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Posted by Karen-Michele Kimmett, ESA Violin Teacher Trainer, Canada on 20 June 2016

In April this year, the first ESA Violin Teacher Training Course was held in Zimbabwe.
Twelve enthusiastic teachers, including one from Zambia who had travelled twelve long hours on a dusty bus, participated in their first course in Harare. 

First Level One Course Photo Zim K 002

Prior to this session, an ESA Violin Level One Practicum Course was attended by three teachers previously trained in the SAA system.
Thanks to an inspiring workshop led by Helen Brunner, ESA Violin Teacher Trainer in February 2015, an Introductory session held in June 2014 and the enthusiastic organisational skills of Cellist and Violinist Amy Macy, the teachers participated in an intensive session of playing, observation and in depth study and discussion of the Suzuki Method™ with the next course scheduled for August.

With almost a decade of Suzuki Violin teaching in Harare inspired by Michelle Higa-George, the afternoon sessions saw many families and students of these teachers participating in the afternoon observation lessons.
Members of the Saturday class for orphans (under the direction of Ivy Decker-Jones) also participated in these classes as did the young students of Cabby Stirling.

Many of the course participants currently teach in local private schools with students beginning the music program at an older age; following the course, many teachers affirmed their desire to begin teaching younger students with the Suzuki Method™ pedagogy.

The fruits of the teachers’ daily work on Twinkles as the foundation for balanced bows and ringing tones could clearly be heard on the last day of the course. The energy and excitement of the new ESA Level 1 Course is greatly supported by a dedicated group of parents under the guidance of Mara Gallante.
A few Zimbabwe families were able to attend an overseas camp at Bryanston, each time returning to Zimbabwe with renewed enthusiasm and motivation to further develop the method throughout Zimbabwe.

Several fundraising concerts and events have helped to finance this course with donations coming from as far away as Canada and the United States.Although there are challenges related to the current political and monetary situation and the isolation that these issues can bring, nonetheless there is a profound desire in Zimbabwe to have more children and families benefit from a Suzuki education given by well trained teachers.

Envisioning future collaborations between SASA (South African Suzuki Association), Zimbabwe and Zambia, one can hear the resonance of Dr. Suzuki’s ideas echoing from Harare to Bulawayo, one child and one teacher at a time.