Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute Inc.

Student Institute Aug. 11–16 | Teacher Development Aug. 10–18, 2019 | Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON

Optional Classes

Bass for String Players
with Jesse Dietschi (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 Jesse Dietschi. 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! If you took this class last year and would like to learn more, sign up for Bass Level 2. First-time students should choose Bass Level 1.

Students eligible: Violin, viola, and cello students in Book 2 or above, age 6 or older

Cost: $195 CDN (includes instrument rental)
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Bass for Pianists
with Doug Murphy (ON)

Once again, all SOSI piano students, 6 or older, and in Book 2 and above, are eligible to study the double bass as an option, even if they have never held a stringed instrument before. And how completely versatile and cool is the bass? These bass classes will be taught in groups by Doug Murphy. Fractional-sized basses will 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: Pianists in Bk. 2 and above, age 6 or older

Cost: $195 CDN (includes instrument rental)

Body Mapping Workshop
with Amber Ghent (ON)

Retraining Rotation

Open to all music educators, parents, and students 12+ interested in learning about the most important instrument – your body!

Musicians must move to play their instruments, and so often we are unaware or confused about how to produce the desired movement. Frequently musicians have mis-mapped rotation, which leads to frustration, discomfort, and injuries including tendonitis and carpal tunnel. Come and learn practical anatomical information about rotation of the elbow, upper arm structure, and spine. Meet Fred the skeleton, watch videos of beautiful movers, and explore movement together.

Body mapping is a specific technique used by licensed Andover Educators to help musicians recognize the source of harmful movement, and to replace it with movement that is aligned with the truth of our anatomical structure. This technique is informed by the latest neuroscience about how the brain produces movement, and it has helped hundreds of musicians play with more ease and heal themselves of injury and pain.

For more information about Body Mapping Lessons, please visit

Seminar Fee: $40 CDN

A limited number of Private Lessons will be available, first come, first served. Please register in advance in order to reserve a lesson between your other scheduled classes. Private 30-minute lesson fee: $56.50 CDN.

Please register for Body Mapping on your program application. If you are an adult attending SOSI with your child, use the Seminar application form. If you are a Teacher Development Participant, there will be a space on the TD application form to include the seminar.

Music Technology: Making Sheet Music on the Computer
with Ken Gee (ON)

This special seminar on Monday night offers an introduction to some of the software and hardware used to produce today’s sheet music on the computer.

Learn some basic concepts about how modern “music engravers” produce music for modern music publishers, both for printed books and for digital music. The focus will be on Finale software demonstrated on the Mac, but the presentation applies to a wide range of similar software running on multiple platforms. You will get tips on what you need to make your own printed music at home.

Ken is a longtime professional digital music engraver for Frederick Harris Music and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. He not only creates music examples for RCM exams, but has also created many popular theory and harmony books including series by Mark Sarnecki and Barbara Wharram. He has been using software for music notation, as well as audio and MIDI editing, for many years.

Students eligible: Senior or YAP students

Cost: $40 CDN

Flute for Pianists and String Players
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with Terry Lim (ON)

Calling All Airbenders! "Airbending is the aerokinetic ability to control and manipulate air." Explore the expressive power and flexibility of air as a musical medium. This class is open to piano and string students Bk. 2 & above. Applications will be taken on a first-come first-serve basis. Please indicate when you register if you have played the flute previously.

If you took Flute for Pianists or String Players last year, and would like to learn more, sign up for Flute Level 2. First-time students should choose Flute Level 1.

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

Cost: $135 CDN (includes instrument rental)

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, 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, told as you hear music recorded by world-class orchestras and singers.

Students eligible: Any student age 6 and up (parents may attend with their registered children at no charge)

Cost: $120 CDN

String/Piano Chamber Ensemble
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: $160 CDN
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with tba

Details soon… Follow us on Facebook or check our LATEST NEWS on the home page of this website for updates.

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

Cost: $120 CDN

Organ for Pianists
with Kathleen King-Martin (ON)

Students eligible: Pianists in Bk. 2 and above (including adult piano program students)

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.

Cost: $120 CDN
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Fiddling for Violinists or Violists
with Julia Bowdring (NL)

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: $125 CDN (includes materials)

Fiddling for Cellists
with Amber Ghent (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: $125 CDN (includes materials)

Viola for Violinists
with Margaret Parkin (UK)

Violinists get a chance to explore the tone colours of the viola by working on viola ensemble repertoire. Violas will be available to use for the week. If you own a viola, please bring it.

Appropriate for violinists with or without previous viola experience.

Students eligible: Violin students in the Intermediate or above program; Enrolment may be limited.

Cost: $135 CDN (includes viola rental)

Percussion for String Students
with Christa Mercey (ON) and 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, string players will focus on developing their rhythmic reading and improvisational skills. Lots of fun! Enrollment is limited. First-come, first-served.

Students eligible: Violinists, violists & cellists, Bk. 2 and above, who can read music.

Cost: $120 CDN
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with Marion Samuel-Stevens (ON), assisted by Mary-Margaret Annab (ON) & set designer Chelsea Driver (ON)
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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 vocal/choral coach for Guelph Youth Singers.

This year’s operetta is Musicville (some small cuts will be made). Music and lyrics by Denver Casado & Betina Hershey, music arranged by Denver Casado. Musicville takes you on an adventure with Maiden Melody and Radical Rhythm as they attempt to save their town from the Sorcerer of Silence. On their quest to the Castle of Composition, they pass through the Desert of Doo-wop, the Ocean of Opera, and the Terrible Terrain of Tango meeting musical friends and foes along the way. Their journey teaches them about new kinds of music, overcoming obstacles, and the importance of working together!

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 limited to 30 students. First-come, first-served. View the operetta schedule here.

**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: $155 CDN
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Private Lessons 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: $220 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: $220 CDN