Suzuki Music Association of California

About Us

Common Goals: About the network of teachers

In 1974, in the San Francisco Bay Area, the first California Suzuki organization was established. Teachers who were meeting to take training sessions from Sister Therese Cecile Murphy started to organize area wide activities. It was following one of these activities, a play-in, that the Suzuki Association of Northern California (SANC) was formed.

In 1977 in Los Angeles, Elizabeth and Harlow Mills visualized an organization to coordinate statewide activities. Harlow called it the Suzuki Music Association of California. After discussion with SANC, the Suzuki Music Association of California became the official organization.*

The opportunity to organize geographically was immediately recognized. It was clearly easier to communicate and organize when everyone was within driving distance.  San Diego applied for branch status followed by Sierra.

As more teachers were attracted to the Suzuki method, the level of training grew wider. There was, and continues to be, a concerted effort statewide to provide teacher training workshops for on-going training, with learning among our members as a matter of individual motivation.

Orange County branch was formed with the premise that continuing education was a common goal. Coastal Branch, Santa Barbara and Mt. Lassen were formed to represent their areas of the state. To date, there are eight branches representing more than 250 teachers in California.

*Excerpt from "Embracing Diversity" by Donna Lim, Past President


Board Members:

Mary Rose Preston (Sierra), President
Suzanne Lambert (Coastal), Vice President
Ronél Wishnuff (San Diego), Treasurer
Melody Garber Schwarz (Orange County Piano), Secretary
George Anderson (Independent)
Karen Deaner (Orange County Strings)

Elysa Hillis (Independent)
Joseph Spoelstra (Los Angeles)
Celia Vollov (SANC)
Barbie Wong (Bay Area Piano)


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