Training Requirements

How to Become a Suzuki Harp Teacher

The links in this section are all connected to the official SAA website.

  1. Take the Every Child Can!© (ECC) course.
  2. Submit your teacher training audition.
  3. Join the SAA as a teacher member.
  4. Take Book training courses: (Books 1 – 3 must be taken in order.)
  5. Register your training with the SAA. (Registration forms will be distributed at training courses and programs.)


Every Child Can!©, an Introduction to Suzuki Education

This course is an introduction to Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy and its application to Suzuki education.  For parents, teachers, prospective teachers and others, this new course provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning.  For teachers, ECC serves as the required first course in the Suzuki Association of the America’s Teacher Development Program. In addition to exploring the elements of the Suzuki approach and its far-reaching goals, it includes an introduction to learning styles, history of the development of Suzuki education, the role of parents, the importance of Suzuki pedagogical training, and an overview of the SAA’s role in supporting teachers and parents.  A fast-paced, engaging and inspiring program, ECC includes new video materials and SAA-developed courseware and provides participants with useful reference materials for later study.

Every Child Can!© is a six-hour course. The six hours may be offered in one day or over several days’ time. Participants must attend all six hours.  The course is not instrument specific, and there is no audition requirement.  ECC may be taken from any registered SAA teacher-trainer of any instrument.

The SAA website has a current list of ECC courses being offered.

Teacher training audition, entry into Books 1–4:

A video recording of your performance of Haydn, Theme and Variations (any edition) and Godefroid, Etude (Found in Suzuki Harp Volume 4) needs to be sent to the SAA office with an application form and a fee of $55. (Through January 1, 2015, Salzedo, Chanson dans la nuit may be substituted for the Godefroid)

Video submission online is now available and is the preferred method.  If submitting a DVD, it needs to be postmarked no later than 4 weeks prior to the workshop.  A late fee of $40 must be included if the recording is submitted after this deadline.  Auditions will not be accepted within 10 days of the workshop.

The recording needs to be DVD format and must show the player’s hands and body position. Please ensure the sound is the best possible quality. Memorization is not required, but the music must not block the view of the performer.

If the recording is not accepted, you may still take the course as an ‘auditor’ but you will not be able to register credit with the SAA.

For more information on the process and a downloadable application form, visit the Teacher Audition Guide on the SAA website.

Teacher training, Book 1

To take the training and receive SAA credit, you must be registered as a participant and meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the Every Child Can!© course prior to beginning Book 1 (If you completed and registered Unit 1A any time prior to September 1, 2003, this may be substituted for ECC.)
  • Complete the SAA video audition process.
  • Be an active member of the SAA.
  • Be a high school graduate.
  • To get the most out of the course, please memorize all the Book 1 pieces.
  • Attend 100% of the course.

Teacher training, Books 2–5

The other courses are based on each volume of the Suzuki Repertoire and need to be taken in order at least through Book 3.  The Book 1–5 courses must be taken from a registered SAA harp teacher trainer. After meeting the requirements for entry into the courses and completing the course, participants will be able to register credit with the SAA.

Teacher training, Practicum Unit

The Practicum Unit focuses on pedagogy and honing the art of teaching.  It is more of a hands-on “how to teach” course than a “what to teach” course.

Participants must have taught Suzuki students for a minimum of 1 year and must have completed and registered ECC and Unit 1.  Beyond this minimum of training level and experience, the Practicum Unit is beneficial for all teachers.

Topics to be explored will include communication skills, teaching strategies, diagnostics and observation. Activities will consist of a combination of:

  • Discussion of participants’ videoed lessons
  • Teaching exercises
  • On-site teaching