Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute Inc.

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

Optional Classes

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.

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

Cost: $250 CDN
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Choir for Everyone!
with Marion Samuel-Stevens (ON)

Discover (or rediscover) the magic of singing. Anyone, and we mean anyone, can join!

Students eligible: All ages and instruments, including parents!

Cost: $150 CDN
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Composition for Beginners
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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)
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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: $180 CDN (includes materials)

Fiddling for Violinists or Violists
with Julia Bowdring (NS)

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: $180 CDN (includes materials)

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with Kathleen King Martin (ON)

In this class, you will be part of a handbell ensemble that acts as one HUGE instrument, with each player being responsible for playing a particular note or notes in a composition. Handbell techniques, reading music notation, and working together as a team are skills developed in this course. Instruments and other equipment will be provided.

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

Cost: $150 CDN

Improvisation: Unlocking Every Child's Creative Voice
with Laura Nerenberg (ON)

Did you know Beethoven was known first as an improviser, then as a composer? Come learn the skills that unlock your own creative voice in a judgement-free, fun environment.

Laura Nerenberg will create a customized class for students on any instrument to gain confidence in their musical abilities and create compositions together that have never existed before.

Students will learn about harmony and rhythm, learn how to solo and be a supporting player in this fun and engaging class. Students wishing to get started improvising before SOSI begins can contact Laura directly for guidance by email.

Students eligible: Pianists or string players in Bk. 2 and above

Cost: $150 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: $295 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

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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.
Every Leap Day, the Days of the Week have a day off and celebrate with a huge party at the House of Father Time. However, this Leap Day, nothing goes as planned. The Days feel overworked, demanding an 8th day be added to the week. Tuesday and Friday’s friendship is not what it used to be. And Mother Nature makes a surprising appearance which puts everyone on edge!

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: $180 CDN
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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)
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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)

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: $295 CDN

APPLY NOW (using the regular String Application form)

Viola for Violinists
with Myra Yeung (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)
NOTE: All information, classes, faculty, etc. are subject to change depending on enrolment.