Monday, January 20, 2014

Why Re-take a Pedagogy Course?

I received an email from the Suzuki Association of the Americas asking me to send in a little blurb about why I decided to take the Violin book 1 pedagogy course again. One of the reasons why teaching is fun and interesting is that there is always more to learn. You may know a topic very well but sometimes you forget something small or you want to learn a new way to teach the a topic that has become monotonous. The reason I took the book 1 course again is that I really wanted a refresher. After moving to a new city and only having a few students, I felt out of practice. I am going to have a violin workshop this year at the school where I will be teaching and I was looking for advice on how to go about organizing and directing it. I received a lot of wonderful advice from fellow teachers have taught in school settings and I gained more group class ideas. I also wanted to make sure that I am covering all the basics really well and there is nothing like re-taking a course to refresh and renew not only material but personal motivation. I am excited to get back to my students and apply all the things that I learned (and maybe forgot). I want to add to my review basket as Nancy calls it.

I would like to quote Nancy Lokken, my wonderful teacher trainer at the Lima Suzuki Festival 2014. "I have been teaching for many years and I still don't have the answer for everything. As long as you are open you will grow as a teacher." I completely agree and the only way to grow is by being open to new ideas, asking questions, sharing ideas and implementing them with our students. Even though the class may have been a bit too large (28 students I believe), I am so glad that I decided to re-take the course. It renewed my love of learning and my motivation to be better. I learned more about my own playing as well. It is said that the best way to solidify a skill is to teach it so off to teach those skills I go. 
With Nancy
I was chatting with a couple of friends who are at the National Music Conservatory in Lima and they both said that they would love to see some of their teachers take Suzuki pedagogy courses because then they might be a bit more open to new ideas and becoming better teachers themselves. I have no idea what the teachers are like at the conservatory but they way I see it, learning about different pedagogies will only help you solidify a method that works best for you and your students. Everyone learns differently and there is no one right way. One thing I know for sure is that I am very happy to be continuing on the ideas of a great teacher and musician, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki.
Cusco Reunion


  1. I'm still really enjoying following your blog, even though I'm back State-side (for now). Fabricio happened to be walking by when I was reading this post, and he said "Hey! I know those two girls from Cusco! I studied English with one of them." And I guess he knows them through music stuff as well. I'm still constantly amazed how small the world can be.... Keep up the posts! All the best to you and yours in Lima!

  2. That is awesome. I love when small world things like that happen. I am glad you are enjoying the posts. I hope all is well Stateside!