledge of anatomy and bodily function through the Alexander technique. She not only teaches how to do something but also why. During the course we were able to receive Alexander classes which not only helps show how to play and teach the cello efficiently but also how to do everything in life properly and efficiently. This knowledge has really given me the confidence and knowledge to go out and teach people how to play the cello. The knowledge has also helped my own playing immensely. Having been from one masterclass to the next learning repertoire I was really frustrated not to get any better. However under the guidance of Angela, I have been able to concrete a much improved technical basis, and from one year of practising Twinkle my playing of Bach has improved no end! Angela also offers excellent support in starting up my own teaching practise and is really involved in her help.
I really believe that there are few people more qualified to give this course than Angela East. Thank you for all you have taught me. Once in Suzuki there is no looking back.
I have already recommended your course to others. I value your course because it supports my CPD (not just my cello teaching but it has given me so many fantastic ideas for my violin teaching). Following my pupil concert (alas only violin), I had several comments about their beautiful tone and confident use of bow (what I learnt from you is adaptable for other instruments). I value your course also for the AT. It is a holistic course that does not prescribe but makes you think for yourself.
Angela has been an authorised teacher trainer of the Suzuki method for cello since 1988. The course began in 2013. It runs according to the guidelines set by the European Suzuki Association (ESA) with additional features.
1) Regular Alexander Technique and its application to instrumental technique.
2) How to teach very young children; motivation, relationships with pupils and parents, training the parents in practicing, playing and home teaching, step-by-step building of the basics, general musicianship through Dalcroze methods
3) Individual lessons for detailed and in-depth technique and tone production
4) Philosophy of teaching
5) Teaching points relating to the repertoire and how to build on them
6) Supervised teaching practice for individuals and groups
7) Performance skills with opportunities to perform
8) How to teach reading and the theory of music
9) Historical performance practice relating to all periods in music
11) Setting up your teaching business
12) Case study
13) Assisting and, from Level 2, teaching in workshops and on courses.
14) Lectures and discussions
15) Making your own recordings and videos for teaching purposes
A single course takes place over nine weekends a year, so can be taken alongside other study or it would suit postgraduates who are just beginning to look for work. See below for flexible arrangements.
Candidates will gain credits both for their attendance (18 days required) and for specific modules. Both must be completed in order to take the examinations. The examinations have five levels.
The initial stages for a very young child are known as the 'Pre-Twinkle' stage. At the moment this is covered as part of Level 1. The pre-twinkle stage covers:
How to deliver a course for parents
Alexander Technique for parents and children
Choosing the right equipment
Practicing and setting up a routine
Structure of lesson and practice
Setting up the basics of technique
Games for the children
Each level examination passed (with the exception of the pre-twinkle level which is part of Level 1) will be registered by the British Suzuki Institute and the European Suzuki Association.
All levels include Alexander Technique, observation, individual and group lessons, supervised teaching, opportunities to perform, teaching points, points of historical style, Dalcroze classes, written work and discussions.
Book 1 from the Suzuki repertoire, which covers 1st position plus forward and backward extensions with appropriate supplementary repertoire. Bow division, tone production, varying speed and pressure of bow, simple string crossings, martelé and spiccato bowings, retakes, upbeats, dotted rhythms, co-ordination between hands, hand bowing, LH finger action, accents, spending and saving the bow, scales and arpeggios in C, G, D and B flat majors, minuet bowing, dynamics, legato and detached playing, pizzicato, slurs. Setting up your teaching practice
You need at least three pupils to progress to level 2.
Books 2 and 3 from the Suzuki repertoire plus supplementary material as appropriate. These cover shifting up to seven positions, baroque and romantic slurs, tone production, trills, hooked bowing, scales and arpeggios in F, G, E flat, A and B flat majors, C, G and D minors, different ways of playing dotted rhythms, mixed bowing styles, vibrato and how to use it, syncopation, spending and saving the bow, more spiccato types, tone colour, more ornamentation, fugue and generally quicker and more complex pieces
Books 4 and 5 from the Suzuki repertoire. As much of this is baroque music, the course will be divided into two sections. The baroque repertoire will be covered on Saturday evenings. It will be possible to attend these sessions for a baroque course independent of the teaching course. These sessions will cover all the style, technique and teaching points relating to the baroque repertoire.
The non-baroque repertoire will be covered in the individual lessons and on Saturday afternoons. Elements covered will be teaching concertos, more complex bowings, development of vibrato and bow control, Navarra bowing, chords, LH agility, scales and arpeggios in all keys.
Levels 4 & 5 begin with individual lessons on the repertoire. The written work will be completed online, recitals to be given and observation of a range of teachers required.
Level 4: Saint-Saens The Swan, Vivaldi Concerto in D Op 3 no 9, Squire Tarantella, Concerto in D by Breval, Vivaldi Concerto for two cellos in G minor, Eccles Sonata in G minor, Bach Suite no 3 in C, Popper Gavotte, Paradis Sicilienne.
Level 5: Sammartini Sonata in G, Saint-Saens Allegro Appassionata, Faure Elegie, Van Goens Scherzo, Haydn Concerto in C, Boccherini (Grutzmacher) Concerto in B flat and pieces of own choice.
Books 6 and 7 from the Suzuki repertoire. More baroque repertoire, thumb position, more detail of expressive devices and virtuosity.
Sessions based on the book 'Casals and the Art of Interpretation' by David Blum that will be applied to all levels.
Books 8, 9 & 10 from the Suzuki repertoire. Concertos and repertoire beyond the Suzuki books.
For Level 1 you will need to attend one of the BSI courses during the Easter holidays as an observer.
Level 2: I will visit you to observe your teaching practice.
The course will be held in Angela's home in Streatham, South London.
Accommodation is available, free, for the first two candidates to apply. Priority will be given to candidates who live at the greatest distance away from London.
Cost: £1600 a year for 18 days of training plus any extras that are incurred through examination expenses, home visits or attending national courses. It is necessary to pay the subscription for membership to the BSI (currently £85), attending the national course in London for a day costs £30 and you will need to buy a few books and music. At the time of writing I expect to be able to cover the examination costs.
Levels 2 & 3: I will visit your teaching practice to observe and this will cost an additional £100 plus expenses. There will be a considerable discount on this if you live in London or if the visit can be tied in with a concert.
Early bird discount: £1500 for the year (plus extras mentioned above) if you book by June 30th with a non-returnable deposit of £100.
Cost for attending open weekends: £170 for whole weekend, £85 for one day. £50 for an hour's individual lesson. £40 to attend a three hour workshop.
Note on payment: Some Music Services will give grants for this course. There are other bodies to which one can apply, such as the European String Teachers Association. If you are already teaching, you can claim the course as a deductible expense for your income tax.
About the Suzuki Method
The Suzuki method is based on the philosophy and teaching methods of the late Japanese violinist, Dr Shinichi Suzuki. After the realisation that all children learned to speak and master their mother tongue, he came to the conclusion that every child could learn to play the violin or any other instrument or skill by the same means.
The method reflects this idea by providing recordings, so that the child hears music every day in the general course of life and by sharing the adventure with at least one parent, who not only takes part in the daily practice but also learns to play the instrument, providing an example to follow at home. Children receive group as well as individual lessons which are highly motivating and add to the experience. During these group lessons the children become accustomed to performing in front of each other, so that a public performance is much less daunting than it might have been otherwise.
Once the technical basics have been established, ALL CHILDREN LEARN MUSIC THEORY AND SIGHT-READING. Much of this takes place in Sunday afternoon sessions when the very experienced and creative teacher, Margaret Omonyi visits to take various classes.
The course is open to any cellist and acceptance on the course is by audition. You need to play a piece from the Romantic era that lasts for at least 3 minutes and must be played from memory. The audition will take the form of a lesson, cost £50 at which there will be plenty of time to discuss the course and answer any questions.
1) Teacher trainees observe and maintain a notebook of 20 lessons (Levels 1-3) or 10 lessons (Levels 4-5) taught by experienced Suzuki teachers and trainers.
2) Trainees teach at least five lessons to children (both individual and group) under Angela's supervision.
3) Trainees have at least five hours of private instrumental tuition.
4) Trainees have at least six lessons in Alexander Technique.
5) Trainees give at least two performances to the class for each level.
6) Trainees must attend all the various kinds of classes on the course and keep a notebook of the work.
7) Trainees complete two or three written assignments for each level, depending on level.
Graduation: There are five levels in which trainees can be examined. Trainees normally take Level 1 after the first year. Each level examination passed will be registered by the British Suzuki Institute and the European Suzuki Association. After completing the Level 3 examination, teachers will become BSI accredited teachers. At the completion of Level 5, teachers will gain the ESA Diploma of Suzuki Teaching and will be recognised as Graduate teachers.
At the meeting of the European Suzuki Association (ESA) Board of Directors held in Tallinn, Estonia, on March 16-17, 2013, some changes were made to the ESA rules on Teacher Training.
National Suzuki associations no longer have complete authority over Suzuki Teacher Training Courses.
A Teacher Trainer can organise his or her own Teacher Training Course in his/her country of residence, provided that this is organised in accordance with ESA rules.
ESA Guidelines for content of teacher training courses
Excerpt from ESA Teacher Training and Examination Manual
1. Intensive study of the Suzuki philosophy.
2. Individual study of the instrument, focusing on technique, tone production and quality of sound needed to teach young children. Candidates should have the ability to play competently outside the Suzuki repertoire.
3. Step by step mastery of teaching points in the repertoire and the psychology of teaching.
4. Structure of individual and group lessons.
5. Observation of group and individual lessons given by recognised Suzuki teachers.
6. Supervised teaching of young children.
7. Lectures and discussions on child development, with particular regard to the parent/child relationship.
8. Solo performances.