Christophe Bossuat

Christophe Bossuat

After graduating from his conservatory studies in France, Christophe Bossuat went to study in Japan with Dr. Suzuki and graduated from the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan.

He pioneered the Suzuki Method in France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and Turkey, and created the Suzuki Institute in Lyon and then the National Suzuki Association in France. He participated in the building of ESA as a board member for over 30 years. In addition, he has done extensive teaching and teacher training in Europe, North America, South Africa, Turkey, the Philippines, and the Asiatic countries. He has also been a guest teacher at many International Suzuki Conventions.He chaired the ISA violin committee for over 15 years in order to lead the review of the Suzuki violin repertoire. Presently he is a member of the ISA board.

Instrument studied in Japan: violin

Dates in Japan: 1976-1978; I went back to Japan to study again with Shinichi Suzuki in 1982 and 1987.

Year of working with Dr. Suzuki outside of Japan: 1982


Memories

I decided to go to Japan for a long period of time because of Shinichi Suzuki, the man, for his philosophy of education and instrumental pedagogy.

I was 22.

I did not plan on trying to graduate when I first went. I was then a scholarship student from the French government (foreign affairs department). It was not easy to get.

My arrival was like discovering another planet!

I lived one hour away by train from Matsumoto for a year, and after that very close to the Kaikan.

I discovered a different variety of food and learned to enjoy sushi and tempura, ramen…and fish. I was accustomed to cold weather, but it was very cold there. I would sometimes wake up with ice on my blanket. I also took lessons with Mr. Tabusa sensei to better regenerate my energy, on Dr. Suzuki’s recommendation.

Instrumental study there was a totally different concept from the occidental approach: The master does not go to you, rather you go towards the master. It took me time to understand. I discovered how to make space to learn, how to really listen, and how the sound I make relates to my life and its expression. I observed Suzuki teachers experience pure joy from teaching children.

I also observed that Dr. Suzuki was more supple with the foreign kenkyusei and could be really severe with the Japanese.

Often great artists would come to the kaikan and perform, which was a real treat.

Group classes for kenkyusei were disorienting at first but progressively a wonderful learning experience.

I wish I had studied more calligraphy!!!

In Musical Expression class I learned it comes from the heart, and I learned to open mine playing the violin, which was not evident before.

About concerts, graduation concerts, my graduation concert--Suzuki sensei said, “I feel you are young.” (relating to my stress).

Japanese Suzuki Summer School was a fascinating experience with many opportunities to watch the Japanese teachers in action.

Tokyo Budokan concerts were incredible events!!!

I observed Dr. Kataoka’s lessons as well and learn also from Mr. Takahashi--both great teachers, very inspiring.

My life has been tremendously influenced by this learning in Japan. It has been a great learning experience. I had a wonderful life, and still now, teaching Dr. Suzuki’s principles and philosophy all over the world, meeting so many great people and colleagues.


Photo in Matsumoto

Christophe Bossuat in Matsumoto