I had such a wonderful time at the Institute! It was more inspiring than I could have imagined, and I look forward to attending it, or another Institute, next summer. Carol Smith from Vanderbilt University was my teacher trainer, and I thought she was just fantastic. In the past, I have had many experiences with the Suzuki method. I grew up as a Suzuki student, and had also had training in the past, but it never really hit me what it was really about until this week. I had had many preconceived notions about the Suzuki method, and I had worried being a Suzuki teacher would put me into a box and stifle my own creativity. I was wrong. I now feel that I want to be a true Suzuki teacher, and help parents and students learn together the joys of violin playing, and that within the philosophy and any program, I can still have my own individuality and creativity in teaching.
I learned so many specific things too, ways to improve my teaching, things I should have been teaching that I wasn’t, ways to inspire my students, ways to make things easier for them to learn…the whole week really made my head spin with all the new ideas I was learning! I came home bursting at the seams, ready to go. Unfortunately, I don’t have that many students at this time , but I am sure I will be able to keep these ideas with me for the future (also I took copious notes).
I also just had the privilege to observe at a small camp at SIUE. After getting back from Columbus, Carol had encouraged me to get in touch with a variety of people in the area, and I was able to talk with Vera McCoy-Sulentic, who is the director of the Suzuki program there. I might be teaching in the program in the future, and with this in mind, I observed the classes not only to learn hypothetically, but to really think about how I might run my own group classes, which is something I have never done in the past. There are some other Suzuki teachers in the area that I hope to observe as well.
To sum it all up–I feel now like I am a better teacher than I have been in the past, and I look forward to learning more in the future, whether as a Suzuki teacher, or through my private studio. My goal is to always grow and improve in my teaching so that my students will be able to learn as much as they can. My main goal for my students is still the same–for them to become the best people they can, and to have music be a wonderful part of their lives.