Saturday April 26, 2014 1:00-8:30:00 PM MDT
Saturday April 26, 2014 8:15-4:00 PM MDT

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Saturday Events

American Preparatory Academy 
11938 S. Lone Peak Parkway
Draper, UT 84020

Driving Directions 


Connie McCullough 
Suzuki Association of Utah 

17th Annual Utah Suzuki Convention

Parents Registration

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Utah Suzuki Convention hosted by The Suzuki Association of Utah will feature a variety of classes on teaching and parenting in the Suzuki method. It will be a stimulating weekend of events to recharge your Suzuki journey. Saturday lunch is included with registration.


Saturday Schedule

Location: American Preparatory Academy

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.      Parent Registration and a Light Breakfast

9:00 a.m.       Keynote Adress

10:00 a.m.     Classes

11:00 a.m.     Classes

12:00 p.m.    Lunch 

12:30 SAU General Meeting 

 1:00 p.m.     Classes

 2:00 p.m.     Classes

 3:00 p.m.     Classes

 4:00 p.m.     End of event

Cost for Utah Suzuki Convention:

Saturday Parent Workshops: $5

Non SAU members will have a $30 extra charge added onto their total cost. 

A $10 late fee will be applied if you register after April 15, 2014. 


What is Dalcroze Education?

Dalcroze Education is a unique, exciting, and powerful way of knowing music through the body.  The Dalcroze approach explores musical concepts through social and interactive methods that invite students to trust their ideas and develop their own intuitions.

  • Eurhythmics courses nurture the imagination and unlock creativity through rhythmic movement and active listening. 
  • Solfège plays a key role in training the eyes and ears to instantly respond to musical notation. 
  • Improvisation engages the spirit of play to facilitate enlivened music making according to the student’s own invention:  in movement, with the voice, or at an instrument.  Dalcroze study makes music vivid for everyone, from young beginners though adult professionals. 


Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss pianist, composer, and educator, created his method of teaching advanced conservatory students using “rhythmic gymnastics” early in the Twentieth century.  Later, he developed these principles for children and young adults.  In a typical Dalcroze class, the instructor will combine the elements above using rhythm games, songs, gesture, and movement as the key teaching media so that the joy of music is experienced and understood.  As a precursor to or in tandem with private music lessons, Dalcroze Eurhythmics will create a platform for accelerated and deep learning in all musicians.


Dalcroze Children's Demonstration

Saturday Afternoon Jeremy Dittus will be demonstrating Dalcroze with children in three different age groups. If you would like your children or students to participate you can select the age group and add it to your cart in registration.  It is $5 per child to participate.  There is a limited number of slots so register quick.    

1:00 Age 4-6

2:00 Age 7-9

3:00 Teen Class Ages 13+

We do not have a class for ages 10-12. The child's age must be within the age bracket specified. 


Saturday Class Schedule

Class Schedule is tenative and subject to change.  Please check back for any updates.

9:00 Keynote Address

“Suzuki Family Tree: Musical Passion that Unites Us as a Community”


Dalcroze: Plastique Anime: Interpreting Music through Creative Movement (Jeremy Dittus)

Class for All Teachers or Parents

Pursuing the Perfect Practice (Brittany Platt Gardner) Teacher and Parent Class

An overview of practice techniques (including specific exercises, organization, time management,  goal setting) that are especially helpful for parents of Suzuki students, all presented under the framework of Nurturing with Love.


Dalcroze for Parents: Music and Movement (Jeremy Dittus)

Dalcroze class for Parents.

Inspiring a Life-long Love of Music (Amy Baker)

While at a Suzuki Flute workshop and after our daughters had performed, another mother asked me, “How do you get your daughter to practice?”  At the time my daughter was 16 and had been taking flute for 5 years.  This question caused me to think. How do I do that?  The realization was, “I don’t. She does it because she loves it and wants to.”  So how did she arrive at that point?  And how did my other children (2 pianists, 2 violinists,  1 flute player,  1 cellist, and 5 of the 7 vocalists) come to that as well?  In this lecture I will share the answer to that question.  I’ll cover 3 Strategies that helped me to help my children love their instruments and their musical experience.  

12:00 LUNCH  



Children's Dalcroze Demo Class: age 4-6 (Jeremy Dittus)

Class for Teachers and Parents to observe.

Avoiding Injury (Julie Edwards) Teachers and Parent Class

Julie Edwards will give a brief overview of some performance related injuries, her own history with repetitive strain injuries, how to care for oneself if one has a repetitive strain injury, and some tricks to avoid them altogether.

 Review is the Best Part of Practice! (Leslie Thackeray) Parent Class

Review is one of the foundations of the Suzuki Method however it is widely neglected as an essential part of practice.  This class will give you new and fun ideas to incorporate review into every practice session so your child will think that review is the BEST part of practicing!

Practice Tips and Ideas (Mercedes Smith) Flute Parents and Teacher Class

Warm-up ideas, vibrato and tone exercises, tonguing, technical tips, and help with learning music quickly.


Children's Dalcroze Demo Class: age 7-9 (Jeremy Dittus)

Class for Teachers and Parents to observe

Empower Your Child's Learning "Style" to Unleash Their Full Potential! (Debby Smith)

Learn to assess what mode or style of learning is your child’s strength and what pathway(s) can be strengthened to help your child (student) tap into their full learning potential.

Balancing Busy Schedules in a 24/7 World (Panel: Meg Ferry, Richard Hoyt )  

Being a Suzuki parent is a demanding job.  Discover tips on how to prioritize and balance music with family, work, school and community responsibilities while still enjoying the journey.  3 Suzuki veterans will present their insights on how to create this much needed balance and then open it up for questions and answers.

Harp: How to Listen for and Develop Beautiful Tone (Aname Anderson) Class for Harp Teachers and Parents

Come explore the many different tone qualities of the harp and discuss strategies for developing beautiful tone in the studio and at home.


Children's Dalcroze Demo Class: age 13+ (Jeremy Dittus)

Class for Teachers and Parents to observe

Why Suzuki? (Amy Felix)

“Why Suzuki?” explores the reasons outside of formal music training parents have for involving their children in the Suzuki method.  We will discuss how such a rigorous teaching method benefits the whole child and helps parents achieve core goals for raising their children to lead happy, successful lives.


Clinician Bios

Jeremy Dittus (Honorarium)

Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze eurhythmics instructor. An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy. He currently teaches on the summer faculty at Colorado State University where he founded and now directs the Dalcroze School of the Rockies Dalcroze Academy teacher-training center. A former Lecturer in piano, theory, and solfège at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Cleveland, he also has instructed undergraduate solfège, piano, and composition courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as eurhythmics and solfège at L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Dittus has presented Dalcroze workshops at home and abroad including the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, National Dalcroze Conference, National Flute Convention, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, Piano Celebration at Metro-State University in Denver, University of Louisville Piano Institute, in addition to several summer music institutes and universities and conservatories across the country. He completed a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder; for the master of music, he studied piano performance and music theory at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate work, he obtained bachelor degrees in piano performance and chemistry. His Dalcroze License and Certificate comes from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, while the Diplôme Supérieur (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) comes from the L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in conjunction with La Haute École de Musique de Genève and Le Conservatoire de Musique de Genève. While in Geneva, he received top honors including the 2009 Prix pour les qualities musicales exceptionnelles and the 2010 Prix pour les qualités artistiques et pédagogiques exceptionnelles. He is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado, the only authorized Dalcroze training center west of Pittsburgh in the United States. The DSR offers Eurhythmics classes for children ages 4-14, adult enrichment classes, and full time study toward the Dalcroze Certificate/License (Eurhythmics, Solfège, Improvisation, and Methodology/Pedagogy). Dr. Dittus serves on the state board for the Colorado Federation of Music Clubs and is the Vice President of the Dalcroze Society of America. Former teachers include Lisa Parker, Anne Farber, Ruth Gianadda, Marie-Laure Bachmann, Sylvia del Bianco, Sylvie Morgenegg, Laurent Sourisse, Andrew Cooperstock, Michael Chertock, Frank Weinstock, and George Cherry. 

Anamae Anderson

Anamae Anderson has been teaching Suzuki harp lessons for over 17 years and currently maintains a private Suzuki harp studio of 22 students. She began studying the harp at age 9 with Mary Kay Waddington in Denver, Colorado and continued her harp studies with JoAnne Glover in Chicago and ShruDeLi Ownbey in Salt Lake City. Anamae graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance in 2003 and completed a Master in Public Administration at BYU in 2008. 

Angela Baker

Angela Baker: When asked by a business coach what she does, Angela Baker responded, “I do people.”  Her passion is human genius and creating an environment where the genius of her children and those she mentors is discovered and developed.  This life-long passion led her to seek alternative education for her children and leadership education for herself.  She is an authentic, down-to-earth homeschool mom with 19 years of experience who knows the ups and downs of her “business.”  Music is an integral part of the education in her home where the sounds of piano, flute, cello, violin, and voice can be heard on a daily basis. As a speaker, Angela is known for her use of story to instruct, inspire, and create a memorable and applicable experience for audiences across the country.   Through her teaching, people see new ways of connecting with their children and discover principles of education that really work in the context of family and a parent/child relationship. 

 Angela and her husband Roger live on a 1 acre farm in rural Erda, Utah where their main crop is children—seven to be exact.  Angela firmly believes that music is an essential part of growing children who live with character, joy, purpose, and capacity to serve.  Her formal education includes a Bachelors in Family Science from Brigham Young University and a Masters in Education from George Wythe University.  Angela speaks regularly to adults and youth and has been mentoring individual parents and youth for 10 years.  In order to create an inspiring scholar environment for her own children, she founded Erda Leadership Academy. Now in its sixth year, this academy prepares younger scholars ages 11-16 for the rigors of a full scholar phase and college education.

Julie Edwards

Julie Edwards was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. She began studying viola in the public schools at age 9. Encouraged at age 10 by her orchestra instructor not to quit viola and switch to flute, because "Everyone needs violas, if you play viola you'll always have work, but flute players are a dime a dozen," Julie made up her mind to pursue a career in viola and went on to receive Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in viola performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Atar Arad. After college, Julie began a series of moves that took her to locations that needed violas, including Chicago and Pittsburgh, and became a member of The Louisville Orchestra. Julie is currently a violist in the Utah Symphony, and hopes that everyone still needs violas.

Amy Felix

Amy Felix is the mother of 6 children, 5 of whom are currently taking Suzuki piano lessons. Although she has been involved with the Suzuki teaching method for over 7 years she consistently finds herself recommitting to its core concepts and focus on the development of the whole child. With each year comes new insight into the method's ability to empower her as a parent and provide a dependable source of happiness for her children.


Brittany Platt Gardner

Brittany Platt Gardner began her cello studies at the age of eight, after receiving a cello as a birthday present.  A native of Salt Lake City, Gardner graduated from Cottonwood High School and went on to pursue musical studies at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance as a student of Richard Aaron.  She continued her studies at the University of Michigan, where she received a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance as a student of Anthony Elliott.

After completing her studies, Gardner returned home to Salt Lake City, where she has become heavily involved in the music community.  She currently maintains a large and active private studio and also teaches at the Gifted Music School Preparatory Division, where she serves as Managing Director.  She also currently serves on the board of the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute and has been a coordinator at the international conference for the Suzuki Association of the Americas for 2012 and 2014.

Gardner is a much sought-after performer and collaborator, appearing with such groups as the Utah Symphony, The Orchestra at Temple Square, the Intermezzo Chamber Series, Pioneer Theater, and The Cathedral of the Madeleine, among others. 

She and her husband live in Salt Lake City with their two adorable little girls.

Richard Hoyt

Richard Hoyt graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree from The Eastman School of Music both in cello performance.  Richard has done extensive freelance performing and has been a substitute cellist for the Utah Symphony.  Richard has been actively involved with Suzuki teaching since 1984.  He has been the chairman of the Utah Cello Federation of Music Clubs since 1990.  Richard currently teaches 25 cello students.  He has been employed as a mechanical designer for EIMCO since 1979.

Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith has a BA in Music Theater and Voice from BYU (1979) She began performing as a soloist in high school and has had multiple roles in musicals and opera productions throughout the years.  She is currently the Voice Vice-President for the Suzuki Association of Utah developing repertoire for the young singer beginning age 3 and has presented lectures, workshops and teacher training throughout the United States. She belongs to numerous professional organizations including: SAA, SAU, NATS (National Association for Teachers of Singing), NFMC, (National Federation of Music Clubs), Orff, Kodaly, Kindermusik and the National Voice Care Network. Currently, Debby maintains a private vocal studio and is the Fine Arts Director and Music Specialist for Discovery Academy, a private Montesorri school. She directs The Heralders, a children’s choir of 100 voices in Salt Lake City and Utah Valley and is a vocal teaching artist for the El Sistema music program of Utah. Oh, and she loves being a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City! She has four children, 3 who are married; 2 beautiful grandchildren—and one on the way! To this day, her children claim to know every song she has ever taught or sung!!

Mercedes Smith

Mercedes Smith is the newly appointed Principal Flutist of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. A Texas native, she served as Principal Flutist of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchestras for nearly a decade.  She has performed with the Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and served as Principal Flutist of the Pacific Symphony during the 2010-2011 season.  Most recently, she was awarded First Prize in the National Flute Association’s 2010 Young Artist Competition.  Ms. Smith was also the Second Prize winner of the 2007 Haynes International Flute Competition and top prizewinner of the Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition.  As First Prizewinner of Artists International, she gave her New York Recital Debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2002.  Her debut featured solo and chamber works all by American composers including three world premieres.  Also as a recitalist, Ms. Smith performed at the Kunming International Arts Festival, China, in a performance that was televised throughout Asia.  

Ms. Smith performed at the Hot Springs Music Festival for three years and was featured in the nationally televised PBS documentary "Sound of Dreams" highlighting the festival.  In previous summers, she has been a fellowship recipient at Tanglewood, Music Academy of the West, and was a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.  As a chamber musician, she has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Bargemusic, Da Camera of Houston, and Musiqa Houston.  

Ms. Smith was accepted as a scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music at the age of 16 and is greatly indebted to her teachers Michael Parloff, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Dr. Ronda Mains.

Leslie Thackeray

Leslie Thackeray received her first violin on her fourth birthday and began taking Suzuki violin lessons. Her teaching career began in 2000 while finishing a BA in Music at the University of Utah. She completed the Suzuki triangle by enrolling her daughter in lessons with her former teacher, Ramona Stirling. She has a great love for the violin and the Suzuki method and it brings a lot of music into her home. She currently has 15 students and is a mother of four young children. She is a past president of the Suzuki Association of Utah and currently serves as newsletter editor and webmaster.  She also owns and runs her successful online store, “The Practice Shoppe”(www.thepracticeshoppe.com).