FOR TEACHERS 2024-06-13T21:01:06+00:00

Teachers attend the GWSI to refresh, re-inspire and expand their teaching skills and to learn about the Suzuki approach.  Teachers participating in the Teacher Development Program must be at least 17 years of age, have a high school diploma and be an active member of the SAA.

Teachers may enroll as a course participant or an auditor. To qualify as a participant, an individual must pass an audition submitted to the SAA. Participants who successfully complete a course will have their training registered with the SAA. For Auditors, an audition is not required, nor will their training be registered with the SAA.

Teachers who are interested in observing the application of the Suzuki approach may attend the GWSI as an observer at the observers rate of $100.  Observers may observe student activities and classes, but are not eligible to participate in any part of the Teacher Development Program.

Teacher Development Courses

Teacher Development Courses are conducted by Teacher Trainers registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA). The Teacher Development Program includes:

The following core courses will be offered at the 2024 GWSI:

    • Every Child Can-Taught by DAVID STROM ; July 5-6 4-8 pm EST|
    • Violin Unit 1 (in-person or online) – Taught by RONDA COLE ; M – F (in-person or online)| Weekend Times TBD (online only)  
    • Violin Unit 2 (in-person or online) – Taught by DAVID STROM ;  | M-F | B/W 10AM-2PM EST 
    • Violin Unit 3 (online) – Taught by ANN MONTZKA-SMELSER ;  | M-F | 11AM-2PM EST
    • Violin Unit 4 (online) – Taught by STACY (SMITH) GARNER ; | M-F | 11AM-2PM EST

The following enrichment courses will be offered at the 2024 GWSI:

    • Supplemental Repertoire Violin 6-8: CHARLES KRIGBAUM; M-F (online) | M – F 11:00 – 1:00 pm EST|
    • Musical Bow Arm: Cultivating Nuance, touch, dynamics, phrasing, technique, flexibility and complexity from Twinkle through Tchaikovsky: TERRY DURBIN;  (in-person or online) |M – F 4:00 – 6:00 pm EST |
    • Group Class Teaching Strategies – All Instruments with DR. SHU-YI SCOTT; July 8-12 (in-person or online) |M – F 4:00-6:00 pm EST |
    • Play!: Exploring Creativity, Developing Autonomy, & Finding Meaning in Music Lessons: Taylor Morris | Sundays (online)  June 9, 16, 23, 30 2-4:30 pm EST |

The Foundation Course (Every Child Can!©)

The Foundation Course (Every Child Can!©) is an eight hour introduction to Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy and its application to Suzuki education. It provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning and is open to both parents and teachers. There is no pre-requisite and no instrument required.

Unit Courses

Unit Courses, seminars that include the pedagogy of the Suzuki approach and the musical, physical and social development of students, are open to Suzuki teachers or those aspiring to become teachers. Enrollment requires successful completion of an SAA audition. The unit course numbers correspond to the same numbered Suzuki Repertory books.

  • Unit 1 Courses are 28-hour courses plus 15 hours of student lesson observation. The Foundation Course, Every Child Can!©, is a pre-requisite for the Book 1 courses. Teachers may register for the Foundation Course in addition to Book 1.
  • Unit 2-4 Courses are 15-hour courses plus 8 hours of student lesson observation. Note: Unit Courses Book 1-3 should be completed consecutively and in order. Unit Courses for Books 4 and up may be completed in any order once Books 1-3 are complete

About Our Teacher Development Faculty

Ronda Cole is the legendary founder of GWSI and director for over 40 years. Her former students include 5 current members of the National Symphony, world class soloists Nicholas Kendall and Katie Lansdale as well as members of the Aeolus, Jupiter, and Viano Quartets. Join her in Unit 1, as she guides new and experienced teachers in establishing the critical early foundation that will last a lifetime.

This is where it all begins. Join GWSI artistic director David Strom in Every Child Can online- the prerequisite course for all Suzuki training. According to David, “I love teaching ECC online. We really go to the heart of what it means to be a Suzuki teacher. Some of the most profound and foundational conversations in any training course occur in ECC.”

Join GWSI artistic director David Strom for Violin Unit 2! David’s former students have attended the country’s leading music schools including Eastman, Oberlin, Cleveland Institute, Peabody, Indiana and University of Michigan among many others. He is passionate about teaching both music and the underlying process of generosity and self discovery that undergirds the learning process.

Dr. Shu-yi Scott is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most creative and dynamic teacher trainers in the country today. During the pandemic, her group class teaching enrichment courses and unit training courses were regularly sold out. Dr. Scott will teach Unit 3 cello her own specially designed class, Inclusive Group Class Teaching for teachers of all instruments in person or online.

Ann Montzka-Smelser returns to GWSI to teach Violin Unit 3.  Ann studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. She toured with the Ruggieri String Quartet and has performed in many orchestras and chamber ensembles. Currently, she is principal second violinist with Camerata Chicago and concertmaster of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Ann teaches Suzuki Pedagogy at both Wheaton College and NIU where she directs the Community School of Arts Suzuki Strings Program. Ann has enjoyed working with Suzuki families and teachers at institutes and workshops throughout the Americas.

Stacy (Smith) Garner is joining the GWSI faculty in 2024 where she will be teaching Unit 4 violin teacher training.  Stacy is truly passionate about Suzuki Education.   She has presented educational sessions to both parents and teachers at state, national and international Suzuki conferences and conventions and is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Ms. Garner is on faculty at Suzuki workshops and institutes across the Americas, and a featured presenter for the Suzuki Association of the America’s “Parents as Partners” series.

Enrichment Course with Dr. Timothy Durbin -The Musical Bow Arm: Cultivating Nuance, touch, dynamics, phrasing, technique, flexibility and complexity from Twinkle through Tchaikovsky.
When teaching by ear, it is so much more than just hearing the pitches and rhythms. We need to guide the students musical listening and technical development to hear and develop to a competent, professional “sound” level. How and when we do those things are laid out in this course step by step to help your students have less of a “student sound”.
In-Person or online July 8-12| M-F 4PM-6PM EST
Registerable as an enrichment course with the Suzuki Association of the Americas
Dr. Timothy (Terry) Durbin’s unique brand of teaching excellence makes him one of the most sought-after clinicians/conductors in the world. With infectious enthusiasm and inspired musicianship, he brings smiles and laughter to students throughout the United States and around the world.  His dynamic teaching career includes over 1000 workshops and institutes! His performance and teaching career stretches across the United States and Canada into Bermuda, Germany, Italy, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, and he has recorded two CDs, including the complete chamber music of Marcel Dupre for the Naxos label. He has been appointed principal conductor of the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra since the 2016-17 season. He has directed the South Dakota and Montana All State Orchestras. He is the holder of the American Suzuki Institute Suzuki Chair Award for 2013. Terry Durbin is also an accomplished composer and notable arranger.
Dr. Durbin holds a DMA in orchestral conducting from Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles, California, a Masters in violin performance from the University of Illinois, an undergraduate degree in violin performance from the University of Alabama, and is currently the director of the Suzuki String Program at the University of Louisville. He is a registered teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Terry lives with his wife, Sandy, on 140 acres north of Lexington, Kentucky. They have three children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild.

He believes in the magic of music’s power to enrich our lives.

Enrichment Seminar with Dr. Shu-Yi Scott – “Group Class Teaching Strategies – All Instruments”

In Person or Virtual on Zoom from July 8-12 | M-F 4-6 PM EST
Based on the belief that “Every Child Can”,

Dr. Shu-Yi Scott has developed numerous strategies, including use of teaching toys and games, for Suzuki group class teaching. Any Suzuki teachers can use these tactics to make their group classes more inclusive and encouraging for students at all levels of playing, especially for transferred students or remedial learning. This course is for all string teachers for all levels of students.

Enrichment course by Charles Krigbaum: “Supplemental Repertoire: Violin Books 6 – 8”

Virtual on Zoom July 8-12 | M-F 11-1 PM EST
As stated in Volumes 6 – 8 of the Suzuki Violin School, “Dr. Suzuki frequently included Classical, Romantic, and
Modern repertoire from outside the Suzuki Violin School in his teaching, both in individual and group lessons,
and for solo recitals and festival concerts.” A wide variety of supplemental repertoire can enhance and expand
the excellent pedagogical progression found in the ten volumes, while also enriching a student’s musical
experience and technical development. With selections from the SAA’s Supplemental Repertoire List for
Volumes 6 – 8, some wonderful forgotten gems, and other tried-and-true steppingstones to the standard violin
repertoire, Charles Krigbaum will present a 10-hour course covering the teaching points, detailed practice plans,
and technical preparation leading to the successful step-by-step teaching of developmentally appropriate
supplemental violin repertoire.
Through demonstration, performance, analysis, and discussion, teachers will examine the following works:
D’AMBROSIO • Canzonetta Op. 6, No. 1, BACEWICZ • Concertino, BARTOK • An Evening in the Village, BARTOK
• Sonatine, de BÉRIOT • Concerto No. 9 in A minor, BURLEIGH • Four Small Concert Pieces, BURLEIGH •
Impromtu, COPLAND • Hoe-Down from Rodeo, ELGAR • Salut d ’Amour, GARDNER • From the Canebreak,
HAYDN • Concerto No. 4 in G Major, HOVHANESS • Oror, KABALEVSKY • Concerto in C Major, KOMAROWSKI •
Concerto No. 2 in A Major, KROLL • Three Violin Pieces in the First Position: Contra Dance, Donkey Doodle,
and Peter Rabbit, PIAZOLLA • Melodia en La menor, TEN HAVE • Allegro Brilliant, VIVALDI • Spring from The
Four Seasons, WIENIAWSKI • Romance from Concerto No. 2 in D minor, and WIENIAWSKI • Ob
Virtual on Zoom July 9, 16, 23, 30 |S 2-4:30 PM PT
This 10-hour enrichment course will be focused on fostering an approach to teaching that is rooted in valuing each student’s individual experience of making music.  In addition to discussing philosophical concepts around teachings and creativity, participants will gain experience with a variety of contemporary/folk music skills, including learning fiddle tunes, improvisation skills, accompaniment techniques, and how to design collaborative music-making experiences.  This course is open to teachers of any bowed string instrument, regardless of experience with these skills, who are curious to expand their own musical horizons, find more freedom in their musicianship and teaching, and imbue their work with a sense of play!


Each participant in the Suzuki Institute may enroll in the Every Child Can!©  course and one violin or cello training course.  Participants (other than auditors) in Teacher Development Program Unit courses are required to become active SAA members.  The deadline to submit the SAA audition video for those participating in the GWSI Unit 1 courses is 8 weeks prior to course start (May 13, 2024).  After that point in time, participants will be required to submit an express audition application and pay a $50 late fee. Contact the SAA the SAA office at 1-888-378-9854 for more information.

All participants in unit training courses are also asked to prepare the repertory in the book to be studied to the point of fluent performance. Memorization is not required, but is recommended. Participants should be conversant with the ideas presented in Dr. Suzuki’s book, Nurtured by Love. GWSI recommends further reading of Edmund Sprunger’s Teaching Parents to Practice.

Participants should bring their own instruments to play in class, music books and note taking materials.

Participants (other than auditors) will have their training automatically registered with SAA when all course requirements are complete and signed by the trainer.  Be on time so you do not miss class time – even a few minutes are very important. This is a SAA strict requirement to register your training with the SAA!

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