Edmonton Suzuki Piano School hosts events like an annual Fall Workshop and a Spring Festival. Guest teachers and clinicians from throughout North America are invited to these events to conduct master class sessions for students and parents.
ESPS’ largest piano event features a unique learning opportunity for ESPS families. Each year, over the course of a morning or afternoon, the Fall Workshop offers master classes for students, parent sessions, and a special enrichment activity for students, all designed to help inspire, encourage and motivate participants.
Events like the Fall Workshop offer many benefits for families: children can find it motivating to prepare and perform a piece for a special event; they have the opportunity to learn from a visiting teacher, and observe other students they might not normally know. Every family, including those with beginner students, is encouraged to attend. Students can register to participate or just to observe sessions.
The Spring Festival is both a performance and educational opportunity. It is non-competitive, meaning that the adjudicating teacher will evaluate and comment on the students’ performances but will not give out any grades or placing (1st or 2nd etc.) The students are placed in classes of 3 to 5 students according to what piece they are playing, what book they are in, and their age. Each student prepares a piece and polishes it to as high and excellent a level as possible and performs it in the class for the visiting teacher to evaluate and make written comments. These comments typically include suggestions for further study, practice tips, and encouragement.
The Spring Festival is a wonderful opportunity to hear other students perform as well. Without a doubt, students and parents learn much and are inspired and encouraged by hearing the performances and adjudications of the other students in their class. Teachers encourage and urge families to observe at least one additional class at the festival.
Suzuki Summer Institutes
The summer institutes are one of the very best things about the Suzuki method. They are invariably a time of wonderful enrichment: musical, social and spiritual. They are as beneficial for parents as they are for students and teachers.
Institutes are summer music camps held for one week in various locations throughout Canada and the USA. Daily master class lessons are the centre of the week-long event.
The students have the opportunity to learn from master teachers who have different styles and personalities from their regular teacher. The students gain new insights or suggestions from another’s perspective.
The daily lessons offer the chance for the student, parent and master teacher to get to know each other. There is time for the master teacher to really get to know a child and to tailor his comments, and offer practice ideas, inspiring insights, new and original motivating ideas.
In addition to the daily master class, the schedule is packed full of other activities which usually include recitals and ensemble or chamber music classes. It can include choral classes, dance or movement, drama, composition, or improvisation. And there are usually special lectures and discussion times for parents. Often, there are social events such as pot luck suppers or barbecues, swimming, trips to the zoo, etc. where the focus is off music for a time and everyone can get to know each other and share stories in a fun and relaxing setting.
The time flies at an Institute because it is very busy and intense. But there is great fun, wonderful music and much laughter. Parents and children alike make great new friends easily because there is so much everyone in the Suzuki community has in common.
It takes some planning and budgeting of time and money to attend a Summer Institute. But it involves only four or five days of the summer and the benefits rebound for months. It costs money but it is worth a fortune in encouragement, inspiration and motivation for both parent and child.
You can find Suzuki Summer Institutes throughout North America at the Suzuki Association of the Americas website.
For a list of our current workshops, institutes or festivals, please see our calendar.