By Jean Grieve - Oakville Ontario
Last year in our Oakville Suzuki program, we discovered that we did not have enough senior students registered in our association (past Book 4) to run our advanced violin groups. We decided to offer a quartet program where each group arranged with a teacher to meet at a time everyone could manage for approximately 18 sessions in the year.
To our surprise a large number of students signed up, and we formed eight quartets and all registered with Oakville Suzuki. We set two pieces that everyone could play together at our Senior Christmas concert, and arranged for a special masterclass with Witold Swoboda in April where each group performed a classical piece. Several of the quartets also performed at festivals and seniors’ residences.
The most successful groups were those where the students were already friends, and they signed up again this September. We now have five groups but one has not been able to find a teacher at a time when the students can get together. This is one of the biggest problems when parents, teachers, and students are very busy. There is no doubt, however, that we will continue to offer the option for our senior students.