Katherine White

Other places lived since Japan: San Francisco CA, N. St Paul, MN

Instruments studied in Japan: Oboe, Recorders

Dates in Japan: 1974-1976, 1980

Years and locations of workshops with Dr. Suzuki or Mr. Takahashi that were outside of Japan: SAA Conferences in Cincinnati, San Diego, and San Francisco


After I listened to Mr. Takahashi’s recordings, I wanted to develop my tone and musical expression and become a better teacher and performer. I had read about Dr. Suzuki in the MENC Journal in the 1970’s. Dr. Suzuki and Mr. Takahashi invited me to study with them in 1972. I was 31 when I went. With Susan Shield’s assistance it was easy to plan that trip. In Miami Beach, FL, when I was there for the International Double Reed Conference, my Visa arrived the same day as my flight.

My schedule in Matsumoto included Tone Development by interpreting operatic arias on Tuesdays and Fridays. I learned to listen deeply and with care. I really enjoyed teatime with Mr. Takahashi on Saturday evenings. On holidays I went hiking or skiing in the Alps with my Japanese friends.

I played a Handel sonata solo at the 1975 Summer School. It was at the Matsumoto Budokan. Another time I played a solo with 100 koto players. It was very hot outside. I was wearing a synthetic blouse and blacked out for a few measures due to the heat, but I came in again at the correct place. At Utsukushigahara I played the Mozart Oboe Quartet. For my Graduation Concert I played Corelli, Schumann, Handel, Kozaburo, and other Japanese composers. I was accompanied by koto for the latter.

Dr. Suzuki and Mr. Takahashi invited me to teach Recorders at the Talent Education Institute. That was an honor for me. Unfortunately, nobody could be found to continue with the students after I returned to the USA. Dr. Suzuki and Mr. Takahashi generously gave me their time. The best years of my life were with them.

Later I was able to get my Suzuki Recorder School, Vols. 1-8 Soprano and Alto, distributed by Warner Brothers Publications and Alfred. As the author, I had asked one of my teachers, Marion Verbruggen to do the recordings. Her parents were musicians and I’m happy that she recorded the pieces with Arthur Haas, harpsichord, and Mary Springfels, viola da gamba. I began training teachers in 1977. Last year, in 2022, we celebrated 50 years of Suzuki Recorder. (I had been teaching Suzuki Oboe and Recorder in Public Schools before going to Japan.)