Sarah Hensen, a former Kingston Suzuki cello student herself, attended the recent SAO conference and shared her thoughts with KMK:
My daughter has attended the Institut Suzuki Montreal and the Southwestern Ontario Institutes since she was 6 years old. This past summer because of conflicts she could not attend either. So when the opportunity arose to attend the SAO conference in Guelph we were so happy.
My favourite part of Suzuki: you are not learning on your own but learning within a community. Arriving at the workshop, we ran into Paule Barsalou and she said “So nice to you again, Mirren, my goodness you are getting so tall.” For me as a parent, this is so touching to hear: teachers remember the children from year to year. It’s really lovely to have this familiarity and to be in a space where everyone feels that they belong. Though Mirren was the only Kingston student to attend, the smiles and the comfort level was soon evident even with the kids she didn’t know.
As for myself, Teri Einfeldt’s parent talk gave me inspiration and a reminder that as a parent we are not alone. It was helpful to hear that other people have challenges, that their child too, learns differently and that in a world where everything is so competitive – even when people try not to make it this way—the Suzuki method allows you to move at your own pace.
The 2019 SAO Student Day more than fulfilled all expectations for Mirren and myself. It was so worth the five hour drive from Kingston to attend and we can’t wait for the 2020 SAO Conference in Kingston!
Interview Notes compiled by Karen-Michele Kimmett