North Texas Suzuki Association


January 15, 2013 8:19 AM | Anonymous

On January 4 and 5, the NTSA hosted teacher trainer Carrie Reuning-Hummel for our 2013 Spring Teacher Enrichment Course.  As the daughter of two Suzuki violin teachers, Carrie was one of the first American students to study with Dr. Suzuki.  We enjoyed hearing her anecdotes from her time in Matsumoto and studying at the Suzuki institutes as they began across the country.

Carrie started the weekend with a parent talk titled "Creating Conditions for Success". She explained how important it is to know one's own style of learning and thinking, after which comes the discovery of the child’s learning style and what avenue to best approach that child. Carrie’s book covers this topic, "Time to Practice: A Companion for Parents", and is available on her website:

For the pedagogy class, Carrie worked on the violin/viola bow arm, focusing on Dr Suzuki's primary mandate of creating a beautiful sound through weight and relaxation instead of pressure and tension.

The second day Carrie discussed 'remedial teaching"; or how to help students who already have a problem with their position/playing. Her first focus was on basic posture (starting from the feet), and then she presented her ideas on finger placement, vibrato, shifting, and advanced bowing styles.

She was careful to point out that ‘remedial teaching’ doesn’t only happen with transfer students, but with our own students (with whom we have to be creative in presenting a teaching point in many different ways); and children with issues such as double jointed fingers or learning differences.

It was a testament to our NTSA community and the teachers who traveled from Waco, Austin, Houston and McAllen that our Suzuki community believes in lifelong learning, one of Dr Suzuki’s charges in his Aspirational Code of Ethics.

-Jeanette Runyon, President, North Texas Suzuki Association

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