Volume 8.3, May/June 2003

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

Dr. Karen Hagberg

Web Editor
Kenneth Wilburn

Hard Copy Illustrations
Juri Kataoka

Leah Brammer - Media
Rita Burns - Workshops
Renee Eckis - Translation Coordinator
Cathy Williams Hargrave - Editions

Gregory Naumenko

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

Deadline for Next Issue: 15 June 2003

Classical Music is Food For the Heart

By Dr. Haruko Kataoka
Matsumoto, Japan

There is one very important difference that distinguishes Dr. Shinichi Suzuki's method, known as Talent Education, from previous methods of music education. This is the request to parents and teachers, "Please let the children listen to music every day."

It may be the same music. Please let them listen to music repeatedly, again and again, from morning to night, all day long. Think about it. Newborn babies get to speak their native language fluently simply by hearing the conversation of their mothers and families. It is like hearing the same piece of music every day.

I heard that long ago a king did an experiment. He had been wondering what would happen if nobody spoke to babies. What kind of language would such babies speak? Far from being able to speak any words, all of the babies in the experiment died.

This story can prove that a baby cannot learn language unless he or she hears language, that it is through language that the adults around the baby convey their love. We must give the baby's heart the appropriate food for the heart: love.

In our current civilized society in which everything is convenient, may I say too convenient, we watch and listen to things on a television screen, something we were unable to do a long time ago. But now information overload crams our brains with information. We can eat food from all over the world which we could not do a long time ago. We get plenty of nutrition, but we also are becoming too fat.

What I really want to say is, "Don't forget the food for the heart." Of course, children get warm love from their parents, but in addition to this please let them hear classical music (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc.). Classical music is the most supreme food for the heart.

The other day I heard a good story. During a summer break, somebody decided to conduct an experiment on growing radish sprouts. He divided the sprouts into three groups. The first heard classical music. The second heard rock music. The third heard no music at all. The sprouts hearing classical music grew the best, and the water did not turn bad at all. The group with no music not only did not grow well, but the water turned bad. I have heard a similar story from a sake (rice wine) maker. He plays Mozart throughout his sake factory, and his delicious sake wins prizes at competitions.

Recently, a book came out entitled Message from the Water. One may really understand after reading this book. If water is exposed to classical music for a long time, its quality changes. The author took photographs of water crystals under a microscope. He observed that, after hearing the music, poor quality water with bad crystal formations transforms into good quality water with good crystals.

As I was reading this book I imagined that water is heart. Almost 80% of the human body is water. We must hear classical music every day to maintain the quality of the essence of our heart and body. Radish sprouts can grow well. No doubt, the human body can acquire a good condition in the same way. I recall visiting a children's hospital in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. I heard classical music playing quietly throughout the hospital. I asked the doctor why they played the music, and he answered that music aided the healing of the most seriously ill patients. Good classical music is food for the heart. For forty years I have taught children in Matsumoto. All the children who listened to much good classical music grew up excellently as people and found employment in their desired fields.

Everybody, beginning this year, choose the best possible performances on CD. And please let children hear this music with the hope that their heart will develop wonderfully. Please do this.

Translated by Michiko Katayama
Edited by Dr. Karen Hagberg
Hard Copy Illustrations by Juri Kataoka
From Matsumoto Piano Basics Newsletter
Volume 12, No. 8 (January 2003)

Some Nitty-gritty Information

By Rita Burns
5344 Angelina Avenue
Carmichael, CA. 95608

The list of participating teachers and students who will be traveling to Japan for the 2003 Ten Piano Concert has just been distributed. We will leave on October 3l, and the concert date is November 16, 2003. Student applications are now closed, but you may register as a teacher until June 15.

So far, seventeen teachers and 24 students have registered. There is still plenty of time for you to send your application to Karen Hagberg. Participating teachers have sent a minimum of $200.00 to participate, and a $50.00 registration fee. When we get to Japan, teachers and students will pay a little less than $150.00 for a round trip bus ticket from the Narita Airport near Tokyo to Matsumoto. If we want a video of the concert, it will be close to $100.00. A sightseeing trip for teachers bringing students will cost around $50.00 per person. Everyone is asked to donate at least $40.00 to UNICEF.

The remaining fees include the plane ticket and the fees to stay either in a local hotel or a home-stay. If I remember right, the local hotel (The Buena Vista, very nice) costs around $80.00 per night, and if you stay in a Japanese home, a nice thank you with at least 30,000 yen (about $250 US) should be discreetly placed under your pillow when you leave.

One of my 13 year-old students will accompany me to Japan this year. He is in Book 6 and is in the process of polishing Mozart's Sonata, K330, 1st movement. He may be asked to play anything before that, or even after, depending on where he is needed in the concert. I know it is a very difficult task accommodating everyone and placing students in pieces. I have observed this process locally in Sacramento. Whatever he plays, I know from experience that he will have a rich learning experience. The choice of the piece is really not that important.

What is important is that I have him as ready as possible to participate. I am very fortunate that he and I will also participate in the 2003 Sacramento Ten Piano Concert before we go to Japan. That is our classroom. The rehearsals will focus on the important teaching and practice points in each piece. I would not take a student to Japan without having that experience. I still worry when they go, but I know that we both will learn a lot.

This leads me to why I am writing to you. I am a pretty cautious person. I don't like to jump into things until I know the lay of the land. I will continue to share with you the nitty-gritty of these 2 experiences like costs, where to stay, and what to expect so that you will hopefully be better informed to make a decision to go. Please let me know what questions you have about workshops. And, for those of you who have attended Piano Basics Workshops, please share your experiences in the Piano Basics Newsletter.

It is not too late for you to register for the workshop and Sacramento Ten Piano Concert, (August 1 to 16), or for the workshop and Ten Piano Concert in Japan, (November 1 to 16). Please think of each of these experiences as a two week course in how to teach Suzuki Piano Basics. If you have questions about how to register for Japan, you can call Karen Hagberg at (585) 244-0490, email:, or for Sacramento, Linda Nakagawa at (916) 422-2952, email:

I hope to see you there!

Thank You, Cheryl!

With this issue, Cheryl Kraft, a founding Board Member and Officer of Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation, retires from her position as layout designer and editor of this newsletter. Cheryl has served our organization in this capacity for eight years.

As a founding Director, Cheryl also worked tirelessly on our original incorporation in Washington State, and served as the organization's Secretary until two years ago, maintaining the history and important documents of the organization. She has also made Dr. Kataoka's travel arrangements on her travels to the United States for longer than the organization has existed.

Cheryl, Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation salutes you for all your work and dedication!

Children are Wonderful!

By Dr. Haruko Kataoka
Matsumoto, Japan

I have a four-year-old student who began lessons two months ago. His mother is very disciplined, and has taught him to say, "Hello" and "Good-bye, teacher" very well and politely.

At his first lesson I gave his mother a cassette tape of Volume 1, the pieces he will first learn. I asked her to play it all the time every day. I told her it could be very quiet, but asked her please not to forget to play the tape. I also recommended a CD performed by Mineo Hayashi: J.S. Bach's unaccompanied cello sonatas. This is a new CD. I told the mother that it is good to listen to good pieces performed by good performers every day, such as the ones on this CD.

The other day in our lesson, the mom told me a delightful story. She said that the little boy stopped watching television after she began playing the CD. And she said he seemed more settled down than before. Children are wonderful. They naturally understand Mr. Hayashi's calm performance and Bach's wonderful compositions, and are easily affected by them. We must not be lazy in our effort to give children a good environment.

Translated by Michiko Katayama
Edited by Dr. Karen Hagberg
Hard Copy Illustrations by Juri Kataoka
From Matsumoto Piano Basics Newsletter
Volume 12, No. 8 (January 2003)

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New Argerich Documentary

By Karen Hagberg

Fans of the legendary pianist, Martha Argerich, can look forward to seeing the new documentary by Georges Cachot: Martha Argerich, Conversation Nocturne. The premiere showing in the United States was held on April 26, 2003 at the Swiss American Film Festival in New York City with the filmmaker in attendance.

This is the very first filmed conversation with Argerich, who has notoriously avoided interviews throughout her long career. The film is subtitled, as she speaks mostly in French, occasionally breaking into English, Spanish or German. In addition to extensive footage of her candid and revealing discussions, there are some wonderful excerpts from performances at various stages of her career, photographs from her early childhood, and some entertaining glimpses of recent rehearsals.

Aside from being a valuable resource about this great artist, the documentary is a very fine film in itself, with beautiful camera work and sound. It is also extremely entertaining.

Until the film is available on videotape and DVD, look for it at your local art theatres or film festivals and eventually on public television. Don't miss it!

Reconciliation of Editions of The Suzuki Piano School
Volume 2, Part 12: Sonatina, Op. 36, #1 Allegro

By Cathy Williams Hargrave
Rowlett, Texas

The purpose of this series is to compare the Zen-On and Warner Brothers (WB) editions of the Suzuki Piano School and inform teachers of fingerings and articulations taught by Dr. Haruko Kataoka, the co-founder of the Suzuki Piano School, which do not appear in past or present editions. Since Dr. Kataoka uses all the fingerings in the Zen-On edition of this piece, no special mention will be made after each measure listed. Implied fingerings not actually listed in the editions are indicated in parentheses.

Reconciliation of Right Hand

Measure 1, 2, 5, 16, 17, 24, 25, 28
WB:             3     5     3     1
               Do    Mi    Do    Sol
Zen-On:         2     4     2     1
Measure 22; (see note below)
WB:             3     4     5     3     5     4     3     2
               Re  Mi flat  Fa   Re    Fa  Mi flat  Re   Do
Zen-On:         2     3     4     2     5     4     3     2
Measure 28
WB:             3     1     3     5     4
               Do    Sol   Do    Mi    Mi
Zen-On:         2     1     2     4     3
Measure 29, 1st. Quarter Note
WB:            3
Zen-On:        2

Reconciliation of Left Hand

Measure 1 and 2
WB:            2
Zen-On:        3
Measure 7, 2nd. Quarter Note
WB:            5
Zen-On:        4
Measure 9; (see note below)
WB:            5      (1)      (3)      (1)
            Fa sharp   Re       La       Re
Zen-On:        4      (1)      (2)      (1)
Measure 18
WB:            3       2
               Ti     Do
Zen-On:        4       3
Measure 20, 3rd. Quarter Note
WB:            Finger 1
Zen-On:        Finger 2
Measure 33
WB:            Finger 5
Zen-On:        Finger 4
This concludes Part Twelve.

Note: names are listed without changing the syllable for a note with an accidental; therefore E flat is listed as Mi flat and F sharp is Fa sharp.

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First Online Edition: 27 May 2003
Last Revised: 8 March 2012