Vol. 14.1 January/February 2009

To facilitate, promote, and educate the public
on the way of teaching and playing the piano taught at the
Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan by Dr. Haruko Kataoka.

Piano Basics Foundation News

Editors and Layout
Dr. Karen Hagberg and Teri Paradero
Chisa Aoki and Teri Paradero
Web Editors
Carol Wunderle - Volume 14.1
Kenneth Wilburn, Senior Web Editor

Hard Copy Illustrations
Juri Kataoka

Leah Brammer - Media
Rita Burns - Workshops

Production and Distribution
Linda Nakagawa, Barbara Meixner,
and the Sacramento Teachers Research Group

Send Articles to:
Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation
67 Shepard St., Rochester NY 14620
Fax: 585-244-3542

Linda Nakagawa
242 River Acres Drive
Sacramento, CA, USA 95831
Phone: 916-422-2952

Next Deadline: February 14, 2009


By Haruko Kataoka

From the Matsumoto Suzuki Piano Newsletter
Vol.12 No.6, November 05, 2002
Translated by Chisa Aoki and Teri Paradero
Edited by Karen Hagberg
Illustrations by Juri Kataoka

Presently, here at the Matsumoto Piano School, there are three individuals from various places in America who are here to study how to teach piano. One of them, B-kun, is a senior in high school who has been studying piano since he was quite young and whose mother is a Suzuki piano teacher.

His mother, a very enthusiastic teacher, has, along with her son, regularly participated in my workshops in America since he was five or six years old.

Two summers ago, a number of teachers and approximately 10 students from Matsumoto participated in an American concert as part of their study. During this trip, plans were made to tour Las Vegas to enjoy some sightseeing for three days.

As you are all aware, Las Vegas is known as the adult ‘Disneyland’ and was quite an enjoyable place for both adults and children alike. The one thing that took me by surprise was the mass of people everywhere we went. I would expect that a large Japanese city would be overcrowded. However, I was not accustomed to seeing so many people at once in America.

As we walked around during those three days, we saw splendid fountains, the ‘Venice’ of Italy, the ‘Eiffel Tower’ of Paris, the ‘New York City’ of the United States. We were a group of fifteen, not one of us fluent in English. Furthermore, with the majority of us being from Nagano-ken, the throngs of people were also foreign to us. The person who undertook the role of our guide during this trip was the 15-year-old high school freshman, B-kun.

He carefully watched over everyone so no one would get lost (including adults). He accepted this responsibility for the duration of our stay in Las Vegas. He made sure that he was visible at all times by raising his hand everywhere we went. Throughout our stay, B-kun’s conduct impressed all the accom-panying teachers.

Could a Japanese child who is a freshman in high school (15 years old) singlehandedly be able to take care of many people (who don’t speak the same language, no less) in a similar situation? He has been homeschooled throughout his education. I have never met his father but his mother is very proper mannered, learned and extremely reliable.

Even though he has not attended any formal schools, how has he been able to acquire the ability to conduct himself in such a sophisticated manner? How was this knowledge nurtured?

What is the condition of our children in Japan who attend formal schools? They have neither the perseverance nor concentration, nor the ability to put forth effort. They also lose their temper so easily when things don’t go the way they want. What makes them such self-centered human beings?

B-kun is here in Matsumoto earnestly observing the children’s lessons. Furthermore, he is studying very seriously to work on his own pianism.

What is most important in bringing up children is not what they learn from formal education in schools but what kind of influence they have had from their parents within the home environment. There are so many issues to contemplate when it comes to education.

Children are wonderful:
Every child grows up.
How they turn out depends on the parents.

By Haruko Kataoka

From the Matsumoto Suzuki Piano Newsletter
Vol.12 No.6, November 05, 2002
Translated by Chisa Aoki and Teri Paradero
Edited by Karen Hagberg
Illustrations by Juri Kataoka

The parents and children of the Matsumoto Piano Department were fortunate to hear the wonderful concert performed by Mr. Seizo Azuma on October 25, 2002.

Just the other day, Seizo’s mother was recalling how, when Seizo was in kindergarten, he would practice quite a bit: one hour before school, one hour after school, and one hour before bedtime. On Sunday, it was 5 hours. Upon hearing this, Seizo’s response was, “Wow, I practiced that much?” This was a surprise to him.

When I heard this I just thought how wonderful children are. They are not yet aware of how strict it is in their own home environment compared to other families. So while they might complain, they do what the parents want them to do. Consequently, because of this difference in discipline with other households, concentration, patience, and the ability to exert effort are developed. Furthermore, the daily listening to the wonderful music of the great composers, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, etc, become a gift, an inheritance all their own.

The practice times of their childhood years may seem too stringent to other people, but the child does not suffer any damage or hurt. Instead, it nourishes their mind and as a result, children develop into strong, self-reliant human beings.

Children are all so wonderful and I sincerely hope their parents would be just as wonderful.

Suzuki-L discussion group:

Piano Basics Foundation
Upcoming Workshops/Events

February, 12-16, 2009
Orange County, California

Suzuki Piano Basics Teacher Research Workshop
with Keiko Ogiwara and Keiko Kawamura
Contact Mei Ihara 714-997-8692

February, 19-23, 2009
Louisville, Kentucky

Suzuki Piano Basics Teacher Research Workshop with
Keiko Ogiwara and Keiko Kawamura
Contact Bruce Boiney 502-241-5921

March 10-12, 2009
Tucson, Arizona

Suzuki Piano Workshop with Karen Hagberg
Contact: Ann Taylor 520-881-0452

March 13-14, 2009
Phoenix, Arizona

Suzuki Piano Workshop with Karen Hagberg
Contact: Vicki Seil 480-234-9003

April 23-26, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia

Suzuki Piano Basics Workshop with Bruce Boiney
Contact: Jocelyn McQuire 404-524-5800

June 2-6, 2009
Louisville, Kentucky

University of Louisville Suzuki Piano Institute
Contact: Bruce Boiney 502-241-5921

July 5-9, 2009
Tacoma, Washington

Suzuki Piano Festival with Bruce Boiney
Contact: Jacki Block 253-759-7213

August, 1-15, 2009
Davis, California

International Suzuki Piano Basics 10-Piano Concert
Mondavi Center for the Arts
Contact Linda Nakagawa 916-422-2952

The events listed above are for the information of Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation members and others.
Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation does not endorse, sanction, or sponsor events.

To add or change items on this list and on the Suzuki Piano Basics website, contact
Karen Hagberg, 585-244-0490

Attention All Members

Our membership dues ($25) are collected for each calendar year and are now due. Please take care of sending in your checks to our treasurer Linda Nakagawa (242 River Acres Drive, Sacramento CA 95831) now in order to appear in our printed membership directory.

One reason Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation has been able to hold the membership fee at $25 is that we do not spend the money to hound our members by mail for renewals. Thanks very much.

Please send corrections to Kenneth Wilburn, Senior Web Editor

To the Kataoka Sensei Memorial.
To the Suzuki Piano Basics Home Page.

First Online Edition: 19 May 2009
Last Revised: 9 March 2012