2017 SAO Conference

November 4-5, 2017 in Waterloo, Ontario

Saturday November 4: A Day for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Aspiring Teachers

Location: Knox Presbyterian Church. 50 Erb St. W. Waterloo, Ontario

Sunday November 5: A Day for Suzuki Teachers

See Teacher Day Talks and Bios here

Location: Homewood Suites by Hilton, 45 Benjamin Road, Waterloo, ON

Student Day Workshop schedule:

Hello SAO Conference 2017 Participants and Families!
November 4th is quickly approaching and we are really excited for our workshop in Waterloo, Ontario. We have 17 clinicians coming from Windsor, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Guelph, Huntsville, and Toronto. We have almost 250 Suzuki students from all over the province attending. What an opportunity to come together and make beautiful music, and fill our hearts!
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church. 50 Erb St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 1T1
Parking: See Most up to date map of the area HERE.
Please car-pool or use public transit if possible. There limited parking at Knox, free Saturday parking at Waterloo Public Library next door as well as the Marsland Centre. Waterloo Park and The Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex as well as Waterloo Town Square are also close by for people who are able to walk. Please be sure to leave in time to consider construction and parking!  Waterloo is in the process of a many year Light Rail Transit Project. Two years ago when we started planning for this conference it was planned to be complete. Unfortunately this is not true, so we ask for your understanding and patience. We highly recommend using google directions or as your gps as it has been fairly up to date with traffic changes and road closures. We are hoping to have a parking map available on the SAO website as soon as possible for our out of town guests.
Hotel: Our official conference hotel is the Homewood Suites by Hilton, St.Jacobs. Our block has now expired but if you are still looking for a room please be sure to let them know you are part of our conference!
Allergies: Please note that Knox Presbyterian Church is a nut free facility. If you are bringing snacks please keep this in mind. Knox is also a low-scent facility. Please keep this in mind!
Classes: All students in our regular workshop will receive: 1 group class (30-50 minutes), 1 enrichment class (1 hour), and participate in an instrument specific play-in (1 hour). The craft room is available for an $5/student. If you have pre-ordered a craft ticket it will be in your registration package. Parent talk is welcome to all.
Enrichment for ages 10+ will be Creative Ability Development (improv) with either Laura Nerenberg or Debbie Hammond. Enrichment for ages 9 and under will be a rhythm and choir class with Kevin Snowball.
Mini workshop students will receive: 1 enrichment class with Kevin Snowball, 1 30 minute group class, and you are welcome to watch our play-ins or piano sonatina jamboree. Parents are also welcome to attend the Parent talk at 1 pm. Classes for mini-workshop students will be finished by noon.
SECE/PPT Families: You will receive a 45 minute class. Please see a follow up email. You are also welcome to come to our Parent talk at 1 pm. This is also a great opportunity to come and observe some instrumental classes if you are thinking of starting!
Soundpost: The Soundpost from Toronto will be available throughout the day. They are sometimes a little slow at events. I highly recommend if you have something specific you want to purchase to order ahead of time and let them know you’ll be at the conference!
Silent Auction: The Silent Auction will run from 9 am and will close by 1:30 pm.
Lunch: Please note this church is a nut free facility. You are welcome to bring snacks, to eat in the lunch area (not in classrooms or sanctuary), but no nuts please!
Lunch is provided to registered student (except SECE) and anyone who has pre-ordered a lunch. There will be two lunch periods. Lunch is through Lunch Lady. http://thelunchlady.ca/. If you have specific dietary restrictions that you indicated with your registration it will be available at a separate table, labelled with your name and will have an ingredient list. For persons with severe allergies or celiac disease: Please note that the food will be proceeded in a facility that may have come in contact with gluten or other allergens. If this concerns you please bring your own food. You are welcome to contact us directly if you would like to speak about their process ahead of time. I’ve been reassured by families with members who have celiac disease and severe allergies that they have an excellent kitchen and have worked hard to accommodate them. As a person with allergies myself, I certainly understand the stress and you are more than welcome to bring your own food if you feel safer that way. It is processed in a nut free facility.
Repertoire Lists: Repertoire list for each instrument group will be made available on the SAO website shortly or can be emailed upon request.
Please see information about our scheduling process below:
Your Individual schedule will be available in your registration package on the day of the conference. With approximately 250 students we have not been able to accommodate all requests, especially since certain teachers are coming from very far and are specialized to teach certain instruments/levels, etc.
8:30 am registration will open. All strings students book 1-4 need to register at 8:30 am. All Piano students please register at this time
9 am: First set of classes begin. Craft room will open. Silent Auction will begin.
9:00-9:45: registration for students book 5+. The Soundpost will be available at 9:30 am.
10:00 am: Second set of classes begin
11 am: First set of lunch (you will know from your individual schedule if you are able to get lunch at this time.)
12 pm-1 pm: Lunch break. Mini-workshop students will be finished by lunch.
1 pm: Parent Talk with Carol Tarr from Denver. Classes resume for some students. A supervised Children movie will be available for students age 3+ who are not in class.
1:30 pm : Silent Auction Closes
2:30-3:00 pm: The Soundpost will close
4 pm: Craft Room Closes
5 pm: We are finished!
5-6 pm: Clean up crew to clean up.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email SAOconference2017@gmail.com

Download the conference details in PDF

November 5 Teacher Day Schedule:
8:30-9 am: Registration Meet and Greet
9:00-10 am: Keynote with Carol Tarr
10:00-10:30: Snack/coffee break
10:30-11:30: Break out Session #1
11:30-12:30: SAO AGM
12:30-2:00: Lunch
2:00-3:00: Breakout Session #2
3:00-3:30: Coffee/snack
3:30-4:30 Keynote #2 with Carol Tarr.
5:00 End
5:30 pm the SAO Board of Directors will be meeting in the hotel. Dinner is provided to board members.



A block of rooms is reserved at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, 45 Benjamin Rd.
Waterloo, Ontario.

The hotel includes:

  • Free hot breakfast offered daily, allowing your guests to start their day off right
    without an additional charge.
  • Free high-speed and Wireless Internet access in the lobby and all guestrooms
  • Guests have the option to earn HHonors points
  • Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre
  • Close to St.Jacobs Farmer’s Market!
  • Free parking

View accommodation options and rates, and reserve your room online through the dedicated Homewood Suites SAO Conference website.

Alternative Method of Reservation:Call 1-844-204-8627 and specify “Suzuki Music Teacher’s Conference” rate
Cut-Off Date EXTENDED!: Bookings must be made by October 18, 2017 11PM
Billing Instructions: Each guest will be responsible for their own charges.
Cancellation Policy: To avoid a cancellation fee of the first night’s room and tax; cancellation notice of individual reservations, if any, must be received 24 hours prior to
check in.
Special Requests: Rooms with two queen beds and/or rooms with one king bed can be
shared with up to 4 people


Free at the Homewood Suites.

Teachers, students, and parents – you won’t want to miss this exciting weekend!