Going to the American Suzuki Institute for four years in a row was one of the highlights of my childhood and my very positive Suzuki experience. Each August we packed our car with instruments and roller skates, and drove from St. Louis to Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, for a week-long Suzuki institute experience. To me, it felt like at least a month, full of new and old friends, applauding grandparents, wearing my dorm-room key around my neck on a “cello” shoelace, roller skating to classes, and practicing outside under the trees with my friends. The anticipation of what piece I would be “up to”, what color the T-shirts would be, and which teachers I would have made the summer crawl by as my sister and I waited for August to arrive, practicing our review pieces each night after dinner by picking home-made cards from our special box.
All of my students who have been to a summer institute have been transformed by the experience. Parents benefit at least as much as children, if not more! The simple time to actually focus on your child and the profound process of their learning an instrument is a gift. The brilliant teaching goes to the core of the student’s issues, leaving him/her a much more balanced and happy player by the end of 5 days of focused work. That 5 days really lasts, let me tell you!
I encourage all of you to talk with your teacher about whether your child might be ready for an institute this summer, or whether it is something to really think about for next summer. We can explain and recommend the different institutes around the country (during almost every week of the summer) that would be most suited to your family. If you would like to speak to Silver Music families who have attended festival in the past, let us know and we will put you in touch!
More information can also be found on the Suzuki Association website: www. suzukiassociation.org.