Dr. Suzuki believed that anybody could teach Talent Education, assuming that the proper tools and techniques were used. However, standards for who may call themselves a Suzuki teacher vary between countries, and even between instruments.
Ideally, a Suzuki Music teacher is proficient on his instrument, and he understands the philosophy and method of Talent Education. Typically, a Suzuki teacher will study with one or more certified Teacher Trainers who themselves are experienced Suzuki teachers and who have studied how to train Suzuki teachers.
Because the Suzuki student literature is divided into different levels (books), Suzuki teachers study and become certified to teach each student book in separate courses. It may take many years for a Suzuki teacher to finish studying how to teach each of the books in the Suzuki series. Suzuki teachers are also encouraged to continue their studies by retaking courses they have already taken and by continuing to observe other Suzuki teachers. Teaching proficiency is definitely an ongoing learning process.
The Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) is an organization for North, Central, and South America that promotes the Suzuki training method. The SAA publishes standards for what a Suzuki Teacher should study for each level of Suzuki Music training. These standards aim to provide to the teacher a good foundation of the philosophies, techniques, and understanding of the repertoire required for effective Suzuki training. The SAA also maintains records of what levels of study SAA members have successfully completed.
However, neither the SAA nor any other organization has the authority to say whether or not a teacher can promote herself a Suzuki Music teacher. It is not uncommon for a music teacher to claim to teach the Suzuki method, yet, for lack of training, the teacher is missing the understanding of the philosophies and techniques required for effective teaching. A parent who seeks Suzuki Training for the child may wish to ask the SAA for a list of local teachers who are qualified to teach at the child’s level.
Moreover, the parent is an important part of the Suzuki training. The parent is the child’s home teacher, and it is up to the Suzuki teacher to help guide the parent along the process.