Printer-friendly version
Laurie Niles

2011 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at Juilliard: Brian Lewis's 'Suzuki Rap'

June 6, 2011 at 3:55 AM

So here it is, the Suzuki Rap:

 "It is a good method -- in the hands of a good teacher."

That is what the late Dorothy DeLay said about the Suzuki method, and she said it at a time when traditional violin teachers looked upon the ideas of Shinichi Suzuki with a high level of skepticism, some even completely dismissing it.

Starling-DeLay Symposium Artistic Director Brian Lewis, whose mother is Suzuki teacher Alice Joy Lewis, was among the first crop of American Suzuki students to make it to high-level music schools such as The Juilliard School in the 1980s.

"We had a little secret Suzuki society here at Juilliard," he said. While waiting for a lesson with Ms. DeLay -- a wait that could last half a day and stretch far into the night -- Brian and his friend from back home in Kansas, Adrienne Sengpiehl, would roam the halls and elevators of the closed-for-the-night Juilliard building, playing every Suzuki song they knew.

Brian and Adrienne went back a long way, having both studied with Suzuki pioneer Eleanor Allen as children. They also drove a car together from Topeka to Stephen's Point, Wisconsin, one summer, as teenagers. On that long drive, they composed this rap, which Brian now uses to make pinkie warm-up exercises interesting for Suzuki students. He also used it last Thursday on our large group of violin teachers from across the globe, at the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at Juilliard.

A lot of people wanted to know the words, so Brian was kind enough to perform for the camera. If you'd like the words, I've made a printable PDF, just click here and print!

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

Pirastro Strings

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Corilon Violins

Meadowmount School of Music

Find The Song You Want To Play Next: StringClub

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Violin Lab

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Subscribe