Holly Blackwelder CarpenterSAWS Member Since 2006
“There are several reasons that I am a SAWS member, but the one that immediately comes to mind is the annual SAWS workshop in Ellensburg. It’s fabulous for my students, of course, but the camaraderie and the excellent teacher workshops are a highlight of my year. The absolute luxury of carpooling with a colleague or two: two whole hours to talk shop while we drive! The luxury of going out to eat with a group of colleagues with no distractions, no students to run teach or gigs to get to. The luxury of talking late into the night about the challenges and the joys of teaching the Suzuki Method. The luxury of 5 whole hours of continuing education—that moment when the presenter shares a concept and every teacher in the room goes “oooohhhh” as a new way to teach a challenging technique clicks for all of us collectively. The luxury of a whole weekend of nothing but good music, good food, good friends and good memories. And all of this for mere $30 membership plus weekend expenses. I know a good bargain when I see one.”
Hadley JohnsonSAWS Member for 10+ Years
“I have been a member of SAWS for the last ten years, and I cannot say how much it has helped me as a teacher in the Seattle area. The teacher workshops have made continuing education easy and affordable, and my students have really been motivated by graduations and festivals. By far, though, I have benefitted most by the chance to get to know other teachers in Washington State. Their experience and friendship have been invaluable as I started and filled out my studio.”
Lucy ShawSAWS Member Since 2010
“I believe that joining your local (SAWS) and your national (SAA) Suzuki Association is both a moral and an ethical decision. Suzuki said “Frist character, then ability”. We, who call ourselves Suzuki teachers, set the tone for the moral and ethical behavior of all those who we work with. Our morals are reflected by our actions. I know that my actions set an example for the students, parents and teachers I work with. One way I demonstrate my commitment to this philosophy and education is membership. I know that being a member now, ensures the future growth and health of Suzuki education in both my local and national communities. I would like to know that my grandchildren will have this education available to them and that I can depend upon the standard of teaching not only of music but also character. Using the name “Suzuki” to describe your professional teaching status means you have likely taken advantage of a an organization that provides a platform for us to share our ideas and get specialized training. Your organization sets guidelines and standards, provides scholarships, creates publications and maintains a website. We Suzuki teachers are part of a worldwide community of teachers, parents and children committed to a common philosophy. We seek the same quality and excellence in education for all children. We are part of this community because we know that this education enriches everyone it touches and has the capacity to change communities and to change lives. Morals are values we attribute to a system of beliefs, and as Suzuki teachers this applies to our shared philosophy. Our morals define what we stand for. Ethics are how we apply these beliefs in our decision-making. My membership in local and national Suzuki Associations preserves professionalism and accountability now and for the future.”
Sue BaerSAWS Member
My memberships in SAA and SAWS essentially define my professional persona. I choose to belong to organizations whose members share a set of interests and values similar to my own. As adherents to the Suzuki philosophy, we share a belief that every child’s life is enriched through the study of music, that the pursuit of excellence in music builds other life skills, and that character development is at the heart of our endeavors.
I belong because we can do so much more to provide meaningful musical experiences for our studio families together than I can do alone. Programs such as the SAA’s Parents as Partners Online provide parents with information and inspiration that far exceeds my own expertise and abilities. SAWS offers a student workshop with an array of clinicians and opportunities that I could never organize or afford on my own.
I belong for the benefit of my own personal growth. SAA has provided a scaffold for my own Suzuki teacher development through training courses, conferences, and leadership retreats. SAWS offers me the opportunity to participate in an annual teacher workshop, affording me enrichment from highly respected clinicians for a minimal expense and easy access.
I belong so that I can contribute to the future of Suzuki Education, both in my local community and the greater global community. I want my gifts of money, time, experience, and occasional bits of wisdom to help perpetuate Suzuki Education for many generations to come.
In his book, Social Intelligence, David Goleman writes, “Among people around the world, nourishing relationships are the single most universally agreed-upon feature of the good life.” (p. 312) Sharing time and ideas with my Suzuki colleagues nurtures my soul. That is why I belong.