Author Archives: Mary Wilkening

Fall Workshop, October 20 and 21, 2017

ASA will host a Workshop on October 20 and 21, 2017 at Orangewood Church, 7321 N 10th St, Phoenix 85020.  The Workshop Clinicians will be Gail Acosta, violin and Diana Parmatier, cello.

Gail Acosta

Gail Acosta lives and teaches violin and viola in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles.  She is a Suzuki String Coordinator at Evergreen Music Conservatory, teaches the Kindergarten/1st Grade Suzuki String program with 180 children at Colfax Charter Elementary School, and is an Adjunct Violin/Viola professor at Glendale Community College in CA. An avid teacher and supporter of music education for young students, Ms. Acosta has taught across the United States at many major string workshops and universities. She makes her home in Valley Village, CA with her husband, Jerry and 18 year old son, Michael.

Diana Parameter

Diana Parmeter received her M.M. in cello performance from Rice University. After several years of extensive orchestral and chamber music performance, she began teaching cello in 1995 and was on the faculty of the Merit School of Music and the Waldorf School, both in Chicago. Diana started her Suzuki training there in 1998 and returns to CSI every summer, even after relocating to California in 2006. Diana currently maintains a studio of about 30 cello students, and although she has taught private and group lessons at all levels, she specializes in teaching beginners.

ASA Will Host Suzuki Principles in Action, January 14 – 15, 2017

What is SPA?
Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) is a course designed to help teachers incorporate Suzuki’s principles effectively in their teaching. The course focuses on how to teach, not what to teach. It allows for the sharing of ideas among all instrument areas. SPA is based on Dr. Suzuki’s belief that knowledge is an important first step, but “knowledge plus 10,000 times” is what produces ability. This important principle, which teachers frequently explain to their students, applies equally to the art of teaching.

What are the principles that SPA reinforces?
The inspiration for SPA came from a need, identified by both Trainers and Teacher Workshop Participants, to deal with the challenges of implementing the knowledge gained from Unit courses into the reality of day-to-day studio teaching.

Topics include:

Setting standards of excellence for students at all levels
Identifying the appropriate time to move ahead in the repertoire
Incorporating regular, productive review work in daily teaching and practicing
Incorporating ear training and learning by ear in daily teaching
Focusing attention on tone development
Giving productive, balanced, frequent feedback to students
Communicating effectively and working productively with parents
Structuring lessons to facilitate successful progress
These are all issues that surface repeatedly in Teacher Workshop courses and in communications among colleagues. The course offers thoughtful exploration of these topics—topics that spring from the Suzuki principles that have been articulated in the Every Child Can! course and other Teacher Workshop courses—to help us to move towards a realization of the potential that Suzuki education offers.

Who should attend?
Any teacher—from the very experienced to the novice—who has completed training through Book 1, is an SAA member, and has taught a minimum of one year. Teachers of all Suzuki instruments are welcome!

What special values result from taking the course?
SPA is required for those applying for the SAA’s Certificate of Achievement and is highly recommended to those working toward becoming Teacher Trainers. SPA provides tools for assessing and evaluating one’s own teaching. Course materials include guides, articles and activities to reinforce and expand on the ideas presented in the class.

Check back for more details later.  Contact Laura Tagawa at for more information.

See Pictures from the 2016 Fall Workshop!

The 2016 Fall Workshop

Terry Durbin leads the Orchestra.

Terry Durbin leads the Orchestra.

The piece is Capriccio by Ruegger

The piece is Capriccio Brilliante  by Charlotte Ruegger

Taylor Morris lead the violins in fiddling tunes.

Taylor Morris lead the violins in fiddling tunes.

Taylor played the cello in the fiddling class.

Taylor played the cello in the fiddling class.


Carol Tarr lead the cello choir and repertoire classes.

Carol Tarr lead the cello choir and repertoire classes.

Dan Swaim and his students played after lunch.

Dan Swaim and his students played after lunch.

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