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and Swan Lake, Rostropovich and

Stravinsky, Diaghilev and Maxim Ven-

gerov? All we could do was to bring

the strength of the Suzuki message of

love and acceptance, and that ‘Every

Child Can’. The Russians listened


Anke demonstrated the steps of the

‘Suzuki Home’ - education based on

the Mother tongue approach of lis-

tening, repetition and refinement.

She spoke of the construction of a

private lesson and the importance of

teacher-child relationships. There was

much discussion about the ESA Syllabus

and audition material for Violin and

Piano. We had many excellent DVD’s

to show, including children of all ages

playing at a high level on a large variety

of instruments. Also several Suzuki

Teachers speaking of their work, with

great conviction, and quite a lot of

black and white footage of Dr Suzuki


t is November 2013 and Anke van der

Bijl, Flute Teacher Trainer, and I have

just returned from a remarkable few

days in Moscow. The brand new Russian

Suzuki Association arranged an Introduc-

tory Course those interested in learning

more about The Suzuki Method™

Twenty five teachers came together for

this seminar in Hotel Proton, a smart

conference hotel in Moscow. They con-

sisted of twelve Violin Teachers and

eleven Piano Teachers and there was

also an Accordionist and a Recorder

player. Included in the seminar, in an

advisory position, were two music-loving

lawyers, a Russian composer from the

Moscow Conservatory, a renowned Rus-

sian child psychologist, and our excellent

interpreter, Viktoria.

It was surprising and touching to see the

dedication and devotion evident in these

warm-hearted people. Olga Viktorovna

Sapryghina organised the whole event,

which impressively included persuading

everyone to read ‘Nurtured by Love’ (in

Russian) before attending the course!

Anke and I had travelled three or four

hours by air to reach Moscow, which felt

like a long trek, but some of the teachers

were from even further afield. Two

teachers from the other side of Novosi-

birsk had had a five hour flight and an-

other teacher took three days by train to

get to the seminar. How vast is the

Motherland of Russia!

The great tradition of Russian music has

constantly shaped my musical life since

childhood. I have always been in awe of

the Russian masters of music. So, what

could we possibly have to offer to a na-

tion which had produced David Oistrakh

To Russia with Love

Helen Brunner, Violin Teacher Trainer, Great Britain

himself. We also showed many YouTube

clips such as the massed Cellos, Flutes

and Violins from the 16



Method™ World Convention in Japan.

The famous Tchaikovsky concerto played

by eighteen children and directed bril-

liantly by Nicholas Kendall astonished the

Russian teachers!

The ‘hands on’ Violin sessions with the

twelve Violin Teachers was based on

Suzuki’s Tonalisation. We played part of

the Handel chorus, each teacher playing

both individually and with the group.

We explored some of the principle

steps of circle training and the applica-

tion of weight. During the seminar

there was a remarkable improvement

in their tone, which the Russian teach-

ers could hear for themselves. The

Piano Teachers were the jury – the pro-

gress in just two days was tangible - big