Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute Inc.

Student Institute Aug. 11–16 | Teacher Development Aug. 10–18, 2024 | In Person at WLU & Online

Optional Classes

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with Marion Samuel-Stevens (ON)

We are thrilled once again to have Canadian soprano Marion Samuel-Stevens return as our Operetta director. Marion has been described as an engaging, direct performer and actress. Her performances range from the intimacy of a recital to the grandeur of opera. Equally comfortable on the operatic and concert stage, Marion is sought after for her subtle interpretations of text and character, as much as for her warm, supple and luminous voice. She is also a wonderful teacher, choir director, and a conductor for Guelph Youth Singers.
This year’s operetta is The Emoji Musical. After Dolly's younger brother, Wallace, requests her help in designing an Emoji themed costume for the village fancy dress competition, she just cannot stop thinking about those little yellow ideograms. As she drifts off to sleep in the comfort of the family living room with her beloved cat Kenny, she is unaware of the adventure that awaits.

The unsuspecting pair are transported into the wonderfully wacky world of Emojiland where Dolly discovers that lives are very different and cats can talk!

Along their journey, the pair meet a host of colourful characters, including the eccentric Emoji twins Okey and Dokey, the enthusiastic and excitable Emoji children, the worldly Emoticon seniors and the 'all seeing, all knowing' oracle that is 'Poogle'.

Dolly encounters Emoji school life, graduation and even a lively line dance in the 'Okey Dokey Karaoke' club! But who does the mischievous and spirited Wally Whirlwind remind her of?

During her encounters with the Emoji folk, whose destinies are pre-defined, Dolly learns a valuable lesson... to respect that she is in control of her own choices and that by making the right ones she can ensure that... THE FUTURE’S GONNA ROCK!

Students will have the opportunity to sing, act, dance, and create the set for this always popular production. A variety of large and small roles are available; everyone has something to contribute!

Students/parents eligible: Violinists/Violists/Pianists in Bks. 1-6; Cellists in Bks. 1-3 (Operetta conflicts with Cello Choir). Enrolment is limited to 30 students. First come, first served.

**Please Note that parents are expected to volunteer for at least one hour during the week to assist the Operetta faculty. A sign-up sheet for volunteer positions will be circulated at the Casting Call on Sunday afternoon.

Cost: $175 CDN

Sing with Marion (choir)
with Marion Samuel-Stevens (ON)

An all-inclusive singing circle that will focus on the joy of singing together. Through unison and simple harmonies, we will build confidence and freedom in your voice. Simple technical strategies will help you discover (or rediscover) the magic of singing. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can join!

Students eligible: All ages and instruments, including parents!

Cost: $150 CDN
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Music Through the Ages
with Clayton Scott (ON)

Music tells a story—a good story. Therefore, this presentation/performance series is conducted in a lively and anecdotal manner. The great operas, ballets and symphonic works come alive as their stories are dramatically retold. A multi-disciplinary approach will gradually unfold the story behind the music in its historical and social context. Composers will be taken off their pedestals and revealed as real people, living in a real time. The audience will become part of the fabric of the era.

Each session will begin with a spirited investigation of the concrete (the social history, manners, clothing, art and politics of the era), and then move to the abstract (the specific musical works, key passages, and what in the music makes it a masterwork). This will be demonstrated at the piano and discussed, but always anecdotally and always accessible to an audience of mixed ages. Finally, a dramatic performance of the work will bring the story to life, as you hear music recorded by world-class orchestras and singers.

Students eligible: Any student age six and up (parents may attend with their registered children at no charge)

Cost: $150 CDN

Fiddling for Cellists
with Rachel Gauntlett (ON)

Cellists will now be able to learn the techniques and playing style needed to "fiddle" on their cellos! Cellists in Bk. 2 and beyond will be introduced to the world of fun and fiddling that violinists and violists have long enjoyed, including how to turn any piece into a fiddle tune and learning lots of new tunes during the class.

Students eligible: Cellists, Bk. 2 and above

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

Fiddling for Violinists or Violists
with Andrew Dawydchak (ON)

What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle? It's all in the playing style. In this always popular class, you will explore techniques that let you turn any piece into a fiddle tune. Learn tunes from different fiddling traditions, and get your feet tapping!

Students eligible: Violinists and Violists, Bk. 2 and above

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

Double Bass for String Players
with Doug Murphy (ON)

It’s all about the chocolate—chocolate tone that is! We are excited that once again SOSI violin, viola, and cello students in Book 2 or above and age 6 or older are eligible to take the double bass as an optional class. And how completely versatile and cool is the bass? The bass option classes will be taught in group class format by bassist Doug Murphy. Fractional-sized basses will be available for the week so don't worry about size. Space is limited, so if you like chocolate and being cool, don't wait too long to register!

Students eligible: Violin, viola, and cello students in Book 2 or above, age six or older

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

with Arun Pal (ON)

If you can read music, here is your opportunity to try WLU's fabulous percussion equipment—drums, xylophones and other mallet instruments! In this class, students will focus on developing their rhythmic reading and improvisational skills. Lots of fun! Enrollment is limited. First come, first served.

Students eligible: All students, Bk. 2 and above, who can read music.

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

Organ for Pianists
with Kathleen King Martin (ON)

Have you ever wanted to try the pipe organ? In this introductory class, you will learn to play multiple keyboards, play music with your feet on the pedalboard, and find out what all the stops and buttons do. You can try some of your piano pieces on the organ, and also learn some organ music using both hands and feet together. Both pipe organ and harpsichord pre-date the piano, and it is fascinating to play these historic keyboard instruments.

Students eligible: Pianists in Bk. 2 and above

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

Klezmer Music
with tba

Klezmer is a jewish dance music tradition originating in Eastern Europe. In this class we will learn traditional melodies & accompaniment styles building arrangements together collectively as an ensemble.

Students eligible: Book 4 & above, any instrument

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

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with Ashton Hart. (ON)

In composition class, we will learn creative ways of building & generating musical ideas in the moment. Invent new ways of building musical compositions quickly & creatively as a group. Please come to this class with your instruments and open ears.
Born in Port Hope, ON, Ashton Hart grew up surrounded by music. He began playing violin at the age of 5 and studied with teachers in Ontario and South Australia. In 2015, he found his passion for composition in his grade 9 music class. Since then, he has dedicated his career to writing background music for film, television, video games, and other visual media. He completed a Bachelor of Music with distinction at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2023. Today, Ashton runs an online business composing commissioned background music in several genres for clients across the globe.
Listen to his public composition portfolio of work HERE.

Students eligible: Book 4 & above, any instrument

Cost: $150 CDN (includes materials)

Chamber Music
Senior or YAP String and Piano program students perform together, and hone their ensemble skills.

Players will study and polish a piece of chamber music under the experienced guidance of one of our faculty members.

Note: This is already included for pianists in the Senior and YAP piano programs. Some students will have their first String/Piano Chamber Ensemble class on Sunday.

Practice Rooms: Practice rooms will be reserved on Sunday for those students who wish to rehearse before their first String/Piano Chamber Ensemble class.

THIS OPTION IS FULL and no longer available to new students

Students eligible: Senior or YAP string students; Enrollment may be limited.

Cost: $225 CDN

Master class for Adults
This class is offered to any adult (parent or TD course participant) wanting to take semi-private lessons in violin, viola, cello, or piano during the week. Lessons will be scheduled with three or four students per hour. Each participant will receive five lessons during the week. Participants must have some knowledge of the instrument, and string players must bring their own instrument. Enrolment limited. First-come, first-served.

Students eligible: Any SOSI parent or TD participant who plays violin, viola, cello, bass or piano.

Cost: $275 CDN


Sibling Class
Siblings of SOSI students who are 3 to 5 years old, but who aren’t yet studying an instrument, can enroll in our “sibling class”, a one-hour class that meets daily. The sibling class will have the same teacher and curriculum as our youngest pre-reading classes.

Cost: $275 CDN

APPLY NOW (using the regular String Application form)

NOTE: All information, classes, faculty, etc. are subject to change depending on enrolment.