SSSG Notes June 13,  2019

In This Issue:

Hello all,

Please know this is the last Constant contact newsletter going out this spring.  We will touch base this summer regarding your SSSG 2019/20 schedules.

Enjoy this lovely weather & your summer season.


Janet Johnson
Suzuki String School of Guelph
administrative assistant

Ontario Music Festivals Association Provincial Finals  finals

*Congratulations to Alexander Barnstijn who was awarded first place in his age group (17-19) for his performance of the Bach Cello Suite #4 Sarabande at the Great Composers Rising Talents Competition. The competition was for all of the Americas, across all instruments. Bravo Alexander!


More results for the Ontario Music Festivals Association Provincial Finals:

Grade 9 Upper Strings: Selina Wu, Second Place and Mathili Shende, Honourable Mention
Grade 8 Lower Strings: Stefan Sommerfeld, First Place
Grade 7 Upper Strings: Kevin Wu, Honourable Mention
Grade 7 Lower Strings: Noah Huang, Second Place
Grade 6 Upper Strings: Seungmo Gu, Second Place
Congratulations to all the SSSG students who participated and to their teachers. You did the SSSG proud!

Summer Lessons & Practicing summer
Summer Lessons
In order to keep your practice routine going over the summer, we strongly encourage you to take summer lessons as often as your summer schedule will allow. Your teachers now have their summer lesson schedules available. Some are posted at the GYMC in the hallway, while others can be booked through email. For the sake of continuity, priority should be given to studying with your own teacher. However, if your teacher isn't available on weeks when you would like a lesson, you are welcome to sign-up for lessons with other teachers.  Here is the list of teachers available for lessons this summer as well as their contact information:
Violin/ viola :
Carmen Evans
Anna Hughes
Elayne Ras
Joy Schuster
Rachel Gauntlet
Amber Ghent (in Waterloo only)
Some Ideas for Fun Summer Practising:
  • Plan your summer routine to include violin practice as early in the day as possible. 
  • Plan your practices in advance: goal, games, sitting-down activities, etc.
  • Sign up for summer lessons and/or a Suzuki Institute.
  • Hire a practice buddy, you can find the list of available, trained teen mentors on the SSSG bulletin board. Ask your teacher for a recommendation. Remember, teen mentors should not be teaching new pieces. That is the work of a trained Suzuki teacher. 
  • Attend live concerts-they are a great motivator! There are many summer music festivals around Ontario which put on amazing classical music performances through the summer. Check them out!
  • Watch inspiring YouTube videos. Look for amazing players and discover new music and composer. Find pieces you would like to play in the future.
  • Write a story or draw a picture about one of your pieces. Get your imagination going while listening to the piece over and over again.
  • Make a chart to count the practising days or the number of pieces played throughout the summer. With small children, an art project with components that can be added every practice is a great way to visualize how much work is getting done. Even building a Lego construction over the course of a week can keep the interest going.
  • Set realistic goals for repetition or number of review pieces to do each week. Involve your child in picking the pieces and some technical or musical goal to think about while they play. Having some cards with different technical or musical goals and other cards with the names of all the pieces would be a good way to make this a fun activity. Throw in some other cards like "hug daddy" or "do a summer salt" to keep things interesting.
  • Plan home concerts for family, friends or even stuffed animals and dolls.
  • Plan get to get together with other Suzuki students to play through review pieces or work on some simple chamber music. Make it a fun social activity as well, have ice cream together, go for a swim or just play outside.
  • Plan a concert at a nursing home, church, day camp or anywhere else that seems appropriate.
  • Go busking. This can be a great way to encourage your child to polish review pieces. Have your child make a list of appropriate pieces and polish them ahead of time. You can sign-up for a spot at the Old Quebec Street Mall, the Guelph Farmer's Market or the St Jacob's farmer's market. Make sure pieces are polished and that your child is comfortable doing this. No one enjoys watching a child who looks like he/she is uncomfortable performing in this situation. This is also fun to do with one or two other students and play duets or trios.
  • Practise in different rooms of the house or outside. 
  • Make a visit to the park and play for different trees or sculptures! The McDonald-Stewart Art Gallery Sculpture Park is a great place to do this.
  • Organize a treasure hunt. Write the names of the review pieces on small pieces of paper. Hide them in different places around the room. Whatever piece the student finds is the next piece to be played. 
  • Spend lots of time on review. If notes and bowings are an issue, this should be your focus point. Once all review pieces are in good shape find a goal that could be accomplished while going through review pieces (i.e. balanced posture, balanced bow hold, clear tone, accurate intonation, playing expressively, giving the piece different moods, etc.).
  • Focus only on one goal every week; don't try to fix everything at once.
  • End the practice before your child has had enough. Finish on a high note.
  • Take a week off. Taking a week or two off during the summer can refuel everyone's batteries. Be careful though, taking the whole summer off will make you take a huge step back and set you up for a difficult start in the fall. This is really not recommended.
  • Keep your sense of humor and have fun!

Suzuki Early Childhood Education Program Open House SECE
MusicFest 2019 fest
1) Musicfest will continue on June 14  as Guelph-born artists return to join Ken Gee in the popular FESTIVAL TRIO-violinist Sadie Fields (Brussels, Belgium) and cellist Paul Pulford (New Brunswick). 

The annual appearance of the Festival Trio is always a Musicfest audience favourite. Sadie lives in Brussells, but loves the opportunity to visit her home-town Guelph and perform in the Festival Trio. Paul Pulford has retired from Wilfrid Laurier University and moved to New Brunswick, but returns to continue in the trio. They're all good friends with musical synergy, and love playing together. Come and share in their musical reunion.
2) The series finale on June 21  is a recital by the superb Montreal pianist CHARLES RICHARD-HAMELIN. 
Silver medalist and laureate of the Krystian Zimerman award of the best sonata at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, Charles Richard-Hamelin is standing out as one of the most important pianists of his generation. He also won the second prize at the Montreal International Musical Competition and the third prize and special award for the best performance of a Beethoven sonata at the Seoul International Music Competition in South Korea. Charles was recently awarded the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec and the prestigious Career Development Award offered by the Women's Musical Club of Toronto. 
Both concerts are on Friday at 7:30 pm in the beautiful Recital Hall of the Guelph Youth Music Centre , 75 Cardigan Street, Guelph
Please visit

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for the Musicfest ticket table... Enjoy the concerts for FREE by helping out at the door (adults or senior students). Contact Ken at or 519-993-7591