Sanford (Sandy) Reuning was one of the very first American violin teachers to meet Dr. Suzuki, and bring the Suzuki method to the United States. He is a founder and director of Ithaca Talent Education School, a private music school devoted to the teaching methods and philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki. Additionally, he is an adjunct Professor of Music at Ithaca College, where he leads the masters degree program in Suzuki Pedagogy, and is director of the Ithaca Suzuki Institutes, held each summer at Ithaca College.
Sandy’s association with the Suzuki Talent Education movement began in 1964 when he and his wife, Joan, attended a concert in Philadelphia given by Dr. Suzuki and his students from Japan. During visits to the United States between 1966 and 1969, Dr. Suzuki showcased and instructed students of Sandy and Joan in workshop demonstrations at the Eastman School of Music and Syracuse University. In 1974, Sandy visited and studied with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan, and he has made numerous return trips to Japan. He was on the faculty for the 1978 International Suzuki Conference in San Francisco and the 1999 International Suzuki Conference in Matsumoto, and was director of the “Friendship Concerts” (1978) tour of 100 Japanese and 100 American students, conducting performances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Atlanta’s Symphony Hall. He was chairman of the 1981 International Suzuki Conference in Amherst, MA.
Sandy graduated from the University of Illinois, where he studied violin with Homer Schmitt of the Walden Quartet, and with Paul Rolland. His studies continued at Ithaca College, The Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, and Tanglewood (Lenox, MA), where he performed for a summer under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. He is a past president and board member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Currently he serves on the Violin Committee of the Association.