- Code of Conduct
- Musical Services
- Parent Educational Opportunities
- Teacher Development Program
- Unanticipated Absences
- What should I bring?
- Your child's classes
- Your child's performances
Student lessons missed during the Institute will not be made up. However, if your child will miss a lesson and can inform the teacher in advance, the teacher may be able to redistribute the lesson hours among the remaining students. It may be possible to give the absentee child a longer lesson the next day if the arrangement is agreeable to others in the class.
SAA rules concerning absence or tardiness with respect to Teacher Development Courses are very strict. Participants must attend all class days and may not miss even a few minutes of class time if they wish to have their training registered with the SAA.
Afternoon Recitals follow the Play-ins and Lectures and are at 3:15 in the auditorium. Please plan to stay. Students gain a new perspective of familiar pieces at these recitals, are motivated by the dedication and perseverance of fellow artists, and are inspired by the level of achievement of each performer. Teach your children by your example to listen quietly during a performance and absolutely do not walk about during a performance.
The GWSI Faculty will perform the Monday afternoon recital. Immediately following the recital, there will be a short meeting for teachers and parents regarding realizing and furthering our goals through our national organization, The Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Students are nominated to perform in afternoon recitals Tuesday-Thursday by their master class teachers and include students who present well-prepared pieces, pleasing musicianship, good posture and sound technique for their level. Please do not encourage competitiveness, nor ask to be nominated. Afternoon recitals should be a musical pleasure and an inspiration for all.
When a student is nominated for the afternoon recitals, he/she should immediately go to the Suzuki Office to submit the nomination form given them by their Institute teacher. Students wishing to rehearse for afternoon recitals may make an appointment with the Staff Accompanist, Elizabeth Brown. Sign-up sheets are posted on the Staff Accompanist practice room door.
The Friday 3:15 PM recital will include performances by the Preparatory and Beginning Orchestras.
Teachers who register for Teacher Development Program unit classes, submit their audition materials within the SAA imposed deadlines and whose audition is not accepted by the SAA may cancel their registration and will receive a tuition fee minus a $50 cancelation fee.
Do not litter the school facilities. We are guests of the school for the week and would like to be invited back! No trash is to be left anywhere, especially in the Auditorium.
At check-in, you will pick up your information packet and name tags for yourself or your family. Unless you are attending the Teacher Development Program Every Child Can!© or Violin Unit 1 courses and need to check-in earlier, try to attend the general check-in on Sunday. For parents and teachers, checking-in on Sunday will give you the chance to find out how to get to the Institute, where to park, to familiarize yourself with the building itself, locate classrooms, familiarize yourself with the weeks schedule and to ask questions. Students do not need to come with their parents, although some children may be comforted to see the facility before classes begin. There will be volunteers available to answer your questions during the check-in period on Sunday. If you do not check-in on Saturday or Sunday, please arrive an hour before your first class on Monday, pick up your badge and information packet in the check-in area and locate your classrooms.
The dress code for the Final Concert is white shirt and long pants for boys and dresses for girls.
The Enrichment Course, The Role of Happiness, a Positive Attitude and Self-Motivated Autotelic Learning in Teaching, will be focused on approaches to creating an environment to develop active learners who are self-reliant, happy, inquisitive and self-motivated, as well as, critical and scientifically skeptical. It will explore ways for teachers to incorporate the latest ideas and learning theories into their teaching with the goal of becoming a more effective and successful teacher. This ten hour course will consist of 4 two and a half hour sessions held Monday-Thursday afternoons.
The Final Concert repertory will be selected by repertory class teachers during the week. It will be on Friday in the Auditorium. Please be unpacked and rosined by 5:35 PM and in place for tuning by your repertory teacher at 5:40 PM. Students will sit with their repertory class teachers. Parents will sit in the auditorium behind the seated repertory classes. The hall will be marked showing where the repertory classes will sit. The first orchestra to perform will go to the stage for the start of the program at 6:00 PM. The performance will begin with the orchestras. At least two of the orchestras will perform on the Final Concert. Performances by cellists will follow, then violinists. The concert will conclude with a play down from the most advanced violin piece to Twinkle. Be courteous and stay to listen to all the performances, not just the one that includes your child!
Absolutely no food or drink (with the exception of bottled water) is allowed in classrooms or the Auditorium at any time, for any reason.
Every Child Can!© is an introduction to Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy and its application to Suzuki education. For parents, teachers, prospective teachers and others, this course provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning. In addition to exploring the elements of the Suzuki approach and its far-reaching goals, it includes an introduction to learning styles, history of the development of Suzuki education, the role of parents, the importance of Suzuki pedagogical training and an overview of the SAA’s role in supporting teachers and parents. A fast-paced, engaging and inspiring program, Every Child Can!© includes video materials and SAA-developed courseware and provides each participant with useful reference materials (manuals) for later study. For teachers, Every Child Can!© serves as the first course in the Suzuki Association of the Americas’ Teacher Development Program.
Cellists who need small chairs should bring their own chair. Only adult-size straight chairs will be available in the classrooms.
Your child will be enrolled in an individual master class with 3 other students (or 2 students if it is an advanced master class). Plan to attend your child’s individual lesson and take careful notes. You will need them for practice and future reference. They may be especially interesting and helpful to your home teacher. You and your child are expected to remain in the studio for the full period of your master class to observe and learn from the other student’s lessons as well. Students (who can write or draw) should also take notes for the other students in their individual lesson hour and give those notes to them at the end of the hour. Please bring paper and pencil. If you would like to request a conference in lieu of the final lesson on Friday, make this known to your teacher at your Thursday lesson. Make arrangements for your child’s care during your consultation.
Participants in both student and teacher development programs must bring their own instruments to class. Instruments are required for all classes with the exception of the Teacher Development Program Every Child Can!© Course. Do not leave instruments in the classrooms, which may be locked without notice or may have classes in session. Always keep your instrument with you. Instrument repair and purchase services well be available on-site.
Please label all your belongings: especially instrument, bow, instrument case, music books, notebooks, music stand, shoulder pads, camera, etc. Use a mailing label that has your name and address or telephone number on it. Every year we have someone lose a whole week’s class notes or music with fingerings or discover that they have switched bows or cases during classes, especially during the Final Concert. This happens every year!!
Participants in both student and teacher development programs must also bring the new revised versions of the Suzuki books they are studying as well as printouts of any materials sent by their instructors in advance of classes. If you do not have the revised versions, you can purchase them from the music service providers on site.
Music Theory Games will playfully incorporate movement, singing, instruments, and innovative materials to teach introductory reading and theory concepts. Students will experience a unique blend of Music Mind Games, Dalcroze, Orff and World Music Drumming inspired activities. They will develop their ensemble skills as they engage with peers and parents and build community as they explore and develop skills and knowledge related to rhythm, symbolic notation, ear training, meter and form. Children who registered as Pre-Twinkle or Twinkle students are automatically assigned to a Music Theory Games class. Book 1 and 2 students may take Music Theory Games as an elective. A parent must attend and participate with their child.
On-site instruments, supplies, Suzuki literature, music, and musical equipment will be available at the Institute Monday through Friday. In addition, participants will have access to repair services. 2018 service providers include:
Potter Violins (301-652-7070)
Foxes Music Company (703-533-7393)
The GWSI orchestras are offered as a short-term experience additional to the students’ long-term school or youth orchestra training. The advancement level of each orchestra changes yearly, depending upon the enrollment. The conductor largely decides the level for each orchestra based upon the advancement of students enrolled. If a student indicates as they register that they have had several years of orchestra or piano and read very well for their level, we may decide to place them in the next more advanced orchestra. Children under the age of seven are not placed in an orchestra. All Vivace program participants will be placed in Advanced Orchestra. Orchestras will meet in the Auditorium (enter from 1st floor, Entrance 1). Students must bring pencils to orchestra rehearsals. We welcome any parent or teacher interested to help out by playing viola, cello or bass.
Participants in all programs should also bring their own note taking materials – both pencils and notebooks.
Possibly the most challenging component of the Suzuki triangle is consistent and productive daily practice with your child. The management of practice largely determines your child’s success. Parents have the most important and most challenging job in educating children. Teachers will readily admit that the parents’ role in teaching their child at home can sometimes be more difficult than anything that happens in the lesson studio. Lectures at the Institute are designed to help further enrich parents for the work ahead. Please attend the lectures we have prepared for you. Play-ins will start at 2:15 allowing you time to attend the lecture starting at 2:20 (followed by the daily recital). The play-in teachers will keep the children until 3:15. The lecture will finish at 3:10 so that you can meet your child when the Play-ins end. If your child is not participating in a Play-In, he/she may quietly attend the lecture. Parents do not need to go to the Play-in unless your child is not comfortable with your being out of sight. Instruct your child to remain at the Play-in until you return. A 45-minute period is scheduled for afternoon lectures and 55 minutes for the Play-ins.
We welcome any parent or teacher interested in to help out by playing viola, cello or bass.
Those attending performances should not walk about during the performance and should listen courteously to each and every performer.
Two Violin Play-in classes are included in Violin Program. Violin Play-in Book 1 is restricted to Book 1 Students and Violin Play-in Book 2 is restricted to any Book 2 students who do not participate in orchestra. Cellists at every level participate in the Cello Play-in class. The Play-ins are fun and entertaining for students, but will not necessarily help you to practice with your child.
Book 3 and more advanced students enrolling in the Violin, Cello, Viola and Bass programs are eligible to register for Quartet/Chamber Music classes as an elective. Participants will be assigned to quartets or small chamber groups according to ability level. Advanced Quartet/Chamber Music classes are included in the Vivace Program for advanced cellists and violists. Music will not be available before the first class. All music must be returned to your quartet coach by Thursday.
The purpose of the repertory class is review, refinement, reinforcement and motivation. Each class will be working on review literature and not necessarily new material. The most advanced class may often revisit pieces from even the earliest books for concentration on a point of technique or high-level refinement. Each year parents have questions concerning their child’s placement in the repertory or group classes. The students will be divided into groups according to advancement with careful consideration to appropriate class size. Someone will be the most advanced and someone the least advanced student in each class. There are advantages to both circumstances. The most advanced violin repertory class is a group of students who may explore advanced violin repertory outside the Suzuki Volumes.
Violin students who play at the end of Book 2 through advanced book players are eligible to register for fiddling classes. Students who have taken these classes before will enjoy the new materials. The focus of classes will be on Scottish Fiddling in the traditional style. Music will be learned primarily by ear, although printed music will be made available at the conclusion of every class. Emphasis will be on playing solo lines. Improvisation and the playing of harmonic “back-ups” may also be explored. Fiddling class offers students a unique and enjoyable experience.
Parents must supervise their children and know their whereabouts at all times. Children may observe classes they do not attend and siblings are allowed into all classes provided they do not disturb the class.
An adult must assist children climbing the stairs to the Auditorium stage.
We are prohibited from entering the school gymnasium, Chapel or any of its offices for any reason during the week.
Parents may register for the Foundation Course, Every Child Can!©. The course is a 6 hour introduction to Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy and its application to Suzuki education. It provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning and is open to both parents and teachers. They may also register for the Enrichment Course, The Role of Happiness, a Positive Attitude and Self-Motivated Autotelic Learning in Teaching. This ten hour course is held over a four-day period and focuses on approaches to creating an environment to develop active learners who are self-reliant, happy, inquisitive and self-motivated, as well as, critical and scientifically skeptical. There is no pre-requisite and no instrument required for either course.
Teacher Development Unit Courses are instrument specific. GWSI offers courses in both violin and cello instruction. Each core unit concentrates on one Suzuki book level (Book 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). The content will follow the syllabus for the instrument being studied and will include performance of the repertory, supervised observation, discussion and completion of assignments as given by the Teacher Trainer. In addition to their focus on Suzuki repertory and instrumental technique, unit courses will also include additional topics as appropriate. These may include review and application of Suzuki philosophy, parent involvement, listening, home practice, private and group lesson formats, learning styles, note-reading and other skills basic to the Suzuki approach.
Students who are well prepared and would like to play in the Thursday Evening Informal Recitals beginning at 6:00 PM should sign up by submitting a recital request form to the GWSI Office before 5:00 PM on Wednesday.
Lists of performers and recital locations will be posted on the main entrance by 5:30 PM Thursday before the recitals.
Although students do not normally rehearse with an accompanist for these recitals, parents may arrange a rehearsal directly with one of the repertory class accompanists. Accompanist names and telephones are listed on the Informal Recital request form. Parents must pay the accompanist directly $15 for a short rehearsal run through. The accompanist’s name must also be indicated on the student recital request form, so that the student is placed in the correct recital. There may be as many as four concurrent recitals to accommodate performers as needed.