A tweet is not long enough to answer your question, "What were the highlights of your Book 1 violin teacher training?"
So I decided to make a blog post and share it with everyone.
I started with Gwen Runyon at age 5, at the old TCJC (now TCC) music school building in Hurst, Texas. Gwen was the first teacher to bring Suzuki into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, from what I understand. Everything about her was so patient, loving, and kind. I still remember my foot chart (my feet were outlined with a green marker with the name "Cathy" on it), the "Pan-Da" placement of the bow on the string, and the "twinkle tapes" on my bow.
Learning the violin was very effortless, painless, and easy with Gwen. The wonderful story about teacher training in the DFW area was that so many of the teachers knew her and loved her (Irene Mitchell, Susan Baer, Jenny Burton, Charles Krigbaum). They all had a similar experience of working with her, that she was loving and sweet with them, too. She passed away a few years ago, but I am so proud to be part of her legacy to teach children to play the violin with a loving heart.
The teacher who trained us, Judy Bossuat-Gallic, was actually very close to Dr. Suzuki. We worked very hard for her, so we moved through the required material very quickly and were able to hear some wonderful personal stories about Dr. Suzuki.
I actually wrote out a 13 part violin arrangement of Ash Grove as a present for her, because I was so moved by her devotion and hard work (we did not rehearse, but you get the idea):
I was also highly impressed with the Book 1 students that we observed all week. When I started at age 5, Suzuki was also just starting up in my area, so the students were not very advanced for a little while. The senior students are VERY advanced in this program. The final concert was stunning! And every child, no matter their circumstance, or what the outside world might perceive as a "disability", is treated like a prince or princess. DFW WOW is a fantastic place to study, all the way from the youngest ones to the most senior teachers.
I am pleased to report that the love from Dr. Suzuki is very much alive and well. People were much more impressed with the Suzuki teacher I had when I was 5 years old than with the "super fancy" one I had in high school. I'd say their priorities seem to be very much in order.
And if I can be half the teacher that Gwen Runyon was, I'd say I'm doing very well. I'll set up a studio here in Somers Point, NJ, for now, then probably move to the DFW area sometime next year to be close to my grandparents.
Thank you for keeping the love alive.