Volume 6.1, January/February 2001

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.

Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation News

Karen Hagberg and Cheryl Kraft

Web Editor
Kenneth Wilburn

Cheryl Kraft

Hard Copy Illustrations
Juri Kataoka

Leah Brammer - Media
Rita Burns - Workshops
Cathy Williams Hargrave - Editions

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

Send Articles to:
Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation
P.O. Box 342, Yachats, OR 97498
Fax: 541-547-4829

Deadline for Next Issue: February 5

All Babies are Born with Ability

by Dr. Haruko Kataoka

I have sensed something for many, many years. It comes from the accumulation of my experience teaching young children over a long period of time.

All young children understand things correctly. But because children cannot express their understanding in words, adults believe that they know nothing and that only adults are intelligent. When I teach piano to a three-year-old, if I demonstrate something (I do not explain in words) almost 100% of them understand right away. If I try to teach the same thing to adults, they cannot get it even if I add a detailed explanation. It is absolutely true that human beings are superior when they are children.

However, there is one problem. Babies, who are all born with ability, can never use it if they do not practice using it. No matter how excellent the ability, without education they never have the chance to use it, and finally it is lost. Lately this phenomenon has been studied by medical researchers. It seems that infants are born with many more brain cells than we end up with as adults. The cells which go unused finally are unable to be used, and we grow up using comparatively very few of our brain cells. Just recently, people are discovering these facts in a more clear and scientific way.

This August in the United States someone showed me an article in Newsweek magazine (16 August 2000) entitled "Music Stimulates Children's Brains." This article cited research by a psychologist at the University of Toronto and a number of other studies which were reported at a conference at the Academy of Science in New York. One study noted that babies, while listening to classical music, have quizzical expressions when the music changes tempo or goes from major to minor. It was found that babies like consonance, so they have an uncomfortable expression when they hear dissonance.

Another study found that musicians have an enlarged frontal lobe of the brain, especially those who began studying classical music before the age of seven. Another researcher divided second-graders into three groups: the first group was given piano lessons and extra work in math, the second group studied Japanese and math, and the third group was given nothing special. Four months later, the first group scored much higher than students in the other groups on a math test.

A research group at Beth Israel Hospital reported that as people play the piano and move their fingers, they experience measurable changes in their brains.

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki realized all of this when he started Talent Education after the second World War fifty years ago. He always said, "All children grow up. The important thing is how to raise them."

This means that one child's future is determined by the kind of environment provided by the adults around them (the parents) and how they are brought up.

True education is that which teaches children to use their ability. We have to teach them constantly, throughout the time when they are little. A Chinese poet named Shuki wrote, "People get old easily, but learning is difficult and takes a long time."

A basic of life is to teach and raise children every day. Let us continue to give them practice using their ability with love, sometimes strictly, encouraging them, not hurrying or being lazy.

Translated by Michiko Tatayama
Edited by Dr. Karen Hagberg
Hard Copy Cartoons Illustrated by Juli Kataoka
From Matsumoto Newsletter
Volume 10, Number 5, 2 October 2000

Experiences in Japan

Students and Teachers Report on the 10-Piano Concert 2000 in Matsumoto

On November19, 2000 the eleventh 10-Piano Concert was held In Matsumoto, Japan. Seventy-two students, teachers end parents from the United states and four from Singapore attended. Here are their impressions:

The Students

I learned that I like sushi... It was amazing that so many people came to hear us play. Jackson Hunt, age 13, Atlanta, Georgia, student of Leah Brammer.

It was fun to learn how to use chopsticks... Paul Bailey, age 15, Atlanta, Georgia, student of Robin Blankenship.

My trip to Japan was different than I thought it would be... The school kids are not really all that different from the kids here... The food in the house where I stayed was VERY different: sushi, cow stomach, octopus, yam fries, for example. Katie Pokorney, age 13, Maumelle, Arkansas, student of Pam Werner.

I enjoyed Matsumoto Castle (the whole reason for Matsumoto!), the amusement park (which held several world records), and best of all, going horseback riding! By the way, the concert was great! Katie Blair, age 12, Carmichael, California, student of Rita Burns.

It was a little scary at first being in a whole other country... My homestay family understood our need to have something from home, so they took us to McDonald's and rented American movies for us... The practices were a little intimidating at first... I realized that Dr. Kataoka really is a wonderful teacher... Going to Japan is the most exciting thing I have ever done... Kara Cummings, age 13, Lincoln, Nebraska - student of Gloria Elliott.

They eat a lot more meat in Japan than I expected... I liked sleeping on the floor... I loved everything about the concert. Deleste Magda, age 10, Auburn, California, student of Rita Burns. This was my first trip to Japan and hopefully not my last... It was hard to communicate with my homestay family, but they were very caring towards me and another student from Arizona. It was an incredible experience because of the presence of such talented students from both the United States and Japan coming together for a great concert. Kaitlyn Lucas, age 17, Sacramento, California, student of Linda Nakagawa.

Our worry was unnecessary. what a life changing event for both girls! Judy Pokorney, mother, Maumelle, Arkansas.

Our pieces really improved during the time we were in Japan. The students playing Für Elise were really pushed hard by Dr. Kataoka and asked to make many changes right before the concert. Then at the concert they sounded phenomenal. So practice does make perfect! Mark Bailey, age 13, Atlanta - Georgia, student of Robin Blankenship.

My trip to Japan... will definitely be one of the high points of my life. I enjoyed the rehearsals very much... because not only did I have to do it, I was ABLE to do it. Megan Pokorney, age 15, Maumelle, Arkansas, student of Pam Werner.

I scored a lot of time behind the piano... but my work paid off as I made no mistakes in either concert... Japan has forever made an impression on my life... Katie Shrader, age 14, Lincoln, Nebraska, student of Gloria Elliott.

The Koiwai family was very friendly and took us many places: to school, shopping to the new mall which is three stories high, and to visit Dr. Suzuki's memorial. I tried a Teriyaki burger at McDonalds! With the whole group of American students we visited the Mayor of Matsumoto and toured the Matsumoto Castle. Another time we went to an amusement park, where I rode the world's longest, fastest, and tallest roller coaster four times! Playing with nine other students meant I needed to practice twice as hard... The metronome became one of my best friends! My experiences in Japan were unbelievable and fun. I was able to go to many places, meet many people, participate in a 10-piano concert, - live in a family bigger than three people, and visit a Japanese school... During the rehearsals, we didn't sound really good on certain parts... We got through the two concerts... Everyone was happy and relieved the concert was over... I think this has been a good experience... Celina Chun, age 13, Sunnyvale, California, student of Fumi Kawasaki.

I want to return to Japan to study when I am in college. The scenery is breathtaking. I loved the mountains and the fall colors. Elizabeth Steinbart, age 15, Gilbert, Arizona, student of Vicki Seil.

I was excited about every rehearsal! It was such an incredible experience playing in the concert!... I never get tired of walking around Matsumoto. Brandon Seil, age 15, Gilbert, Arizona, student of Vicki Seil.

I had a great time with my host family, shuffling dictionaries and making jokes... The concert hall was fantastic. The sound from either all 10 Pianos or the construction of the hall, or both, created an atmosphere unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Martin Hunt, age 14, Atlanta, Georgia, student of Leah Brammer.

I had fun and a wonderful time... Mina Fujimoto, age 13, Sacramento California, student of Linda Nakagawa.

The Teachers

Last summer I took Dr. Kataoka and fifteen Japanese students and teachers to Las Vegas for sightseeing between their workshops. It was wonderful seeing all of them again and meeting some of their parents.

The tone Dr. Kataoka requests at the rehearsals is what I want to keep in my memory and never forget. Despite being so busy with this big concert, Dr. Kataoka took the time to give every visiting teacher a private lesson, which gave us even more to take home with us!

The concert was incredible!... At the banquet for Dr. Kataoka's birthday on the last night, it was very special talking with students and families from Japan and the United States who all share the same goal of nurturing the lives of children through the study of Suzuki Piano Basics. Many of us were taking pictures to remember this very special time in our lives... All of us were filled with inspiration...

Vicki Seil, Gilbert, Arizona

The whole event, although described as a 10-Piano Concert, is really about love and dedication to high ideals. It teaches us what can be done... The students I brought have 'changed' because of the experience, and so has my teaching. Our enthusiasm seems to rub off onto my other students...

I have also learned a great deal from the other American teachers who participated, not just musically, but personally. It is a diverse and dedicated group and I feel fortunate to be able to call them friends in the Suzuki sense that we are all there to learn and share any insights that we have for the betterment of all. There is also a sense of concern and best wishes for each other rather than competition. It is wonderful.

Gloria Elliott, Lincoln, Nebraska

Many pieces at the concert were flawless, and most were better than they ever were in rehearsal... The changes in the sound from the dress rehearsal to the concert the following day were truly amazing... I learned how to take a piece that a student has 'memorized' and raise it to a higher level. Ten students studying one piece together learn ten times as fast and ten times as much... It didn't matter that the rehearsals were in Japanese. I knew exactly what was being asked for.

What a better way to learn in contrast to the Western model of advanced students competing against each other for top place in contests, never even getting to hear each other play as they audition in private rooms for individual judges.

The generosity of the homestay families was amazing...

Robin Blankenship, Atlanta, Georgia

Going to Japan was a dream come true that ended up being even better than the dream... The beautiful tone is still constantly ringing in my ear. I love teaching piano more than ever...

Pam Wemer, Maumelle, Arkansas

Matsumoto 10-Piano Concert 2000

by Rita Burns, Sacramento, CA

In a 10-Piano Concert, ten students play the same piece simultaneously on 10-Pianos. Why have such a concert? I could really write a book. But I will spare you. The most important thing is that each participant (student and teacher) is challenged to perform at his/her highest level of ability. Within a matter of a couple weeks, that ability can improve.

Teachers are asked to bring students who play their piece hands alone and together, get ready with good posture, play without moving their wrists up and down, and keep their hands and forearms above the keyboard. The teachers who may bring students have all studied with Dr. Kataoka.

The rehearsals constitute the most important learning experience. The rehearsals for the visiting Americans began the day after we arrived and went on for almost three weeks. The Japanese students had already been rehearsing for a number of weeks before we got there.

When new to Suzuki Piano Basics, I frantically looked for a book that would describe in detail how to teach. I was on the right track in my search for a specific method of instruction, but I was looking in the wrong place. Music is an art form that involves sound and the use of the body. It was like trying to learn to play basketball by reading a book. Rehearsals for a 10-Piano Concert gave me what I was looking for, i.e., specific instruction in how and where in each piece to practice.

Kataoka Sensei has written in this newsletter very helpful articles describing the details of how to practice each piece. This instruction can give our brains good information, but it means nothing without the experience of our senses of sight and hearing, and even touch and smell. You just have to be there to experience first-hand with your whole body what she is explaining in these articles. Just as playing the piano is a whole body experience, observing the rehearsals is a whole body experience. This aspect of the experience cannot be conveyed in a book. There is no better training for serious Suzuki Piano Basics teachers than observing 10-Piano Concert rehearsals.

Watching Kataoka Sensei in action is a big part of this training. We all observed that her energy and concentration are what bring students to higher levels. She works harder than anyone around her and never ceases to persist in getting the most she can from each student.

Her example leads me to think about myself in my own studio. We all have good days and not so good days. And many of us have accumulated a great deal of information about how to teach, and we have worked on our own playing. But without an absolute willingness to go all-out, all the time, without being lazy or self-conscious, with only your students' improvement in mind, you cannot be the best you can be. This takes a change of attitude.

I hope this inspires all teachers reading this to come to the 10-Piano Concert in Sacramento in August, 2001, so you may feel, see, and hear the intensity of Dr. Kataoka's love for the students. We, too, are her students, and our contact with her can teach us all how to become the best we can be.

Experiences in Japan:

Students and Teachers Report on the 10-Piano Concert 2000 in Matsumoto

This Time In Matsumoto

by Linda Nakagawa, Sacramento, CA

My students have participated in five Matsumoto 10-Piano Concerts. I have made it a high priority for myself to make the travel to Japan and observe the rehearsals because I always learn so much.

I have learned from Dr. Kataoka that everything is the teacher's responsibility.

It is true what Dr. Suzuki and Dr. Kataoka have said that students play like their teacher. I remember our first 10-Piano Concert. Three of my students performed the Mozart Turkish March. As I looked at all ten students playing, my three all had one of their shoulders tilted the same way in a very strange manner. I was shocked and embarrassed! Of course I did not TEACH them to play that way on purpose, they just acquired my habit without my saying a thing. It was no fault of the students. Students are innocent. I have learned from Dr. Kataoka that everything is the teacher's responsibility.

At this year's concert, Bruce Boiney and I were the two American teachers who performed. We played the third movement of the Haydn Sonata in Book 5. We arrived in Matsumoto very late Friday night, and our first rehearsal was the next day! In my opinion, our group was the worst in that day's rehearsal. That was enough incentive for me to start practicing in earnest. A couple days later, we had lessons with Dr. Kataoka on the piece and acquired more motivation to practice. Of course we could play the notes, but I sensed Dr. Kataoka was trying to get more from us!

I rode in a car that constantly had Lili Kraus's recording of the Haydn third movement playing, and I also listened to that recording every night. As I practiced the left hand alone and right hand alone, many thoughts went through my mind. "I can play the notes, why does it sound so bad? Why is my left hand getting stiff? I think my left fourth finger is retarded. Why are these triplets so much more difficult than the dotted eighth and sixteenth notes? Why do these octaves sound so bad? I wish my hand was larger so I wouldn't stiffen up so much when I play these broken octaves."

In my opinion, our group was the worst in that day's rehearsal.

As I practiced, I felt myself beginning to improve. I could hear it and I could feel it. I found myself wanting to practice more! What a surprise! When Bruce and I were together, we looked for pianos to practice on. We complained, "I've practiced this part thousands of times. I have no problem playing alone, but as soon as someone enters the room I can't do it! I need more time to practice! Maybe Suzuki students can wait until the last minute and do fine in the concert, but I can't. Why do we sound like robots? How do we get those first two bars to sound beautiful? How does Lili Kraus make it sound so easy? Why? How?" We kept practicing on our own. The piece started to sound a little better during the rehearsals. At one time someone even said to me, "You guys weren't the worst today!"

As I started to get more confidence in my ability to play, I found myself getting bored doing all the repetitions. I made myself practice anyway. My roommates knew I was getting bored, so one came in and said, "Lunch time!" I was so happy that I jumped up off the chair. Then she said, "I was joking."

Everyone laughed, and I had to go back to the room and practice, very dejected. Actually the timing of this incident was very good because prior to this time I really did not want to break for lunch or for any reason. I knew I needed to practice and was willing to make sacrifices not to embarrass myself during rehearsals. What I learned from this practice is that everyone gets bored doing hands separately. When a student starts to get more confidence, it is a very dangerous time. As a teacher now I know I must become more demanding and give the student a greater challenge to become better. (I hope I can do it.)

"You guys weren't the worst today!"

Finally, we had rehearsals and the actual concert. The sound was so completely different in the concert hall and playing on nine-foot concert grands created another challenge. Bruce and I both wanted more time to get used to the differences, but tried our best. I think this is how the children benefit. They learn that they are a part of a team, so everyone wants to do their best for the group! It is a great way to learn how to bring students up to another higher level.

...By observing the rehearsals, our understanding can deepen more than ten times.

I really want to encourage teachers to observe rehearsals. It is fine to attend the concert, but if you really want to learn about how to become a better teacher you must attend the rehearsals. Everyone who has observed Dr. Kataoka teach individual lessons has learned a great deal. But by observing the rehearsals, our understanding can deepen more than ten times.

I heard that a person who attended Matsumoto rehearsals learned a lot more when he observed the Sacramento 10-Piano Concert in 1999. I understand why. The students in Matsumoto are already at a high level so it is a little more difficult to understand how to get them better. The students in Sacramento are not as highly developed, so it was easier to see the leaps of improvement during the rehearsals. Therefore, it is easier to understand how to go home into our own studios and get our own students to improve.

I want to encourage EVERYONE to observe the rehearsals for the 10-Piano Concert in Sacramento, scheduled for August 17, 2001. All teachers who participated in the 1999 10-Piano Concert and all teachers who have taken students to play in the Matsumoto 10-Piano Concerts are welcome and encouraged to bring students to play in this one. We want students to arrive on August 4th or 5th. This event is not a festival, but rather it constitutes serious study for students and teachers alike. Perhaps this is the best possible study.

This is a huge production with a budget of a little more than $100,000. With that in mind, start thinking of ways to help with raising funds. Our local Sacramento group conducts year-round fund-raisers for events such as this. Please help!

Dr. Kataoka's 2001 Workshop Schedule

June 4-8

Louisville, Kentucky

Teacher Workshop and Student Institute

Bruce Boiney, Director
173 Sears Ave., Suite 273
Louisville, KY 20207
Phone/Fax: (502) 896-0416

June 13-17

Orange County, CA

Teacher Workshop

Mei Ihara, Director
321 N. Deepspring Rd.
Orange, CA 92669
Phone: (714) 997-8692

August 17

Sacramento, CA

10-Piano Concert
(August 4-16 - Rehearsals)

Linda Nakagawa, Director
242 River Acres Drive
Sacramento, CA 95831
Phone/Fax: (916) 422-2952

Make Your Plans Now!

Piano Basics Foundation membership dues must be received by March 15, 2001 to continue receiving newsletters without interruption.

Trip to the U.S.A. 2000

In August Dr. Kataoka and four other teachers from Japan brought eleven students to workshops in Rochester, New York and Sacramento, CalifornIa. Here are their impressions of the trip:

This year I am beginning to think that Japan has finally woken up as a cultural country, since there were more boys on this trip than girls for a change. I am very proud of that. A wise old philosopher once said, "If you really love your children, let them travel." Everyone was fine, nobody got sick. Instead, they became stronger and matured because they tried hard to carry on without their parents.

This time, one of the boys who came with us began piano lessons eighteen years ago as a 4-year-old who spoke baby talk, and now he is a student in medical school. He never practiced when he was in middle school and high school, but he came to his lessons without fail. After entering medical school he met a professor who loves piano. He suddenly began playing again with ease and enjoyment. Even his acquaintances in the music conservatory were astounded at how well he can play. This makes me very happy, because this student embodies Dr. Suzuki's idea that our purpose is not to raise professional musicians, but that it is important to educate people through music.

Travelling in the United States: Japanese Students' Observations:
What Have You Resolved as a Result of This Trip?

I will try to learn five different languages. I will write my own profile in English for the program, because the translation of it was terrible this time. (young man, age 22)

I have to appreciate my parents, who gave me this wonderful opportunity. (girl, age 16)

I want to travel again because it makes me mentally strong. (boy, age 10)

I will try doing everything for myself without leaving it to others. (girl, age 14)

If it takes, 20, 40, or 100 years, I promise to keep playing the piano until I can play Bach's Italian Concerto. (girl, age 12)

I decided not to quit piano until I have completed all the Suzuki repertoire. (girl, age 10)

How was Your Concert?

I didn't play my scale sections very well, so I have to practice more when I get home. (girl, age 10)

I think I played better than I ever have before. (boy, age 10)

It made me happy that so many people listened to the piece that was so full of my feeling. (girl, age 16)

I made many mistakes, but I think I can play because I am completely in the music. (boy, age 13)

I thought I played well and that everybody played well. (boy, age 15)

I was in good spirits when I played because the audience had a big reaction. They are good at enjoying themselves. (young man, age 22)

What Did You Notice About American Culture or Daily Life?

I was surprised to see people eating grapes without peeling them. But then I tried them and found that the skin is thinner than on Japanese grapes. (girl, age 14)

Everybody has a computer at home. (boy, age 14)

They use dryers to dry clothes and dishwashers to wash dishes. (girl, age 14)

I wondered how people can wear short sleeves and shorts in air-conditioned places. (boy, age 12)

It was easy for me to talk with American girls. I made more girlfriends than boyfriends. (boy, age 15)

I wonder why they eat sweets for breakfast? (boy, age 13)

I think American families eat out more than we do in Japan. (boy, age 13)

People can say anything without hesitation. Things that are embarrassing for me to say in Japanese are easy to say in English. (young man, age 22)

When I came to America four years ago I was in elementary school and couldn't speak any English. This time I was confident after having studied English for a few years. But people did not seem to understand what I was saying. I realized that my pronunciation must be wrong, even though I used correct grammar. (girl, age 16)

I envy Americans because it only costs 25 cents to play games that cost a dollar in Japan. They can play much more! (boy, age 10)

I wonder why American girls have such pretty and attractive faces. (boy, age 15)

What Did You Learn About Japan?

I noticed that Japanese people are not brave when they have to talk in front of many people. (boy, age 14)

I decided that Japanese food is really delicious after all. This is because I am Japanese and grew up in Japan. (boy, age l3)

Being out of the country I saw what is good and what is bad about Japan. (girl, age 13)

After travelling with my friend who has a handicap, I realized that Japan does not have enough resources for handicapped people. (girl, age l4)

After having so many problems trying to speak English, I was thankful how easy it is and natural that we can communicate and understand each other in Japanese. (boy, age 10)

Japanese people are not very good at communicating with each other. In the United States, strangers can speak to each other and this makes them feel good. (young man, age 22 and girl, age 16)

How was Your Home Stay?

It made me happy that they tried hard to learn some Japanese... It made me want to try hard to learn more English. (girl, age 16)

Even though we did not understand each other's words, we communicated with smiles. (boy, age 12)

They were very friendly. When they have fun or are surprised they express it much more than we do in Japan. I enjoyed being with them. They were always joking. (girl, age 12)

My host family in Rochester was delightful. The most interesting thing was that all the family members had different tastes, and at mealtimes they all made a fuss about the food. I enjoyed that a lot. My family in Sacramento was very high energy. I had stayed with them before. I always get lots of energy from them. (young man, age 22)

When we could not communicate, I looked at my dictionary very hard. (boy, age 13)

Whenever there was food I couldn't eat, they all became concerned about me, including the children. (girl, age 10)

Translated by Michiko Tatayama
Edited by Dr. Karen Hagberg
Six Hard Copy Cartoons Illustrated by Juli Kataoka
Dr. Haruko Kataoka
From Matsumoto Newsletter
Vol. 10, No. 4, September 1, 2000

Reconciling Editions:
A Guide for Teachers and Parents - Book 1

By Cathy Williams Hargrave, Rowlett, Texas

The editions of Volume 1 are relatively problem-free once the Twinkle Variations have been considered; however, a few places in each edition create a cause for concern.

The most obvious difference between all three editions is the order of pieces following the Twinkle Variations.

Piece # in Book     Zen-On        Summy-Birchard         Warner Bros.

     #2           Lightly Row      Lightly Row            Honey Bee
                  (in unison)      (in unison)           (in unison)

     #3           Honey Bee         Honey Bee              Cuckoo
                  (in unison)      (in unison)            (w/acc.)

     #4             Cuckoo           Cuckoo              Lightly Row
                  (in unison)       (w/acc.)              (w/acc.)

     #5             Cuckoo         Lightly Row       Fr. Children's Song
                   (w/acc.)         (w/acc.)

     #6           Lightly Row    Fr. Children's Song     London Bridge

Beginners first learn the right hand melody of these pieces and add the left hand accompaniments later; therefore, the order does not seem to be a major concern. However, all three editions indicate that Lightly Row and Honeybee are played hands together in unison. Zen-On even has a Cuckoo in unison and another with an accompaniment. Dr. Kataoka does not ask her students to play the melody of these three pieces hands together. She instructs teachers to avoid asking beginners to play in unison because it hinders the development of skillful technique and tone production.

It is known that Dr. Suzuki thought beginning piano students would benefit from learning melodies with the left hand in order to develop an ability equal to that of the right hand. This may be one reason the Twinkle Variations, Honeybee, Lightly Row, and Cuckoo were printed the way they are. Dr. Suzuki later asked Zen-On to publish yet another edition of Volume 1 in which the left hand plays the melody of each piece in the bass while the right hand plays the accompaniment in the treble! In Japan, this book is still in print.

Dr. Kataoka asks students to learn the melodies of Honeybee, Cuckoo and Lightly Row in the left hand by itself as a prelude to the study of accompaniments. In lessons, she accompanies them by playing the accompaniment in the right hand. She also teaches the LH accompaniment for Honeybee, which appears in none of these editions. It is the same as the one on her recording and is published in Methode Rose, by Ernest Van de Velde (Tokyo, Ongaku No Tomo Sha, 1950) on page 17 under the French title Petite abeille bourdonne in the key of G. It is a simple accompaniment for students to learn by ear. Allegretto 2 is the first piece in the Suzuki repertoire which is really meant to be played in unison. By the time students are ready to play it hands together, they have carefully studied each hand separately, attained a certain level of technical development, and are ready to raise that level.

London Bridge - The fingering in the right hand of measures 3 and 7 deserves careful consideration. The Zen-On and Summy-Birchard editions have finger 1 playing Re in measure 3 and finger 2 on Re in measure 7. The Warner Bros. edition indicates that Re should be played each time with finger 1. In theory, the Warner Bros. edition seems logical because finger 1 consistently plays the same note. But actually, when playing hands together, students experience more confusion from the fingering of the Warner Bros. edition than the Zen-On/Summy-Birchard fingering. Dr. Kataoka teaches the Zen-On fingering and forewarns the parents to conscientiously help their children learn and drill the correct fingering.

Christmas-Day Secrets - The Zen-On and Summy-Birchard editions agree on fingerings but the Warner Bros. edition shows different fingerings in the right hand of measure 11 and 15. Dr. Kataoka teaches the fingerings in the Zen-On/Summy-Birchard editions.

This concludes the main points of Volume 1. The next column will begin with a comparison of the editions of Volume 2.

Please send corrections to Kenneth Wilburn, Web Editor for Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation News.

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First Online Edition: 8 March 2001
Last Revised: 8 March 2012