Joe Rogot

Other Places you have lived since Japan: Tokyo (twice), Chicago, Ithaca, New York, New Rochelle

Instrument studied in Japan: Violin

Dates in Japan: 1980-83 all with Suzuki Sensei

Years and locations of workshops with Dr. Suzuki that were outside of Japan: Chicago 1984, Stevens Point 1985


Though my professional career has not involved Suzuki Method, it’s hard to find an aspect of my life that is not in some way molded by my three years at Saino Kyoiku and living on my own in Matsumoto.

One Sunday morning it was just Suzuki-sensei and I in the building. He asked me to come in for a lesson (I was working on some Handel sonata). He listened and then said the following, which had nothing to do with my playing. “Service, service, service. My life is always service. No power, but no noise.” I think he was just musing about his own path, but those words have stuck with me to this day.

My first impression: Walking off the train in my suit, trombone case under one arm, violin on the other, big orange backback. Waiting for me were Pino Flores, Leslie Priest, and Mitsuko Miyasaka. Got a ride to a 4.5-mat room in the green school van. Pit toilet, one cold water faucet, both shared. No heat. My washcloth used to freeze solid on a nail on the wall. All fond memories!

I Inherited some English students from Cathy Shepheard, so I’d take the local train way up the valley north toward Hakuba past the wasabi fields. Coming home after dark, in the old train, seeing the lights of Matsumoto come into view was just wonderful.