MNjcc Suzuki Program staff and guest teachers spent an extraordinary week together with 55 children, ages 3.5 – 14 years, from varied Toronto Suzuki Schools at our 8th Music and Arts summer camp week from July 3 to 7. The older children started each morning listening to Clayton Scott’s “Music Through the Ages,” while the younger children took “Musicianship” class with Tova Rosenberg. The remainder of the morning hours included semi-private instrumental lessons (in violin, viola, cello, and piano), and Suzuki group classes, Twinkle through Book 5. Afternoons were devoted to a variety of “enrichment” class choices, pottery, swimming, ukulele, drumming, chamber music, Klezmer, composition, improvisation, fiddling, art class, and musical theatre.
Alongside of all activities were helpers and guides of all ages: “Suzuki Buddies,” high school volunteers, grandparent volunteers, parent volunteers, older campers, and even a few teacher observers who came to learn more about the Suzuki method. We were so proud to be able to hire MNjcc Suzuki Program graduates, and as well, Suzuki camp graduates to work as camp staff. The feeling of mentorship, both musically and otherwise was very present, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie, caring, and boundary-less learning.
Our week culminated in an inspired Friday afternoon concert, where the children showed off “samples” of what they had learned in their week, to an audience of parents, teachers and friends. Words are not as successful as the music-making in describing all that transpired. Good friends were made in every age bracket, and some lifetime musical bonds happened.
Various people ask each summer, “why don’t you run this camp for 2 weeks,” or “why don’t you run this camp all summer?” A simple answer is that the camp “magic” would not be the same. The truth is that our excellent teachers, who bring so much to the camp are in demand to teach in other camps and Suzuki Institutes in Canada and other parts of North America.
Combined cello class performance led by Tova Rosenberg:
Violin group class games:
Combined ukulele and drumming class performance with Cheryl Reid:
Musical Theatre class with Maya Chilton: