Our school system in Connecticut has a thriving music program with Suzuki string teachers in every elementary school. Like most Suzuki programs, our school ended each year with a playdown. One year, Suzuki teacher Janet Fantozzi read an article in the American Suzuki Journal by Suzuki teacher Ruth Banwell, about fairy tales transformed into little child-friendly plays, using the Suzuki literature to guide the script. Encouraged by vocal music teacher Mattie Banzhaf, she ordered “Bow-Punzel” and produced the show with tremendous success. The next year the two music teachers started writing their own scripts.
This website offers these scripts and some guidelines on how you can have success enlivening your Suzuki program with musical dramas based on Books 1 and 2 and beyond. Our productions took advantage of being in a school setting so Janet taught the string literature, Mattie taught songs and dances in music classes, and we shared the directing duties. Supportive parents and teachers helped with sets, costumes, lighting and backstage wrangling.
These plays and guidelines can also be used in the private studio setting, or in music school Suzuki programs. Fully-staged productions with memorized lines work beautifully, but an informal reading could be great too. We encourage you to extend your Suzuki teaching into musical dramas.