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Practicum.Piano.The SAA Practicum is a short-term course developed to enhance the SAA’s system of short-term workshop training. While the core training units mainly focus on Suzuki repertoire and instrumental technique, the emphasis of the Practicum is on honing the art of teaching.

The Practicum is strongly recommended for all teachers. It provides skills for evaluating one’s teaching and an opportunity to teach with feedback from an SAA-registered teacher trainer. Explored topics include communication skills, teaching strategies, diagnostics, and observation. In a nurturing and supportive environment of peers, using video footage from their home studio and on-site teaching, participants practice self-assessment skills to identify their strengths in teaching and those areas in need of improvement.

In keeping with the SAAs commitment to life-long learning, the Practicum provides teachers with an invaluable opportunity at any stage in their development. This course may be repeated as often as desired. To provide maximum opportunity, the enrollment is limited to five (5) participants.  Therefore, early registration is encouraged.

The SAA Teaching Practicum is required for level 2 of the SAA Teacher Certificates of Achievement.

Prerequisite: Completion and registration of book 1 plus one year of Suzuki teaching experience.


Session 2: Monday, June 19 – Saturday, June 24

Violin Teaching Practicum course: Liz Arbus, CA
Piano Teaching Practicum course: Annette Lee, MN



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  • 15 hours class time
  • 8 hours observation
  • 100% attendance required
  • Maximum of 5 teachers, (participants only, no observers)
  • Each participant brings video files of their home studio lessons on a computer device suitable for viewing by 3-4 viewers.  Laptop or tablet devices work well in this situation IF you have tested your files on your device ahead of time.
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From the SAA:

Participants must bring videoed lesson segments of their home teaching. Criteria for videos:

  • 2-3 complete 30-minute lessons.
  • 2-3  30-minute segments containing materials of their choice. (Possibilities are consecutive lessons of the same student, a group lesson, a reading lesson, a challenging student, lessons at different book levels, etc.)
  • More footage can be included on the video, but video viewing will depend on time constraints, class size and other factors.
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  • Angle of the camera must show the student’s hands.
  • The closest possible camera placement should be used which includes the student’s entire body.
  • The teacher should be visible during much of the lesson.
  • Whenever possible, include the parent as well.
  • Video must be in a  format that you can show on your screen device that you bring with you.
  • For best quality sound, an external microphone is recommended.
  • It is recommended that participants record many lessons over time and select from them the portions to include on the video files brought to the practicum course.
  • The major portion of the recordings should include instruction rather than student or teacher performance.

Your video recordings will be the focal point of the practicum. Your recordings will be viewed and discussed by the class.

The above activity will fill 8-12 hours, depending upon the size of the class, the preferences of the trainer, etc. The balance of the time will be spent in role-playing activities and, if the trainer wishes, some live demonstration lesson teaching, using volunteer students.

On-site teaching is to include volunteer students who would receive extra lessons. Volunteer students may or may not be students from the participants’ own studio.

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