Almost two weeks ago (already? - wow time flies!) I packed my bags and headed to John Brown University in Siloam Springs to participate in Suzuki Teacher Training. What a week! Our class of 6 was a fun mix of personalities and experience, offering a wide range of perspectives on violin teaching, playing, practicing, school, and life.
It was an intensive week of observations, class time, recitals, presentations, and paper writing -I think I wrote more papers during this week than I did for my entire Masters degree!
We were required to read Dr. Suzuki’s book Nurtured By Love before our first day of training. Esther, our trainer recommended rereading this book periodically throughout the course of our teaching career. She also suggests that potential Suzuki parents read it before their first violin lesson. I kind of rolled my eyes about this at first but by the end of the week I totally got it. It isn’t a long read, and explains the philosophy behind the “Talent Education” method, aka the Suzuki Method.
As you might remember if you’ve read any of my other recent blog posts, I am currently knee deep in my dissertation research and writing, which takes a good hard look at Yehudi Menuhin and B.K.S. Iyengar. I was fully entrenched in the Iyengar side of research by the time I hit the rode for Suzuki training. After completing all of my Suzuki assignments for the day, and maybe practicing for a few minutes I would attempt to pursue my own research and writing so as not to fall too far behind.
Juggling materials written by Suzuki, Iyengar, and their students and followers, I started to get a little confused. Like “Did I read that in an interview with Iyengar last night? Or was that a Suzuki quote?”
So I thought it would be fun to play a little game called “Who said that?”
Below are selected quotes from Iyengar and Suzuki. Can you guess who said what? Leave your answers in the comments below. If you get them all right I might be tempted to figure out a prize for you. More like definitely tempted; thinking about prizes sounds like a really fun form of procrastination right now.
1. “The Mind is the product of thoughts which are difficult to restrain for they are subtle and fickle”
2. “What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty”
3. “Both acceptance and surrender are a form of meditation”
4. “When love is deep, much can be accomplished”
5. “Teaching is learning, and re-learning is true teaching”
6. “Practice only on the days you eat”
7. “As a teacher one must be a pupil within”
8. “Your body is the child of your soul”
9. “Everything depends on you”
10. “Success will come to the person who practices”
11. “Education means to teach and develop. Without develop there is nothing”
12. “Awareness follows intelligence”
13. “Self-evaluation is the highest sense as a human being. Children should not only advance but repeat and evaluate their progress”
14. “Memory is necessary for the development of intelligence”
15. "Don't hurry, don't rest. Without stopping, without haste, carefully taking one step at a time will surely get you there."
16. “Children want to know everything. They grasp fast. They have both one-channeled and all-pointed attention, and they should be encouraged to develop this faculty”
17. “If you have the spirit of a young child, you never age”
18. “I respect all living things”
19. “True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness”
20. “Do not hurt anybody’s heart”
21. “The keys to unlocking our potential are the qualities of purity and sensitivity”