After almost three weeks of hot weather and long days in class, I am now officially certified in Suzuki books 1 and 2 to teach violin. Hurrah! They were two very intense courses but they were fantastic and I learned so much. I made some great friends too. It's always fun meeting people who are teaching all over South America. It is also nice to know that whenever I travel to Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, or Venezuela I have people to see and/or stay with! I wish that the girl who took the pictures got a full view of everyone from the class but this one was cute. I especially like Suzanne's face in the lower right hand corner. :)
We had a ton of fun in our book 1 course and I had the pleasure of taking it with Nancy Lokken although there was another section with Shinobu Saito who teaches in Sao Paolo Brazil. Both taught me quite a lot through class and through observations. You learn so much from observing others. It truly is one of the most powerful ways to learn how to teach well. Emulate what you see works well and don't do what you see doesn't work well. It's as simple as that. I got lots of great group class ideas too. I can't wait to implement them.
For the concert de las Americas, I played Saqras, a traditional dance from Cusco, with Ximena, and David. It was super fun and everyone said they really enjoyed it. I was really proud to represent Cusco as a Cusqueñista. There is some really fun music that comes from Cusco and I am happy to share it. I also vowed that I would memorize all the songs we do in Chorus and Orchestra so that I never have an embarrassing moment like I did in the Municipality in Cusco when I didn't remember the majority of Saqras. Never again! I also played in the orchestra that accompanied the soloists during the closing concerts. I didn't get any pictures of it but it was really fun. It was great to accompany two Cusqueñian kids from Qantu who played Bach's Concerto in F minor on piano and Vivaldi's Concerto in D Major on guitar. I took full advantage of the extra activities during the second block even though it meant that I got home after 8pm every night. It was definitely worth it.
On the last day of class we went out to lunch with everyone in the class including Nancy and I really enjoyed chatting with her about violin and how I got to be where I am now. She is super sweet and so supportive of everyone. She is truly a great teacher trainer and she never says that her way is the end all be all way to teach. She just teaches what she has found to be successful and then leaves it up to us to use what we want and see what works for us. I really like that. There is no one correct way to teach violin. There are many routes to becoming a musician.
On Monday morning after an hour of traffic to get to the airport and delay from 11:45am to 3pm take off, I finally arrived in Cusco to the arms of my boyfriend and a little headache from the altitude. I couldn't have been happier to be home. This year is going to be fantastic and full of new adventures and learning experiences. It has already begun with the festival. :)
My homies from book 1 and 2 plus Erik!
The entire group of us taking the book 1 course.