Amelia Seyssel - Music Studio
Teacher FAQs & News

FAQ-1: General coursework pre-requisites
(additional prerequisites may apply; see specific course description):

  • Participation status only (audit status is not allowed for Voice Coursework)
  • All coursework requires Active SAA membership status
  • Unit 1: ECC or Filosofía; plus completed and accepted Basic Audition/Application registered with SAA
  • Unit 2: completed Unit 1 registered with SAA
  • Unit 3: completed Unit 2 registered with SAA
  • Unit 4: completed Unit 3 registered with SAA
  • Units 5-7: completed and accepted Basic plus Advanced Auditions registered with SAA; plus completed Unit 3 registered with SAA
  • Additional Note: Units 1-3 must be taken 'in sequence'; Units 4 through 7 may be taken out of sequence if all other requirements are met
  • Teaching Strategies (Strategías), is now a training requirement in Latin America either as part of Unit 2, or after Unit 2, and before continuing to Unit 3; an instrument-specific Voice Strategías course is recommended to meet this requirement

Factors influencing the planning of Voice Teacher Training coursework include both Teacher Trainer availability as well as the potential numbers of teachers trained with sufficient credits to meet the requirements of offered Unit coursework.
For instruments such as Voice, with relatively small Association membership numbers, this can mean long waits between particular Unit course offerings.
As Units 1, 2, and 3 must be taken in sequence, prospective teachers-in-training are advised to take advantage of specific course offerings when they become available.

Upcoming Suzuki Voice Coursework in the SAA Region

NOTE: SAA Voice Unit Courses are now available in Online, Hybrid, and/or In-person formats. Be sure to read the course descriptions carefully.
For officially available SAA Units and other SAA coursework in Voice, check the SAA Website Events listing for Voice at this link.
Coursework is not OFFICIALLY AVAILABLE until SAA has formally approved the course offering. Any Coursework listed on this site is planned and assumes SAA approval. Course and Dates are not final until officially posted on the SAA website.

  • Voice Unit 3: ONLINE ONLY (Teacher Trainer: Amelia Seyssel)
    Official SAA Website posting: PENDING APPROVAL FROM SAA
    NOTE: Course and Dates are not final until officially posted on the SAA website.
    • Primary language is English with Spanish translator provided (included in the course fee)
    • Enrollment deadline: September 11, 2024
    • Minimum required enrollment: 3
    • COST: $550 USA/Canada; $325 Latin America
    • Class Dates: September 21, 22, 27, 29 & October 5, 6, 20
    • For additional questions, check with the Teacher Trainer at suzukivoiceusa(a)
    • Register through the Teacher Trainer: Amelia Seyssel; email: suzukivoiceusa(a)
      Supply your name and SAA Member ID number; the Teacher Trainer will add you to the roster; all prerequisites must be met.
      Teacher Trainer will invoice and receive payment through PayPal.
  • Voice Unit 1 HYBRID: In-person OR Online by teacher choice (Teacher Trainer: Mary Hofer)
    • Enrollment through the American Suzuki Institute (ASI)
    • Course Dates: during the Summer ASI program -- July 14 through 27; Check also for ASI-specific teacher scholarships
    • For more information contact the Teacher Trainer: Mary Hofer; email: mhofer(a)

Become a Suzuki Teacher...

Explore what it means to be a Suzuki Teacher by actively investing in your potential to teach the whole person ~ physical, social, emotional and cognitive ~ through developing a student's love for music-making and technical achievement.

A Suzuki Teacher...

  • Is actively invested in the 'whole person': physical, social, emotional and cognitive
  • Plans each lesson according to the unique needs of the individual student
  • Is attentive to each individual's unique development capacity as it changes through time: cognitive, emotional, and behavioral
  • Actively works with the parent to find the optimal path towards learning

Suzuki Teacher Training results in a Suzuki Teacher who is...

  • Trained in child and adolescent development -- both physical and behavioral
  • Trained to teach technical elements of the instrument tailored to the unique developmental capacity of the individual student through time
  • Trained to foster and grow the student's appreciation and sense of musical beauty
  • Trained to develop a positive sense of the student's own self-identity while fostering respect for others
  • Trained to created an environment where children feel safe and valued
  • Trained to combine an attitude of high expectations with a corresponding appreciation for each person's own pace and style of learning

Both Suzuki Voice Teacher Training and Suzuki Voice Teacher Workshops are offered on a regular basis within the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA). Some of these activities are offered online.

To locate current Suzuki Voice Teacher Workshops or to inquire about Suzuki Voice Teacher Training, contact any SAA Voice Teacher Trainer.

Current SAA Voice Teacher Trainers are:

  • Amelia Seyssel, TT SAA (Poughkeepsie, NY, USA); ESA Diploma & Member
    • Contact: suzukivoiceusa(a)
  • Mary Hofer, TT SAA (Stevens-Point, WI, USA)
    • Contact: mhofer(a)

All SAA Teacher Training Programs prescribe and include: an observation element and a lecture/discussion element. Beyond Unit 1 an applied teaching element is also recommended to be included. Topics generally included in SAA Voice Unit training include: Suzuki Philosophy, applied Suzuki Method, principle Teaching Points, Child Development, and pertinent Vocal Pedagogy.

All SAA Teacher Training Programs are designed as in-depth pedagogical studies for professional musicians. To qualify as a Participant in the courses, you must submit and pass an audition.

SAA Teacher Development Programs are structured in 'Units', each Unit covering a prescribed instrument-specific syllabus of study common to all SAA-Region teacher training for that instrument. The syllabus for each SAA Voice 'Unit' is designed to closely inter-relate to the equivalent level of study in other regions in the world providing a general uniformity of training content among all Suzuki Voice teachers in the world.

SAA Voice 'Units' generally correlate to the pedagogical progression of repertoire as defined by the Suzuki Voice 'core repertoire' trajectory. Units 1, 2 and 3 explicitly cover teaching techniques and repertoire directly correlated to the first three volumes of study. Units 4 and above cover teaching techniques applicable to each successive pedagogical step of study as well as careful in-depth study of pertinent selections from the international common repertoire pool.

A summary of the Suzuki Voice repertoire and pedagogical trajectory can be found at the SAA web-site: (Scroll down to sub-heading: Suzuki Voice Repertoire and Volumes.)

ARTICLE: Suzuki Voice: Historical Synopsis from the Beginning to 2010
First published by author Amelia Seyssel on 22 September 2017

Opening Paragraphs:

The Suzuki Voice Program officially began in 1986. Its founding within the Suzuki community was the direct result of conversations between Dr. and Mrs. Suzuki (Japan) and Dr. Päivi Kukkamäki (Finland) before, during and after Dr. Kukkamäki's extended visit to Matsumoto in the Fall of 1986. Both Dr. and Mrs. Suzuki continued their approval of the program and its development from 1986 until their deaths in 1998 (Dr. Suzuki) and 2000 (Waltraud Suzuki).

The Suzukis' involvement took the form of continual and persistent correspondence, reviews and recommendations, and various personal meetings with Dr. Kukkamäki throughout the many years from 1986 forward. From the beginning, the program was named 'Laulusuzuki' or 'Laulusuzukimenetelmä'. This was translated into English first as 'Suzuki Singing', then 'Singing in the Suzuki Style' and finally its present and official designation of 'Suzuki Voice'.

For the complete article, visit the Article (link) (originally published on ESA website, but now available here.

Regional (SAA/ESA) Suzuki Voice Teacher Training Programs:
a Broad Comparative Analysis
(Eff. October 2021, updated May 2022)

The following broad outline is an attempt to clarify the administrative and organizational differences among the Suzuki Voice training programs in current operation throughout the world. Readers should understand that however differently the two Associations might operate their training programs, the same pedagogical content is covered and the same end-goal is intended by both.

The SAA Region (America, North & South):

  1. SAA Suzuki Voice Teacher Training is organized by 'UNIT', with each 'UNIT' relating to a published (or intended) Volume of core student repertoire.
    Current estimate of SAA total UNITS in Voice is 7 UNITS.
    Other supplemental, officially recognized and creditable, teacher development courses are offered in the SAA, but not currently required by the SAA (with Latin American exception of Strategías course).
    Beyond the basic required UNIT coursework, the SAA teacher-in-training has flexibility in designing their own Suzuki teacher development program to meet their individual needs and aspirations.
    Compare to ESA

  2. A qualifying resumé and audition is required in the SAA before teacher training may commence; acceptance qualifies the teacher-in-training to acquire SAA UNITs 1 through 4. A subsequent audition at a higher level is required for access to more advanced UNITS. A Comprehensive audition at the highest level possible is also an option prior to UNIT 1 at the teacher's choice.
    The SAA 'audition' requirement is designed to guarantee that each teacher participant has a certain level of professional competency in regard to technical skills in their instrument prior to enrolling in coursework.
    Compare to ESA

  3. The first three SAA UNITS are required to be taken in sequence; beyond that, UNITS may be taken out of sequence.
    This protocol is designed with the geographical size of the SAA-Region in mind and combines the guarantee of a well-grounded foundation with an element of scheduling flexibility for the teacher-in-training.
    Compare to ESA

  4. The 'hours' pertinent to each SAA UNIT are defined as "minimum hours" by the SAA, with individual Teacher Trainers given flexibility to require more than the minimum number of hours as they deem necessary.
    The term 'hours' in the SAA refers to 'class-time' hours: that is, the actual time that the teacher-in-training is required to be in live interaction with the Teacher Trainer, whether singly or in a class environment. This use of the word 'hours' does not take into account any additional assignments or work (written or otherwise) that the Teacher Trainer normally requires for course completion outside of the scheduled 'class-time' hours.
    Official registration of the coursework is permitted when all required 'hours' are completed AND all assigned coursework is completed to the Teacher Trainer's satisfaction.
    Compare to ESA

  5. A certain minimum number of lecture/instruction hours (i.e. 'class-time' hours; see item 4) is required for each UNIT in the SAA.
    Compare to ESA

  6. A certain minimum number of hours dedicated to 'guided observation of student lessons' is required for each UNIT in the SAA.
    Compare to ESA

  7. A certain amount of 'written work' is required for each UNIT in the SAA. Although the amount of written work is not specified by the SAA, it is a common aspect of SAA teacher training coursework for all instruments. Time spent on written work (and on Teacher Trainer review of the written work) is not included in the required minimum hours figured for the course, but is an essential part of SAA course-work.
    Compare to ESA

  8. SAA makes available two slightly different courses that explicitly focus on giving constructive feedback to teachers-in-training: 'Teaching Strategies' ('Estrategías') and 'Practicum'. In Latin-America, 'Estrategías' is required coursework before the teacher-in-training is allowed to continue to Unit 3 and is commonly expected to be made available as concurrent coursework throughout the entire teacher-training process beyond Unit 1. 'Teaching Strategies' (or 'Estrategías') is generally (but not always) instrument-specific; 'Practicum' is always instrument-specific. The intention is to give teachers-in-training a means of intense focused feedback on their own teaching as well as an opportunity to also learn from Teacher Trainer feedback applied to other teachers-in-training. Multi-instrument 'Estrategías' coursework focuses on specifically "Suzuki Environment" applications; while instrument-specific coursework is able to also highlight the particularities of the individual instrument.
    SAA is still discussing and developing 'ESA reciprocity' guidelines for these components.
    Compare to ESA

  9. SAA memorization (when required) is in all cases considered 'pre-requisite' to the respective UNIT course. When required, teachers are expected to memorize all repertoire before beginning scheduled classroom instruction; when not 'required' teachers are expected to have attained a high level of fluency in the repertoire prior to classroom instruction.
    Unlike other instruments in the SAA, Suzuki Voice memorization requirements are not yet finalized. This is partially due to the fact that certain Suzuki Voice Volumes themselves are not yet published: teachers cannot be required to memorize something they are not yet able to acquire.
    Unit 1 now requires prior memorization (in both North and South America) due to the fact that Volume 1 has been officially published.
    SAA teacher memorization requirements focus solely on pertinent and specific student repertoire for that UNIT. That is, all required memorized repertoire is identical to repertoire contained in the volumes (or lists) of core repertoire that directly relate to student-study and that is, consequently, covered in detail in each specific Unit course.
    Teacher memorization "checks" are usually included in the Unit coursework classroom hours. Compare to ESA

  10. In the SAA, the teacher participant is expected to have a certain level of professional-level skill in their own instrument background before beginning coursework (refer to #2, resumé and audition requirements). Continued study and development of the teacher's own proficiency during SAA teacher training development is expected and highly recommended throughout all UNITs. Such professional development activity is considered to be each individual participant's responsibility. Therefore, there is no specific coursework category within the SAA UNIT training paradigm to reflect this continuing professional education recommendation.
    Successively higher audition requirements guarantee that the teacher participant has adequate vocal training for successively higher Units of training. This 'audition' protocol directly correlates to the ESA EXAM RECITAL requirement.
    In practice: SAA examines the teacher-in-training vocal capability PRIOR TO and AS A PREREQUISITE to enrollment in the coursework itself; ESA examines the teacher-in-training vocal capability CONCURRENT WITH (and SUBSEQUENT TO INITIAL ENROLLMENT IN) the coursework.
    Compare to ESA

  11. Coursework in the SAA is expected to be completed according to the exact specifications (begin date + end date) of the situation in which the course is offered, and in nearly all cases is expected to be completed in less than one calendar year (usually less).
    The same Teacher Trainer teaches the entire UNIT course in the SAA. The teacher-in-training may be exposed to other Suzuki teachers and/or teacher trainers during required 'observation' hours, but the coursework hours themselves are under the direct supervision of the specific Teacher Trainer authorized to teach that particular course. Joint teaching by more than one Teacher Trainer requires an 'exception' permission from the SAA and for any such coursework only the primary Teacher Trainer is listed as the instructor on the teacher's registration of that course.
    SAA teachers-in-training have 'freedom of choice' in regard to their UNIT course selection and, in that way, may experience in-depth instruction from more than one Teacher Trainer, depending on their own personal selection of different UNIT courses offered by different Teacher Trainers at any one time.
    Compare to ESA

  12. [For this comparison, an 'audit situation' is defined as: participating in official teacher training coursework without the ability to either register or certify the work.]
    In general in the SAA, in order to officially 'register' coursework, the prospective teacher must first submit and pass an audition specific to that instrument. The initial audition material is designed to be at a level that proves the teacher's competency in their instrument to a level at or above the level of repertoire covered through the first four Units of training, after which the teacher must re-audition at a much higher level of competency. Without a qualifying and accepted audition on record, the teacher may only take coursework on an 'audit' basis'. Should a teacher 'audit' a course and later wish to officially register the course, the teacher is required to re-take the course (fully) after submitting and passing the pertinent audition.
    SAA Suzuki VOICE, however requires 'participant status' only in all coursework; there is no 'audit' status permitted.
    As a result, all SAA Suzuki Voice coursework requires that teachers-in-training have on record with the SAA an approved audition and resumé.
    Compare to ESA

  13. Cost of SAA training is determined by the individual Teacher Trainer or the individual venue host (e.g. an Institute sponsoring the course).
    Determination of cost is usually based on finding an amount that appropriately balances 1- adequate funding of the venue and Teacher Trainer hours with 2- an affordable and reasonable cost for participants. This approach takes into account the widely diverse financial situations that may occur within the varied geographical locations within the SAA Region. The fixed amount is generally expected to be the same for any teacher participating in the course. However, depending on the circumstances, diverse scholarship situations may also apply for certain participants and often the extremely different financial reality of Latin America (as opposed to USA & Canada) is reflected in the pricing of the course.
    The total cost is usually a fixed amount charged in advance of the actual in-person training event. As this is the SAA norm for published fees, any exceptions to this are expected to be announced to participants BEFORE beginning training.
    SAA Teacher Training core coursework is always posted on the official SAA web-site well in advance of the course and includes the full-payment amount.
    Compare to ESA
The ESA Region (Europe, Middle East and Africa):

  1. ESA Suzuki Voice Teacher Training is divided into 5 consecutive 'LEVELS' (irregardless of the number of published, or intended 'books' or volumes of student repertoire).
    Although the first three 'LEVELS' cover repertoire by 'Book' (LEVEL 1=Book 1, etc), the later LEVELS (4 & 5) each cover repertoire consistent with multiple books (or book equivalents) per LEVEL.
    ESA LEVEL training is designed to be comprehensive and all-inclusive; there is no formally accredited coursework outside of the LEVEL system.
    Compare to SAA

  2. A qualifying resumé and minimal audition is required in the ESA before teacher training may commence, and continuance for each subsequent LEVEL is re-assessed by means of recurring Examinations at the end of each LEVEL.
    These examinations include a 'performance' aspect equivalent in purpose to SAA's pre-requisite audition system.
    Compare to SAA

  3. All ESA LEVELS are expected to be taken in sequence only.
    Compare to SAA

  4. The 'hours' pertinent to each ESA LEVEL function similarly to a 'credit-hour' system and does not necessarily indicate actual hours spent in live interaction with the Teacher Trainer.
    Some required ESA hours reflect actual time spent with the Teacher Trainer. However, other required hours reflect a way of recording 'work accomplished' by the teacher-in-training (i.e. credit-hours) and are often more indicative of the time required by the Teacher Trainer to review the required material.
    No formal credit for ESA coursework is received until: 1) all 'credit-hours' pertinent to the LEVEL are completed, and 2) the teacher-in-training has passed a formal LEVEL Examination adjudicated by (at minimum) 3 ESA Suzuki Voice Teacher Trainers.
    Regardless of the number of 'credit-hours' completed, no official record with the ESA accrues until and unless the pertinent Examination is passed, even if this takes years to accomplish.
    Compare to SAA

  5. A certain minimum number of lecture/instruction hours is required at each LEVEL in the ESA.
    Compare to SAA

  6. A certain minimum number of 'observation' hours is required at each LEVEL in the ESA.
    A portion of those observation hours is usually assigned to the observation of student lessons, while other observation hours are possible to be assigned to more general topics requiring attendance at concerts, recitals, and Conferences or Workshops.
    Compare to SAA

  7. A certain amount of written work is required at each LEVEL in the ESA, with a set quantity of 'credit-hours' assigned to that work.
    Compare to SAA

  8. Most ESA LEVELS include a 'Teaching in Practice' element within the total LEVEL required 'credit-hours'.
    This activity is structured in a way that: 1- gives the individual teacher-in-training Teacher Trainer feedback on their teaching and, 2- prepares them for the "Teaching" component of the ESA Examination process.
    ESA has formally recognized their own 'Teaching in Practice' component to be equivalent to one SAA 'Practicum' component.
    Compare to SAA

  9. Memorization of repertoire is required for all ESA LEVELS. Credit-hours are assigned for completion of this work, with proof of memorization also required.
    ESA memorization requirements are not entirely identical to the pertinent repertoire required of students for that LEVEL (i.e. identical to the repertoire contained in the volumes of core repertoire that students are required to learn at that Level).
    ESA teacher memorization requirements are of two types: 1-pertinent student repertoire for that LEVEL; and, 2-repertoire proving the teacher's own instrumental competency and specifically aimed at preparing the participant to pass the performance aspect of the ESA Examination.
    Compare to SAA

  10. In the ESA paradigm, the professional technical level of each teacher-in-training is a concern that is met with by including personal instrumental technical training within the coursework structure itself. A certain number of private lessons, called 'repertoire lessons', are required for each ESA LEVEL. These 'repertoire lessons' are required to be fulfilled only through an approved ESA Suzuki Voice Teacher Trainer. A specific number of hours is required and payment for those hours is part of the cost of ESA Level training coursework.
    The purpose is to guarantee that the teacher-in-training is able to: 1-perform the pertinent student repertoire with technical adequacy; and, 2-perform the teacher's Examination Recital for that particular Level with technical adequacy.
    In practice: ESA examines the teacher-in-training vocal capability CONCURRENT WITH (and SUBSEQUENT TO INITIAL ENROLLMENT IN) the coursework; SAA examines the teacher-in-training vocal capability PRIOR TO and AS A PREREQUISITE to enrollment in the coursework itself.
    Compare to SAA

  11. Coursework in the ESA is expected to be completed over the course of one to two years (but can take longer) with ongoing contact with the supervising Teacher Trainer expected throughout all phases of the training program.
    ESA coursework in general (applicable to all instruments) is expected to be under the general direction of the same supervising Teacher Trainer throughout all portions of the curriculum for all 5 Levels. If the teacher-in-training wishes otherwise (that is, to have a different Teacher Trainer for different Levels), the teacher-in-training must make that decision in advance of taking Level 1.
    However, a common practice in the ESA VOICE community allows the supervising Teacher Trainer to assign some specific parts of the coursework to be taught by other qualified ESA Suzuki Voice Teacher Trainers so that the teacher-in-training may experience instruction from more than one Voice Teacher Trainer during the course of any one LEVEL of training.
    Some parts of the training (especially some parts of the 'Teaching in Practice' element) are allowed to be fulfilled via 'long-distance' communications.
    Compare to SAA

  12. For this comparison, an 'audit situation' is defined as: taking and participating in official teacher training coursework without the ability to either register or certify the work.]
    The ESA does not officially allow an 'audit' status and a true 'audit' possibility does not fully exist in the ESA system for any instrument.
    However, because the ESA Exam System paradigm proves teacher competency 'after the fact', it does allow the teacher to be taking many hours of coursework prior to proving competency at the particular level of study. In a situation where the teacher does not complete the ensuing Examination for that Level of study, that coursework would meet the characteristics of an 'audit situation' as defined for this comparison. It should be noted that ESA does not allow the teacher to progress to the next Level in the system unless the Examination has been completed and passed.
    In the ESA Suzuki Voice program, an initial audition of very basic competency must be passed prior to beginning coursework at the lowest level. The Exam Recital for that Level requires an additional level of competency pertinent to that Level of study and is necessary before further study can continue.
    Compare to SAA

  13. Cost of ESA training is determined by the individual Teacher Trainer responsible for conducting the course.
    Determination of the cost is based on the hourly wage due to the Teacher Trainer and therefore, directly relates to the actual hours of work that the Teacher Trainer incurs during the course over many months, but is limited by the number of pre-determined 'required hours' as specified in the ESA Voice Syllabus. Since certain training hours are designed to be a one-on-one experience with the Teacher Trainer and other training hours are possible to be group experiences shared by 2 or more participants, the ultimate amount charged any one participant can vary depending on each specific training experience; that is, shared experience situations are also shared cost situations.
    Hence, total cost of the course is not necessarily fixed in advance, but is instead payable on an ongoing rolling basis as training hours are incurred over the several months of the course. The individual Teacher Trainer may give an overall estimate of the cost of the course, but deviations from that estimate may occur depending on circumstances as the course moves forward.
    Examiner Fees for Teacher Trainers adjudicating the required ESA Level Examination are specifically overseen by the ESA but are, again, able to be shared among the number of participants taking the examination at any one time.
    Compare to SAA