Is it legal to use Suzuki materials?
I teach a personalized method but I like to use Suzuki materials and pedagogy I inherited by reading his books. I'm going to be starting an early ages violin class in a month, and I'm wondering if it is alright to use the Suzuki books in class. I am not, and have no intention of getting certified (I learned Suzuki first hand and have my qualms with the certification system and consequential monopolization). Could I get sued if I use the materials, even if I pay for them? I've been doing my research but I've been getting various answers, and I trust the level of knowledge I have seen exhibited on this website. Please and thanks!
You don't have to be a Certifived Suzuki teacher to teach from Suzuki materials, just as they don't have to be Bach, Mozart and whatsoever certifived to include that material in the books.
Yes. The books are for sale to the public - you can use them anyway you want as long as you do not violate applicable copyright laws.Copyrights on the actual music in the books expired decades and centuries ago.
There is no such thing as a "certified" Suzuki teacher, only teachers who have registered their training.
It may be illegal to advertise oneself as a a "Suzuki teacher" without certification/registration, as opposed to someone who simply uses the materials. Suzuki Method is a trademark registered by Warner.
It would seem perfectly legitimate to me to indicate that your pedagogy is aligned with the philosophies of Shinichi Suzuki and that you use the corresponding method books in your teaching. But you can't call yourself a "Suzuki teacher" or claim to teach according to the "Suzuki Method" (especially) without the approval of the trademark holder.
If you couldn't use them without the training, they wouldn't be available for anyone to purchase, but only for Suzuki teachers through the Suzuki Association. Except for a handful of pieces in book one written by Suzuki himself, I've seen almost identical arrangements of much of the rest of the Suzuki rep. in other books.
I believe the Suzuki association deliberately has no restrictions on who can call themselves a Suzuki teacher. And since they would like to sell more books, they are plenty happy to encourage everyone to use them, Suzuki-trained or not.
No, if you buy a Suzuki motorcycle. If you drive a Kawasaki, that is altogether a different issue.
It may be legal to use them for beginning classes, but that doesn't mean it's effective.
Who would need to photocopy a Suzuki book when you can get much better editions ( sometimes Urtext ) of most of the pieces on IMSLP, most of which are public domain somewhere?
I agree with Scott, in terms of using a more slowly incremental and thoroughly-explained book series, rather than suzuki, to teach a class of brand-new beginners.
Annnndddddd there we go...
If it isn't just use them anyway.
"Suzuki? Suzuki? Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch..." - Madam Butterfly
Hi, James! It's perfectly legal to use the Suzuki repertoire even if you don't identify yourself as a Suzuki teacher. Here are two examples of very prominent teachers who use pieces from at least the first two volumes of the Suzuki repertoire: Kurt Sassmannshaus and Mimi Zweig. On their websites in the category of repertoire they use you'll see the Suzuki books 1 & 2 listed:
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