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This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

The Potter Violin Company

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

FlexTux

Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop