SuzNews Vol 14.2|November 23, 2023

Our Suzuki community offers an encouraging atmosphere to 
nurture every child's full potential and love for music.
News from your National Capital Suzuki School of Music

Fall group classes have wound down, our school Play In is coming up this weekend, students are preparing for their winter recitals and winter is around the corner. It's been a productive Fall. Some of us may be looking forward to some time for weekend snow sports this January, others may be counting the days until Spring.

In preparing this issue of SuzNews a theme seemed to pop up organically - mainly - that we have an amazing Faculty. These talented, hard working, creative, caring individuals have so much to offer. Not only are they teaching our children, they are creating new music, performing, volunteering their time, and sharing their knowledge. On behalf of the families I would like to thank each Faculty member for all you contribute to the school and your community.

Your Editor,

Susan Wooltorton,

Assistant to the GM, Volunteer Coordinator, and a Suzuki Mom

Faculty Benefit Concert - Thank you!

Thank you to our faculty and Liko Yamane, our collaborative pianist, for donating their time to rehearse and perform a beautiful and entertaining concert to raise money for the student bursary fund. Thank you to all who attended and donated. This fund allows students whose families are experiencing financial challenges to continue their music education at our school. (if you're still interested in donating, an e-transfer can be sent to, simply put "bursary" in the message.)

It was a treat to have retired teacher, Carol Deaville, return to support the Bursary cause and rejoin her colleagues on stage.

At the concert, two of our faculty, Emma Grant Zypchen and Erik Johnson-Scherger, offered up a silent auction of a house concert to the lucky bid winner. The silent auction continued for a week after the concert day and ended with Suzuki guitar parent, Viola Hoo, placing the winning bid. She has shared with us that rather than hosting a house concert at her home she is working with Emma and Erik and the principal at her sons' school to share the music with a large group of students. What a meaningful way to embody our theme: Community Crescendo - Nurturing our Connections. We thank Viola for her generosity and Emma and Erik for volunteering their time for this event.

The concert ended with a wonderful ABBA medley which had many audience members humming the tunes on their way back out to their cars.

Thank you to videographer, Hubert Furey and photographer, Graham Ashford.

Our Faculty at the SAO Conference

The Suzuki Association of Ontario hosted its annual conference, which took place mid November in Waterloo this year. Two of our faculty, Emma Grant-Zypchen and Ursa Meyer, presented a talk on effective music education strategies for children with ADHD. As well, Emma taught two group classes at the Student Day and received great feedback from the students she worked with and the parents and teachers observing her. SuzukiMusic is proud to have creative and knowledgeable faculty teaching at our school.

Faculty Feature - Margaret Tobolowska

Margaret says: "My new music video will be premiered on Dec. 2nd at Annette Studios and it will also be live streamed. Along with it, two of my albums ‘Marbyllia’ and ‘Goddess of Edges’ will also be released! I am so excited to share all this new music and musical excitement with my SuzukiMusic community! 

To support me directly, downloading my album from my website is the best way:"

Congratulations Margaret! Your ability to create meaningful new music is inspirational!

For more information about the music video premiere and cd release please click here.

Faculty Feature: Erik Johnson-Scherger

Erik says: "This is my arrangement of a Ruthenian (Ukrainian!) folk tune I found transcribed in “Folk-Songs of Eastern Europe,” edited by Ralph Whitehead.

“The Willow Tree” is an invented name - indeed, most or all of the folk songs in Whitehead’s book had new names and lyrics set to them. In some cases, it seems this was done because the original titles and words were lost to time. Whitehead also offers somewhat questionable justification for editing the text of other songs - I encourage any eager scholars to look up the book and determine for yourself the ethics of his editorial practice. (The pdf is available free online.)

Questionable editors aside, the beauty of the Ruthenian melody is considerable. If anyone recognizes the tune and knows it by another name, please let me know!

I’m very grateful to Sounds Odd for producing this live video."

Congratulations Erik, on the release of this beautiful live video!

Play In 2023 - Unite through Music and Style

The faculty have been planning, the students have been practicing, and the Teen Mentors have been preparing for our annual Play In coming up this Saturday, November 25th, in the Canterbury HS cafeteria.

Our Play In theme this year is Unite Through Music and Style.

Jenna O'Connor, our faculty volunteer for this event, has worked with her colleagues to plan a fun filled morning of music and self-expression at SuzukiMusic's 2023 Play-In. Students are invited to wear a colourful solid coloured top and to try out a playful or unconventional hairstyle. Along with the chance for our students to enjoy making music together there will be a photo booth to showcase those fun hairstyles, games and activities organized by our Teen Mentors, a snacks and treats potluck and a chance for the SuzukiMusic community to enjoy some social time.

Tuning will start at 9AM and the Play In will begin at 9:30AM. For those who wish to join us, please drive around to the lower parking lot at the side of the school and enter at the lower doors. The main doors at the front of the school will be locked.

Here's a little blast from the past - back to 2014 when we had a crazy hair day as part of our annual Play In. Three of these kids are still students at SuzukiMusic and one graduated two years ago. (Where does the time go!)

Christmas Concert - Free for children

Sophie Bertrand, the mother of one of our students, will be performing in a Christmas Concert on December 10th, featuring voice and piano. Free admission for children!

Click here for details.

Term 2 Headstart

Term 2 Headstart will begin on Saturday January 27th.

A term of Headstart would make an excellent gift for a preschooler in your life!

Thank you for spreading the word among your families and friends with children between the age of 2 and 5 who may be interested in this wonderful introduction to music concepts and the instruments we teach at our school.

Please click here for more information and to register.

Suzuki Early Childhood Online Education Program

This online program is for parents and their children as old as 3 years old, and as young as prenatal. It is designed to prepare younger children and their parents for entry into the Headstart program (ages 2.5 to 5). Children aged 2.5 to 3 can be placed in either the ECE program or the Headstart program, at the discretion of the teachers and parents. Registration is ongoing.

Click here for more information and to register.

Giving through the United Way/GCWCC Campaign

The Government of Canada Workplace Charity Campaign(GCWCC)  is on now and is a great way for SuzukiMusic members and friends who are Public Servants to support our school.

Through the GCWCC, public servants can support any registered Canadian charity of their choosing, including our school. Our special thanks to those of you who have chosen to direct your donations toward SuzukiMusic.

SuzukiMusic is a non-profit corporation and registered charity. 892776378RR0001

Upcoming Events

2023 Play In - Unite through Music and Style

Saturday November 25th, 2023, 9:30AM

Canterbury HS, lower level cafeteria

Winter Studio recital schedule:

Sunday, Dec. 3 at Orleans United Church, 1111 Orléans Blvd

2pm: Judy

Saturday, Dec. 16 at Bells Corners United Church, 3955 Old Richmond Rd

12 - 3:45 Daniel & Chela

4:00- 5:00 - Erik, Janice, Jenna and Ursa

Sunday, Dec. 17 at Bells Corners United Church, 3955 Old Richmond Rd

12-1:45 - Emma and Sonya

2-2:30 - Margaret 

2:45 - 4:15 - Keite

Winter Break - no private studio lessons

Saturday December 23rd to Sunday January 7th 2024

Next Classes at Canterbury

Saturday January 27th 2024

Canterbury HS

Parent Education Corner

Getting the Most from Your Visit to a String Instrument Shop 

By Judy Olmstead 

All string instrument players (violin, viola, cello or bass), at some time or other, will have to visit their local string shop to purchase or repair an instrument or bow. Strings may have to be replaced too. 

In today's big box retail, self-check-out and "30 minutes or it's free" mentality, your trip to a string instrument shop will probably be quite a different experience, and so you should be prepared. Most importantly, a string shop will be staffed by a luthier, someone who makes stringed instruments. And you will probably find another employee assisting the luthier.  

I should mention that there are shops that sell string instruments and supplies yet are not staffed by a trained luthier. Never visit these shops for repairs, and only purchase supplies that you know or have been recommended by your teacher. I have had students show up to a lesson with a shiny set of new strings that sounded so shrill they had to be replaced after a week. 

So, here are a few pointers to help with your trip to the string instrument shop: 

• Do your homework before going to the shop. There is no use in just visiting a shop to browse before purchasing an instrument. To the untrained eye, instruments all look mostly the same. Your teacher will be your best resource from the start. 

• Your next resource will be your bank manager. Deciding your budget and telling the shop employee will get you started looking at instruments in your price range. There is no sense having your child try instruments costing $2,000 when your budget is $600. 

• The next most important consideration is how the shop is set up for choosing and trying out instruments. Wooden instruments are very breakable and cannot just be grabbed off the shelves like a product at Walmart. Choosing and trying your instrument will involve one store employee getting the instruments from the shelves and having you try them one at a time. This is not the place to bring the whole family, toddlers or anyone else not involved in the long process. 

• Another consideration is whether you will be purchasing a package (instrument, case and bow) or all parts separately, as one frequently does when going to a 3/4 or full size instrument. Choosing those parts separately can take a lot longer than purchasing a package. Something might have to be ordered. For example, if your child will be busing from school to lessons with their instrument, you will need to consider the specific wear and tear on the case. A more robust case might have to be ordered. 

Repairs are another reason to visit a string instrument shop. Whether you know what is wrong with your instrument or not, this will likely involve the luthier taking a look to give you an idea of the extent of the repair and cost involved. Some less obvious problems may need further investigation to discover the problem.

Whatever the reason for your visit to a string shop, remember to go prepared, and leave yourself time to let these professionals help you get the most enjoyment from your instrument.

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