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Laurie Niles

Las Vegas Play-In

October 8, 2007 at 5:46 AM

I'm recuperating from a quickie trip to Vegas this weekend with the family. Did I go to gamble? To see Mystere? To try the insane rides atop the Stratosphere? To think deeply on the word, "Revolution"?


Actually I went there to teach, for a joint workshop between Suzuki Talent Education of Pasadena (California) and Nevada School for the Arts.

Our teachers, Liz Arbus, Cheryl Scheidemantle, Lauren Deutsch, Melissa Solomon and I, joined their teachers, Shakeh Ghoukasian, Mary Straub, Robin Reinarz and others. About a dozen of the children in our program drove to Las Vegas to play with about as many children in their program.

One of the beauties of the Suzuki method is the fact that because children learn the same repertoire, they can drop in on any other Suzuki program in the world and have a big Play-In. They don't even have to speak the same language. Of course this image of lots of kids playing the same piece together has led to the stereotype of Suzuki children robotically playing their pieces, and the idea of homogenized teaching.

But it ain't necessarily so.

A few things happened on this trip: kids saw that other kids actually play these "same songs" a lot differently. Teachers saw that other teachers teach these "same songs" a lot differently. And, we all realized, not only can learn from that, but also, we can still play together!

BTW, if you are ever in Vegas, I'd highly recommend the brunch buffet at the Paris Hotel! Ooh la-la!

From Albert Justice
Posted on October 8, 2007 at 3:45 PM
I thought you looked good in those fatigues girl!
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 8, 2007 at 5:12 PM
I guess that one is a little over-the-top. I'll make it "Mystere," which I've actually seen a while back. Good show!

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