A passionate and enthusiastic educator, Ms. Bitticks became the first flutist to receive a Certificate of Achievement for excellence in Suzuki instruction from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She is now one of a small handful of SAA registered Suzuki Flute Teacher Trainers in North America. In 2009 she travelled to Matsumoto, Japan to study with Suzuki Flute Method founder, Toshio Takahashi. Ms. Bitticks has completed additional Suzuki training with David Gerry, Jerilee Kechley, Kim Lorimier, Kenichi Ueda, and Kelly Williamson.
Ms. Bitticks believes quality music instruction can only break down barriers when it is available to every person, regardless of age or economic background. With this in mind, she worked with foster children through DePaul’s Pathways program and has also been a Tuition-free Conservatory instructor for the Merit School. She regularly volunteers at summer music camps in Haiti such as the ones for the Ecole de Musique Sainte Trinite and Ecole de Musique Dessaix Baptiste. Ms. Bitticks joined the board of BLUME Haiti, an organization that works to develop leadership skills, create opportunities, and promote economic development through music education.
Summer instructorships have included workshops and institutes such as the American Suzuki Institute, the Great Lakes Suzuki Institute, the Lake Sylvia Suzuki Flute Institute, the OSU Flute Workshop, and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Flute Camp. Ms. Bitticks was a clinician for the Suzuki Association of Mexico, the Rockford Music Academy’s Winter Suzuki Flute Workshop, Dennison University's Flutes in the Frost, and has presented for the Chicago Flute Club and National Flute Association.
All Fleautiful Studio lessons incorporate the following principles of Suzuki philosophy: listening, tone production, and individually tailored instruction. However, there are several qualities unique to Suzuki lessons. Utilizing the "Mother Tongue Approach," students are immersed in the sound of the flute and the basic mechanics of playing. Parents attend lessons and become the "home teacher" which promotes a strong bond between parent and child. Students who begin this way can start playing as early as three years of age and develop a life-long love of music.
One of the things that first attracted me to the Suzuki philosophy is the joyful approach to music education. The Authentic produced this videographic portrait of one of my group classes that captures this feeling beautifully.
Musikgarten is a non-instrument specific and mulit-sensory musical education system for babies and toddlers. The movement-based curriculum teaches children how to listen by creating a way for them to explore music on an experiential level. Parents and children bond through music making, dancing, story telling, and imaginative group play.
In 2012 I made a life-changing decision to volunteer to teach flute at two music camps in Haiti. I fell in love with the students and the culture and am quite committed to continuing my work there.
Haiti is perhaps most known for the devastating earthquake in 2010 from which they still have not recovered. However, Haiti has a long and rich tradition of Western Classical as well as folk music performance and composition. There are many music students in Haiti who love to play music but are severely limited by the poor condition of their instruments and the inexperience of their teachers.
In 2013, my students at the Music Institute of Chicago raised money to buy and donate a total of 13 flutes to the students of the Ecole de Musique Dessaix-Baptiste. One of my graduating seniors joined me on my trip that year - the students loved her and she was a great help to me. My fundraising continues: I returned in 2014 with more donated instruments.
By working with teachers as well as students I can help ensure that students will not be limited by their instruments or the fundamentals of their playing. Click here to see a gallery of our work in Haiti.
Contact me for more information on how to donate an instrument.
Everyone deserves the ability to play beautifully.
In addition to my blog, fleautiful, I have published articles for the American Suzuki Journal and the Chicago Flute Club Pipeline. Here they are!
Baroque Style for the Suzuki Flutist - ASJ Sp2013
Grow Your Studio With Curved Headjoint Flutes - Pipeline Fall 2013
Is Music a Human Right? - Pipeline Winter 2014
Honoring the Past, Nurturing the Future - Pipeline Summer 2013