Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project: Interview with Donna Bill
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Donna Bill holds a degree in violin performance from Baylor University and has studied summers at Meadowmount in Westport, New York. Early in her career she taught elementary string music using traditional pedagogy - first in the Sioux Falls Public Schools for three years and afterwards in the Madison (Wisconsin) Public Schools. In addition, she is a well-experienced private studio teacher and it was in this capacity that she became interested in the Suzuki method, which led her to attend the American Suzuki Institute at Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and also the Ithaca College Suzuki Institute. When Donna applied for employment in Wayzata Public Schools she was unaware that a modified Suzuki method was used in the elementary string program, but found the program an excellent match for her experience and expertise. As a teacher within the system from 1996 through 2001 she worked closely with Barbara Lamb and Sandra Haines and later with Kim Iverson, Lynne Weber, Lissa Thomas and Clark Sheldon, teaching violin and coordinating the demands of an extremely large and popular elementary string program. In the fall of 2002 Donna joined the faculty at The Blake School, where she is building an all-school string offering. After hours, she teaches violin at Dolce Studio and serves as concertmaster of the Minnetonka Symphony. Donna and her husband have restored an older home where they live with their American bull dog, Jack, their Old English bull dog, Maggie, and enjoy life in the metropolitan Twin Cities. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Donna Bill discusses her own background and music activity and then describes the structure of the Wayzata elementary string program and the many advantages of using the modified Suzuki curriculum and repertoire in the public school in a situation where the groups are very large. She talks about the significance of peer influence in the lessons, respect for individual learning styles, ear training, note reading, insistence upon excellent technique and emphasis on student responsibility for preparing the lesson. Additionally she discusses the importance to the child of early music education.
Quantity 1.5 hours sound cassette
18 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 00:52:18 running time
Creation Interviewer: Weber, Lynne
Interviewee: Bill, Donna
Made in Saint Louis Park, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Saint Louis Park, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 01/15/2001
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 109
Accession Number AV2007.12.3
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project'

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