By Vivien Tzau & Sam Isono – Etobicoke, Ontario
Our family had the pleasure of attending the SAO Student Day in Guelph on November 2, 2019. Like prior SAO workshops, this particular one did not disappoint! Our daughters, Tea (cello, Book 3) and Scarlett (violin, Book 1), benefitted immensely from their exposure to a different group of quality Suzuki teachers with different teaching methods, and their engagement with children from other Suzuki music schools in a unique group class and play-in. On this special day, the girls strayed from the customary and gained refreshing new experiences that will further develop their musical skill, knowledge and character.
Young students in Scarlett’s enrichment class practised contrasting dynamics, rhythms, pattern recognition, movement, and ensemble playing, without fully appreciating at their young age that they were learning various musical elements and developing their listening skills. From Scarlett’s perspective, she was simply having fun!
In Tea’s enrichment class, she was introduced to Bal-A-Vis-X for the first time. Tea thoroughly enjoyed the series of balance, auditory, and vision exercises, as did many of the observing parents who joined in. Deeply rooted in rhythm, these exercises kept the students focused and their brains sharp! We will definitely be applying these fun exercises at home.
We love that Scarlett was able to observe the senior violin group class, and that Tea was able to observe students’ piano performances accompanied by a string quartet. The children are not the only ones who benefitted from this workshop. As parents, we love that we had the opportunity to marvel at the beautiful rich tones that filled the music hall when thirty cellists performed “French Folk Song” and “Scherzo” in synchronized harmony. And more importantly, we love that we were reunited with families that we have met at previous Suzuki conferences. These connections reinforce our deep sense of community within the Suzuki family. And, as we concluded this workshop we look forward to the next.