Testimonials


I started playing the violin when I was 4. I remember watching a group concert performance of Sue’s violin class when I was 3 and telling my Mum:” I want to play violin!”

These kids left a huge impression on me, as I still remember them doing all kinds of tricks with their little violins. They seemed to have a good time.

Sue accepted me as a student. I remember her being very precise and detailed. She would stick to her guns until I did the piece totally correct and to her satisfaction. She was challenging, yet caring. And she was fun, too: I remember playing a simplified version of Paganini’s “Witches Dance” with the Suzuki group. It’s a flashy and fast piece, but there is a slow section later. Sue said, that this is supposed to be the old, tired witch with a hunchback, and whenever this part was played, she would act out an old tired witch, much to our amusement.

Once, the whole class travelled to Italy for concerts. In fact this was the first solo appearance of my life, since she gave all of us a chance to solo a bit in a Vivaldi concerto.

This was an amazing experience for all of us kids! We were thrilled to be able to perform for a warm audience and having the support and encouragement of Sue (she would always play with the group and lead us with cues.)

Later, when my playing became more advanced, Sue would arrange little recitals for me and accompany and prepare me for local competitions. She was always encouraging, making me comfortable and self-confident onstage.

“Now forget anything we worked on, and just be in the music!” she would say before I walked onstage. In fact, this is my motto down to the present day.

When I was 11, Sue proposed to me to try out the auditions for the pre-college division of Berlin College of Music. Up to today I am thankful for her wise and altruistic move, to put me into the competitive world of professional music making at a young age.

The violin became my profession and my passion, and I know that I was blessed to have had the perfect start and conduct into the world of music through a person, who imparted to be a musician with love and enthusiasm- like Sue.”
—Iskandar Widjaja
Note from Sue in June, 2015: Issi is now an internationally renowned concert violinist. See his website www.iskandarwidjaja.com

Some people say that the older you get, the less each year seems to be in your own perception of time. I never really understood the meaning of that until now. Coming from the lesson, I really reflected and thought about my past violin experiences, from the time I started with you until now. Looking at the past pictures of the other students, I was really quite touched by how we all changed. Throughout all of these years, I’ve probably never fully appreciated just how much violin has changed me as a person.

I thank you for all that you’ve taught me, not only with what I could do with a violin, but what I could accomplish as a person. More importantly, I came to realize how much potential I had, and how I could set goals and work to achieve those goals. The countless memories that flash by as I write this still overwhelm me: my first Betty Haag Academy repertoire class, my first concert with Sapphyre Strings, those first nerve racking moments of a solo, the numerous spring and fall concerts that have stacked up. Throughout everything, I have learned how to work hard, not just for my teacher, but also for myself. Throughout this whole process, you have helped me beyond measure to become the person I am today.
Thank you.

I think that all people need a mentor, whether it is for guidance, knowledge, or just pure inspiration. You have been all three to me all these years, and I am truly proud to have been under your tutelage. I hope these years have been as memorable for me as they have been for you.
Thanks for all that you’ve done.
With love and fresh tears,
GC (age 14)

Aus Sicht einer Mutter
Zum 1.Mal sah ich Sue 1990 in einem Konzert mit ihren Suzuki -Kindern in Berlin. Ich war beeindruckt von der Professionalität und Freude der Kinder im Konzert.

Sue strahlte sehr viel Liebe, Wärme und gleichzeitig Autorität aus.

Voller Begeisterung wollte mein Sohn, der damals 4 Jahre alt war, auch Geige lernen-bei Sue.

Es begann ein intensives Kennenlernen mit ihr, da ich jede Woche mit im Unterricht saß.

Ich muss zugeben, dass ich selbst sehr viel von zuhören profitiert habe- ich bin Klavierlehrerin. Es war für mich wie ein Praktikum. Das Kindgerechte und der liebevolle Umgang, gepaart mit absoluter Disziplin und Professionalität haben mich immer wieder fasziniert.
Sie hat immer zuerst gelobt, und dann wurde an musikalischen und technischen Schwachstellen solange gearbeitet, bis sie saßen.
Sie ist für mich nicht nur eine sehr gute Pädagogin, sondern auch eine Person von unschätzbarem Wert, immer hilfsbereit, umgänglich, bestrebt den Horizont zu erweitern.

Dass mein Sohn heute ein Geiger geworden ist, haben wir Sue zu verdanken.

Sie hat in ihm das positive Fundament gelegt- die Verbindung aus Freude an der Musik und disziplinierter Arbeit.
Batdriana Widjaja

A student mother’s view
The first time I saw Sue was at a performance of her “Suzuki” children in Berlin. I was impressed by the professionalism and joy of the children in the concert. Sue radiated love, warmth and at the same time authority.

Full of enthusiasm, my son, 4 years old at the time, wanted to take violin lessons — from Sue.

An intensive period of getting to know her ensued, as I sat in on the lesson every week. I must admit that I myself as a piano teacher profited by observing. For me it was like an internship. I was fascinated by her age-appropriate and affectionate interaction with the students, paired with absolute discipline and professionalism.

She always first found something to praise, then she worked on musical and technical weak spots until they were mastered.

I consider her to be not only a very good teacher, but also an invaluable person always ready to help, easy to get along with, and aiming to broaden her horizons.

Thanks to Sue, my son became a professional violinist. She instilled in him the positive fundamental basis – the combination of the joy of music and disciplined work.
B.W.

I am truly blessed to have been able to have Ms. Mann as a violin teacher for two years.

I came to Ms. Mann with only about a year or two’s worth of playing and a whole bunch of habits that needed to be corrected. I started a lot later than a typical child who took lessons at the Betty Haag Academy. Ms. Mann immediately helped me break my habits while mastering pieces that brought me closer and closer to my age group. She was so kind and understanding throughout the whole process, doing everything she could to help me out. I don’t know how I would have done it without her help.

Because of her, I have become a better musician. By helping me fix my position and other aspects of my playing, I became a better violin player, being able to play more properly and in tune. She also helped me gain confidence. She was more than happy to accept me into another family filled with loving members, Sapphyre Strings. Through this group, I met many new friends and formed even more worthwhile bonds. She was there for me throughout most of my musical career, including the Springfield trip with Sapphyre Strings, Strings at Winona Lake camp in Indiana and the California Tour with the Magical Strings of Youth.

Throughout all of these experiences, I have formed a bond with Ms. Mann that will always be dear to me. Parting with her in California was a moment that really saddened me. However, I am comforted to know that the students in California are in perfect hands. I would not hesitate one moment to recommend Ms. Mann; she is not only a phenomenal musician and teacher, but also a remarkable human being.
Ania, Student of Ms. Mann

I am writing these words on behalf of Sue Mann, with whom I worked from 2006-2010, as accompanist to the Sapphyre Strings in Naperville, IL. From the beginning of our relationship until Sue relocated to California in 2010, I was always impressed with her energy, preparation, musical instincts, kindness and ability to motivate her students. Students in her programs are held to a high standard, and show great loyalty to their teacher. It was a pleasure to be associated with her program, and to have experienced the musical growth of the ensemble over the years I worked with it.
Robert Sacks
Former Accompanist, Sapphyre Strings
Naperville, IL
March 11, 2011

I have known Sue Mann since she studied with me in La Grange, IL  [in the 1960’s].  After graduating and moving to Europe with her family, she returned to the United States to train with me in early childhood teaching.  Sue subsequently opened a violin school in Berlin, Germany where her students won many competitions and performed throughout Germany.  Her school for early childhood training was so unique in Germany that it was used as a model by other teachers unfamiliar with this teaching method.

For the past ten years Sue has been a valued faculty member at my Academy, while directing her own school in Naperville IL.
Sue is a very dedicated teacher establishing a firm foundation in developing each child’s technique and musical awareness.  She is highly experienced and organized, as a result of being an administrator of two music schools.

Sue is a rare teacher very skilled in starting children as young as three, and taking them to the advanced stages of solo and ensemble repertoire.

She will be greatly missed by me and the students who have had the opportunity to study with her.
Mrs. Betty Haag-Kuhnke
Director, The Betty Haag Academy of Music
June, 2010

Ich wollte schon immer Geige spielen, denn meine Schwester spielte jeden Tag.

Als ich vier Jahre alt war, war es endlich soweit. Ich bekam Geigenunterricht. Meine Geigenlehrerin war Sue Mann.

Seit ein paar Jahren hatte ich bei ihr zu Hause Unterricht. In ihrem Zimmer stand ein Flügel auf einem weißen Teppich. Ich glaube, er hatte blaue und rosafarbene Blumen darauf. Einer ihrer Katzen heißt Helmut. Er hat schneeweißes Fell und ist taub. Er saß oft in einem weißen Stuhl oder in meinem Geigenkasten.

Jeden Freitagmorgen freute ich mich auf den Unterricht am Nachmittag.

Sue war sehr streng, aber in einer Weise die niemandem Angst macht. Sie war auch sehr nett und lehrreich. Sie hackte auf jeder Kleinigkeit herum, bis man ganz perfekt spielte, dadurch lernte man umso besser.

Sue hatte sich etwas ausgedacht, damit die Schüler sich anstrengten. Wenn man eine gute Stunde hatte, bekam man einen Punkt. Nach 50 Punkten durfte man zur Stunde kommen und wir aßen Eis und quatschten.

Jetzt lebt sie in den U.S.A. und gibt dort Geigenunterricht. Wir schreiben uns manchmal. Ich vermisse sie immer noch.
—LM (2000)

Miałam zaszczyt osobiście poznać Sue Mann i jako rodzic współpracować z Nią przez dwa lata (2008-2010). Moja córka jest studentką skrzypiec w Betty Haag Academy, gdzie Sue była Jej nauczycielką przez dwa lata, przed przeniesieniem się do Californii. Lekcje i koncerty z Sue pozostaną w moich wspomnieniach jako jedne z najwspanialszych chwil w moim życiu i przeżyć związanych z akademią muzyczną.

Sue posiada żadko spotykaną osobowość, od której emanuje bardzo pozytywna energia i ciepło . Jest wyjątkowym pedagogiem. Bardzo wymagająca,
a jednoczesnie ciepła i pogodna przyciąga do siebie gromady dzieci, które są Jej posłuszne. Każdy z Jej studentów czuje się bardzo potrzebny w grupie. Uczniowie Sue wykazują niezwykłą chęć do nauki I zamiłowanie do muzyki. Lekcje gry na skrzypcach odbywają się u Sue w bardzo pozytywnej atmosferze. Każdy student jest przez Nią traktowany indywidualnie w zależności od wieku, zaawansowania i potrzeb.

Rodzice uczniów zajmują w szkole Sue specjalne miejsce. Zostają oni przyjęci do wielkiej muzycznej rodziny. Każdy jest traktowany bardzo ciepło i serdecznie. Sue staje się jedną z Nas. Jej osobowość i wielkie doświadczenie życiowe pomaga Jej balansować rolę nauczyciela, dyrektora i…przyjaciela. Sue jest bardzo wrażliwa, otwarta i zawsze dostępna. Jeżeli tylko może, zrobi wszystko, żeby pomóc w każdej potrzebie. W szkole Sue panuje niepowtarzalna atmosfera.
Ada Holubecki

Sue Mann 是我认识的最好的小提琴老师。我认识她已经有十年了。她开始教我女儿的时候,我的女儿只有四岁。我女儿是个比较好动的孩子。但是Sue 总是非常的耐心。她总是有很多办法让我女儿听她的话。她也有很多的技巧让女儿对小提琴感兴趣。让女儿在家练琴不是一件容易的事情。但她总是欢欢喜喜的去上课。十年下来了, 我们对Sue有无限的感激。她不单单是教我女儿小提琴,她还关心她小提琴以外的生活。大约在女儿六岁的时候,Sue注意到女儿在拉琴的时候有一些脸上局部痉挛的现象。她就建议我们适当调整女儿的时间表。后来女儿就好了。

我在Naperville有很多的朋友。一些是在班上的美国朋友,一些在教会的中国朋友。他们听到女儿拉琴以后,总是要问谁是她的小提琴老师。很多教会的孩子成为了Sue的学生。每个学生和家长都对Sue非常的满意。

Sue 这次去加州,大家都很难过。女儿哭了。用女儿的话说,Sue 是一个既善良又严格的老师。她用有趣的方式让学生做他们该做的事情。有一些老师只是教学生小提琴,但Sue是在教学生。她关心他们的成长过程。她为他们提供很多成长的机会。比如,她带他们去老人院演出,去其他城市和其他国家文化交流,演出。她准备这些活动的时候,从来都是一丝不苟的。她从来不计较她在这上所花费的心血和
时间。她对中国的文化也很了解。她的学生中有超过一半是中国人。

总之,如果你想找一位好的小提琴老师,Sue 是一个很好的人选。

王怡彬 家长
徐维安 学生

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