Taiwan Suzuki Method
1.Teaching and Nurturing
Congratulations on the successful development and the publishing of TSA journal.
TSA continuously makes efforts in Suzuki education and facilitates friendship with different countries through music. During the preparation of 2004 ASA Conference, Dr. Mineo Nakajima, Dr. Suzuki’s first-term student (former President of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, current President of Akita International University) introduced TSA to the former President of Taiwan, Mr. Lee Teng-Hui and invited Mr. and Mrs. Lee to attend the Conference.
The great success of 2004 ASA Conference in Taiwan proves the result of how TSA keeps promoting Suzuki method. The distributions and efforts TSA has made should be the model of all related Suzuki members in the whole world.
During the meeting with the former President of Taiwan, Mr. Lee Teng-Hui and his wife in this March, I reported that two students of Ms. Mary Ko from Taiwan were elected to perform as soloists and greatly touched the audience in the GALA Concert of the 14th Suzuki Method World Convention held in Turin, Italy. Mr. and Mrs. Lee were extremely pleased and congratulate the instructor of these two students.
The key of TSA could be such active in the world and well developed in Taiwan is that students, parents and teachers are all practicing what Dr. Suzuki emphasized “ without hurry, without rest”. I believe that more people could understand the real meaning of what Dr. Suzuki has emphasized through the issue of this journal.All the best wishes to TSA
I wish to congratulate the Taiwan Suzuki Association for organizing this annual event .
It is indeed a source of motivation for students and teachers alike to aspire for more excellence in their performance of their instruments. It is also a source of inspiration and happiness to other members of the community .
I am impressed with the dedication, industry and love of the teachers in maintaining and improving the standards of performance of the students they are teaching. Truly they are applying what Dr. Suzuki said, " We are teaching for the love of the child, for the love of teaching the child, and for the love of the music we are teaching the child.
I also congratulate the parents for their all-out support of their children and partnership with the teachers. Their involvement and encouragement in their children's musical growth is one of the ingredients in the success story of every Suzuki student .May your tribe increase! Thank you for making me a part of this very worthwhile endeavor .I truly enjoyed working with all of you. Congratulations and more power to all of Taiwan Suzuki Association.
Prof. Carmencita G. Arambulo
President, Philippine Suzuki Association Secretary, Asia Suzuki Association
In Autumn of 1994, I was invited as a cello instructor to the commemorative concert for the foundation of the Taiwan Suzuki Methods. Ever since, I have witnessed their strenuous efforts towards the association's establishment.
At that time, the piano teacher Mrs. Lin Shu Jong was making her every efforts to have the Taiwan Suzuki Methods approved as a corporation by the Taiwanese government, and thereby entering a new phase. After having undergone a lot of change, in January 2001, the association was approved by ISA as the only Suzuki Methods in Taiwan (a national member), offering Piano, Violin, Cello and Flute instruction.
I am honored, though I am a foreign national, to be appointed as the TSA's teacher training consultant for cello, and over the years I have observed TSA's progress. Their development could not have attained if it weren't for the non-stop activities and dedication of both President Mary Ko, and Executive Director Ai-Lin Chang. Such endeavors naturally had an influence upon all the other teachers who also supported the association, and consequently have received full trust from the students and their parents with high expectation for the Taiwan Suzuki Methods.
As it was reported in the article, “The Suzuki Teacher Training System in Taiwan” in ISA Journal Spring 2003, TSA has been continuously administered to improve and thereby strengthen the association: Examples include revising the system rule, inviting new members in a fair manner, and collecting funds that will enable Suzuki students to have the opportunity and improve their performance and inspiration. These are easy to mention, but I believe that they are not easy to implement.
Furthermore, TSA has positively promoted exchanges among the International Suz uki Associations in order that their teachers and students can actually experience the instruction and the universality of the Suzuki methods. In August, the Asia Suzuki Friendship Concert in Taipei was held successfully
However, the SARS epidemic spread at the time when TSA began to prepare for the 2nd ASA conference and was forced to temporarily stop their activities. I was very happy to lean, however, that there was no one among their member students, their parents, or teachers who contracted SARS. On July 5th, WHO removed Taiwan from its list of areas with recent local transmission of SARS, and TSA will be busy preparing for the conference next year. The continuous support from members of the Suzuki Methods is what TSA really needs, and I sincerely hope that all the Suzuki Methods overseas will always cooperate and encourage each other.
Yoshihiko Terada, teacher training adviser of Taiwan Suzuki Association English translated by Yukiko Gray.
Recently I had an occasion to write a report for the Suzuki's quarterly publication regarding our fellow association overseas. Through my limited experience in teaching and meeting people abroad, I feel that I understand the ideal of what Dr. Suzuki had been preaching. I'd like to take this opportunity to share what I have learned.
My first experience with Suzuki Methods overseas was in South Korea in 1992, on the occasion of “the South Korea-Japan Joint Concert.” Then, in 1994, I was invited to the celebration concert for the establishment of the Taiwan Suzuki Association. For these two musical exchange programs I participated with some of my students.
After my first visit to South Korea in 1992, I was asked to teach at the Teacher Trainee program at the Suzuki Methods in Soul in August of the same year, and similarly in February 1993 in Cheonju city. My interpreter was a music teacher Mr. Choi,who was from my father's generation.
Mr. Choi wore a hunting cap, which is rarely seen nowadays, and nobody would doubt it if he had been introduced as my uncle. During our tea times or at the dinner table he was talkative, I gathered he wanted to use his Japanese. Dr. Kim Hi-Mo, the chairman and the founder of the Suzuki Methods in South Korea , also addressed me in Japanese that was so quaint and polite that I didn't have a word to reply.
Let me go back to Mr. Choi. He was educated to become a Japanese before the World War II. His memory of Japanese military policemen patrolling the city, and the military officer assigned to his school at that time were all frightful, and fearful. He told me that a friend of his was taken in custody because the diary that he was forced to submit contained dangerous ideas. Mr. Choi said he was overjoyed when his friend was released after the War. Another teacher of Mr. Choi's generation intervened in the conversation and said, “You don't learn such history in school in Japan , do you?”
I asked Mr. Choi why he became a music teacher. He told me, remembering fondly, “Because I met this Japanese teacher Mr. so-and so, he was such a nice person.”
On the way back from Taiwan in '94, I was seated with elderly Taiwanese people in the airplane, who had received Japanese education. And they talked to me all the way back to Japan . It seemed that they had an urge to tell me about their experience under the Japanese colonization in Taiwan , “After the War, we were suddenly freed, we were no longer Japanese.” Nowadays this part of history is not unheard of, however, though my father was born in the south of Taiwan , I was not knowledgeable of the details so it was rather shocking to hear their story.
They were among the group of tourists to Japan , and they said that many had been here more than once. “Have you ever been to Chiran in Kagoshima prefecture? You ought to go to the memorial museum for the Japanese suicide squad. I could not hold tears welling up in my eyes there,” said one of them.
A few years later I went to Tan-shui, an old port town in Taiwan for the workshop. On the last day, an elderly gentleman who came to see his grandchild play sat next to me. He himself played some piano during childhood, and listening to his grandchild practice was his daily routine. He told me his past, as those people had in the airplane. He even subscribed to a Japanese economic newspaper published daily in Hong Kong . “In those days, if you tell your parents that you were slapped by a teacher, you were scolded and slapped again by your parents saying you were bad and wrong.
Nowadays, parents go to school to protest if such a thing happens, isn't that so?”
Again, I could not properly comment on his remark, though he appeared to be quite eager to tell his story.
At dinner a special poultry soup was served. It was a well-known dish in this country. In it was a whole chicken. “Mr. Terada, this is the most delicious part, eat this, and eat what is floating there.” He tightly held the chicken's backside with his chopsticks and offered me to eat the middle of it. He was generous, but the chicken happened to be the food I don't like so I swallowed it with my eyes closed.
Before the War, he took a piano lesson from a Japanese teacher, and that became his motive to start learning the piano. “My teacher was very strict, but was gentle outside the lesson. So that even today I like to listen to the piano,” said he narrowing his eyes.
There was another meeting during my visit to Taiwan for the Teacher Trainee program. It was the April 2003 when SARS significantly reduced the number of tourists coming to Taiwan . During my free hours I visited my favorite shop that specializes in teas. The shop was usually crowded with many Japanese, but that day there was none, but was a local elderly man sampling a tea. Soon there came a couple with the age similar to the other customer in the shop, and they started to have a chat. What surprised me was their language. It was a mixture of Taiwanese and Japanese. Even more amazing was that they were discussing the proofreading for a bulletin of Japanese tanka poetry.
While I was sampling the tea with an occasional glance at them, a husband of the couple addressed to me. “My wife was also a music teacher.” The young master of the tea shop apparently told them that I was a cello teacher. What a coincidence, but the further introduction was truly exciting. There is a person called “Rao Taipei” who is with extensive knowledge and memory. He often appears in “Kaido-o-iku(going about the road) a travelogue of Taiwan written by Ryotaro Shiba. His real name was Kun-Tsan Tsai, and I was just introduced to him in this tea shop!
Mr. Tsai asked about my roots. Both my grandparents were from Kagoshima prefecture. “I've been to the airport base in Kanoya and Chiran. Which one is Navy, and which one is Army?” I could not answer to his question, then he added, “Nobody tells you such a story, I'm sure.” So his stories went on continuously. He mentioned the author, Mr. Shiba, Mr. Chiang Kai-Shek and his son, the former President Lee Teng-Hui, and Dr. Mineo Nakajima, who is the board of directors of the Suzuki Method. I told him that I know Dr. Nakajima well. Then he said, “When you see him, tell him that the old man in Taiwan is hanging in there.”
I was told that before the War, many Japanese teachers from Kyushu prefecture were sent to Taiwan , and their influence upon students was not insignificant. As a matter of fact, with his wife Mr. Tsai visited the grave of his teacher at the big island of Amami . There were warmly welcomed as the first foreigners visiting the island since its return to the mainland.
At that moment a thought suddenly flashed in my mind. If a student whom I teach overseas grows up with a good memory of a Japanese cello teacher, or gets better at cello, then, he would not wish to fight with a country where that teacher is from. Thank God, or Buddha for giving me the chance to meet all these people and for leading me to this awareness. Moreover, it is thanks to Dr. Suzuki, who often said in his teachings, “I'll go to the other world ahead of you, and negotiate with the Great King the of Hell Yama , who is stirring up the dispute and wars.”
Promoting international friendship or cultural exchange is one thing, but we the Suzuki Method needs to think about further is what is possible to do with our musical ability and its education. The Suzuki Method established its methodology and has a history of developing teaching materials. However, if we want to promote mutual understanding among other nations, and wish to develop the methods for all the children, we should not neglect studying the situation of each country or region unceasingly.
TERI Cello Instructor
English translated by Yukiko Gray