Teacher Workshops

Teacher Workshops

When: Friday, October 12, 2018.

  • Online Registration Deadline  October 8.
  • Walk in string registrations will be accepted the day of the workshop.


Piano Workshop will be held at Carol Cross’ home 103 W 9th Ave., Ellensburg  1pm-6pm (no-host dinner afterward in a local restaurant)

Strings Teacher Workshop will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 210 Ruby St., Ellensburg, WA 98926  1pm – 8pm (potluck dinner at 5pm)

Workshop Fees: $60 for SAWS members, $75 for non-SAWS members


SAWS Members should plan to attend the Annual General Membership Meeting to be held Saturday, October 13 in Hertz Hall, CWU, 11:15-12:00

To register visit the registration page here:

Teacher Registration

Piano Teacher Trainers:

Many thanks to Peggy Swingle, Karlyn Brett and Jacki Block for agreeing to jointly present a day of graduation piece study.  This is a topic many of us have wanted to cover for a long time, and it will be good to have a focused, in-depth presentation and discussion of these important pieces, especially as all of your comments have reflected a desire to keep our valuable graduation program intact!

Strings Teacher Clinicians:

Charles Krigbaum and Ruth Boden will be our strings clinicians this year. Dr. Boden is a cello and bass professor at WSU who will give 2, 2-hour workshops on cello and bass technique entitled
1. Discovering Good “Rules Of Thumb” for the Developing Low-String Player
2. Cello Geography: Mapping the Fingerboard for Success.
Mr. Kridbaum an acclaimed Suzuki teacher from Plano, Texas. He will give three 2-hour talks, two for upper strings and one for all teachers, as well as a lecture on group class teaching on Saturday. The workshop titles will be
1. Always with Excellence: Basics for Young Violinists (for upper strings)
2. The Joy of Vibrato and Shifting (for upper strings)
3. The Business of Music for Teachers (for upper and lower strings)
About the Clinicians:

Dr. Ruth Boden is an Associate Professor at Washington State University where she teaches cello, classical bass, music theory, ear training, and chamber music. She is a long-time adjudicator and clinician, and regularly works with students and orchestras around the Pacific Northwest. Ruth teaches at the Birch Bay String Workshop, Cougar String Camp, Red Lodge Music Festival, and InterHarmony Festival in the summers. Ruth has served as interim conductor of the Washington State University orchestra and the Spokane Youth Symphony. Her research areas include non-traditional performance, improvisation, and working with young musicians to explore new music and entrepreneurial endeavors in music.

Charles Krigbaum is a Suzuki Talent Education specialist and is the founder and Co-Director of the North Texas School of Talent Education, a Suzuki violin and viola program located in Plano, Texas. Founded in 2001, NTSTE offers expert instruction in violin and viola, along with a full array of musical experiences designed to provide an extraordinary musical education for children ages 3 – 18, preparing students for a lifetime of music making at the highest level, regardless of professional aspirations. In 2010, Charles became one of the first teachers in the country to earn the Certificate of Achievement from the Suzuki Association of the Americas, an award given to teachers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to lifelong learning and excellence in their teaching. In 2014, Charles became a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.  He has taught at workshops and Institutes throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, England, and Germany; he is also past President of the North Texas Suzuki Association, a Chapter Affiliate of the SAA. As a professional musician, he has played viola and violin in a wide array of orchestras, chamber groups, and many other diverse performing ensembles across the country. His multi-faceted career includes teaching, mentoring Suzuki teachers, performing, administration, conducting research in the field of string pedagogy, writing, and presenting lectures and workshops on various topics.

About the Workshops:

Ruth Boden will present:

Discovering Good “Rules Of Thumb” for the Developing Low-String Player

Thumbs are the essential pillar for good left and right-hand technique for cellists and bassists.  Understanding the relationship and responsibilities of both left and right thumbs creates greater flexibility and consistency in everything from bow strokes to vibrato, shifting, and the eventuality of the thumb becoming a finger. This session focuses on essential techniques for the bow and left hand with special attention being paid to beginning students. Exercises to develop muscle strength (especially for beginners) and balance as well as shifting and vibrato exercises will be provided. Methods for teaching thumb position and the transition into higher positions concludes this session.

Cello Geography: Mapping the Fingerboard for Success

Developing a strong understanding of the geography of the cello fingerboard is absolutely essential for success. Often young cellists (and even some entering into college) are lacking basic skills needed to successfully navigate the extreme ranges of the cello. Functional illiteracy in reading all three clefs (such as reading tenor clef as ‘a string higher than read in bass clef’) and a disconnect between diatonic positions (thumb position) and chromatic positions (four-finger patterns) makes learning advanced literature difficult and time consuming. This session looks at the ways we can form a strong foundation from the beginning with regards to clearly defined position names, music theory, scale training, pitch collections, and interval training into an improved “GPS” system for left hand consistency.

Charles Krigbaum will present:

The Business of Music for Teachers (for all teachers)

A Suzuki teacher has the potential to impact the lives of families in extraordinary ways, yet there are challenges associated with being a Suzuki teacher.  We have enormous responsibilities to keep everything in order.  At times, it feels as if difficult situations and challenges are waiting for us at every turn.  From collecting payments and scheduling recitals, setting standards and expectations, to the understanding and delivery of teaching points—the teacher sets the tone for it all.  Indeed, a teacher’s organization, business skills, and communication style set the tone for their program, and often determine how their teaching is perceived and accepted. 

In this session, participants will examine strategies and develop skills in the areas most necessary to create an environment where excellence becomes possible in all areas of teaching.  Watch students and parents thrive when expectations are clear and guidelines are set.  Imagine a program full of excitement, where students grow and develop, and parents are committed and involved.  You can make your studio anything you want it to be, and you are the only one that can make that happen for yourself when you embrace the courage to make a difference.  

One essential topic of this session is a studio teacher’s financial security. Money can make us uncomfortable. Talking about money with parents can conjure memories of asking our own parents for money. It’s time to let go of your fear and make a plan. This discussion will address the realities of making a competitive living in the private music education industry by outlining methods of setting your fees, billing families, collecting tuition, surviving the summer financially, funding continued teacher development, and keeping your income steady and healthy in any economy.

The Joy of Vibrato and Shifting (for violin and viola teachers)

Vibrato is a fundamental technique in violin playing that enhances a beautiful tone quality and is a key element in creating musical style. Teaching vibrato to children requires preparation, repetition of vibrato exercises over time, assistance from the parents, and integration into the repertoire. When a student begins to incorporate vibrato into their performance, the quality of sound is forever transformed! Book 3 is an excellent time to study vibrato and shifting in depth. The pieces in Book 3 are transformed with vibrato. Shifting extends a student’s tonal range and adds multiple layers of choice for fingerings and sound; new layers of expression become possible, artistry develops, and a student’s sound becomes uniquely their own. A well-developed vibrato ready for use in the concertos of Book 4 is an important goal.

 Always with Excellence: Basics for Young Violinists (for violin and viola teachers)

The future success of a student depends greatly upon the teacher’s ability to effectively teach the fundamental principles of violin technique in the early stages.  Participants in this session will learn new and creative ways to teach technique, musicianship, and sound quality to young children.  This session will introduce participants to developmentally appropriate technical exercises and include the debut of new teaching materials for young violinists developed by Kerstin Wartberg and Charles Krigbaum that are intended for use during the study of the first four volumes of the Suzuki repertoire.

Exercises presented in this session include: preparatory exercises for the Pre-Twinkle violinist, scales, left hand exercises, systematic whole bow training, exercises to develop bow hand flexibility, position etudes, shifting, vibrato, chromatic exercises, introduction to double stops, intonation exercises, soundpoints, and basic trill exercises.

Hotel & Lodging

There are many hotels in Ellensburg. Please be sure to reserve early.

We have a group booking rate at Best Western, Days Inn and Comfort Inn for Friday and Saturday using the group name “Suzuki Festival 2018.” Book as soon as possible, since there are limited rooms, and there are other events going on in Ellensburg the same weekend. Be sure to call by phone to get the group rate. 

Best Western Plus Lincoln Inn & Suites
211 W. Umptanum Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 925-4244

Price:         $115 plus tax for single kings or double queens
Dates:        Fri (Oct 12) and Sat (Oct 13) 2018
Deadline:    Rooms must be reserved by September 15
Group Name: “Suzuki Festival 2018″

Comfort Inn                                                                                                                                                              1722 S Canyon Rd, Ellensburg WA                                                                                                                                        (509) 925-7037

Price:           $106 plus tax for 2 queens  $102 plus tax for 1 king
Dates:        Fri (Oct 12) and Sat (Oct 13) 2018
Deadline:    Rooms must be reserved by September 28
Group Name: “Suzuki Festival 2018″