News Article 15/12/2011Claudio Forcada reports on THIRD TEACHERS' XCHANGE WEEKEND in Germany
Third Suzuki Teachers Xchange Weekend
Remscheid, Germany, 26 and 27 Nov 2011.
By Claudio Forcada
After a short ride by taxi, crossing the always impressive German forests, I have just arrived at the airport in Düsseldorf. The weather is quite mild considering that I am in the heart of Europe and it is 27th of November 2011. In about one hour, I will be taking my flight back to London after spending a very intense weekend in Remscheid where I have had the opportunity to participate at the ‘Third Suzuki Teachers Xchange Weekend in Germany.
During the last two days, I have been able to enjoy the company and experiences of more than one hundred and sixty enthusiastic Suzuki Teachers coming from all around Europe. This way, German, French, Italian, Danish, Polish, Spanish, Hungarian, English, Greek and many other languages could be heard everywhere, turning the ‘Remscheid Akademie’ into a sort of Babel tower. However, communication was far from being a problem as all of us shared the language of music and the link with the Suzuki philosophy.
There were lectures on a wide variety of topics such as Parents’ Education, Teaching Strategies, Scales, Rhythm Training, Suzuki Philosophy, Mental Training and Personal Testimonies to name but a few. As a Violinist myself, it was interesting to meet not only other string players but also Piano, Recorder, Harp and Flute Teachers. Their generosity and eagerness to share experiences and ideas made every session an authentic ‘exchange’ where we could benefit not only from every speaker but also from the comments by other members of the audience.
Music was also present through several performances. At the introductory session as well as on Sunday afternoon, some children played pieces for Violins and Violas to a high standard, demonstrating a good technical and musical foundation and the solid work of their teachers and parents.
Saturday evening was the time for teachers to play together and to enjoy informal performances by listening and playing String Ensemble pieces as well as Fiddle and Oiano improvisations.
Our Hungarian colleagues, passionate and sensitive, shared with all of us music from their folklore by singing, playing and even making the audience to dance some Czardas!
I would like to thank Kerstin Wartberg for her professionalism as Director of the Conference, checking that everything was working as expected and introducing the speakers and presenting all the activities in both German and English, the two official languages of the event. Always kind and efficient, Monica Pieck and other members of the Staff were always willing to help and sort out any problems.
At one of the sessions, someone made a reference to Dr Suzuki’s spirit, always innovative and creative, who on a certain day went to teach and told everybody enthusiastically: ‘I have a new idea!’. Today, after this weekend of ‘exchange’, I can certainly say: ‘I have plenty of new ideas!’