2018 SAO Conference

Save the Date! November 10-11, 2018 in Etobicoke, Ontario

Nurturing the Suzuki Triangle with Edmund Sprunger!

Conference Registration Forms

Teacher Day Form
Student Day Form
Mini-Student Form
SECE-student form

The conference co-ordinating committee (Margot Jewell, Amanda Lee, Rachel Gauntlett, and Tricia Balmer) has been working hard on planning this special event! We are happy to announce that the conference will be held at the Lakeshore Campus of Humber College in Etobicoke Ontario (west end of Toronto). A lovely location by the lake, this college is easily accessible by car from the Gardiner Expressway, QEW and highway 427 or by TTC.

Students are welcome to participate in a workshop day on November 10 to work with outstanding Ontario teachers. Parents will also enjoy a parent talk with acclaimed Suzuki pedagogue, Ed Sprunger, the author of “Helping Parents Practice” who will share his unique perspective as a psychotherapist and musician.

Join your colleagues next November 11, to be inspired by our outstanding keynote speaker, Ed Sprunger from St Louis MO. A graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto Japan, Ed has a BA in music from Goshen College, holds a MSW from the University of Michigan, and is the Director of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. Ed is a registered SAA Teacher Trainer and has given many helpful and inspiring talks to parents and teachers at SAA conferences and on Parents as Partners Online. In addition to his teaching, he is also a psychotherapist in private practice, and the author of two books; one of them the highly revered Helping Parents Practice.

In addition to an incredibly exciting keynote, inspiring and informative Breakout Sessions focusing on all three points of the Suzuki Triangle are being offered:

Ed Sprunger: Working With Parents

Valerie Legge: Creating Resilience: from Surviving to Thriving

A popular workshop which presents the background and the practices for creating a toolkit for personal resilience. It allows participants to experience the vital importance of acknowledging and affirming accomplishments; how the brain is hard-wired to focus upon negative experiences and how to change this; how to use and befriend the negative voices of inner self-talk; how to build upon strengths to create more success; how to broaden awareness using multiple perspectives; how to shift one’s focus from failure to feedback; and how to change from a mindset of preventing problems to flourishing

“After studying violin performance at the University of Toronto, Valerie worked as an orchestral and chamber musician in Montreal for over 25 years. During this period she also began her Suzuki teacher training, eventually studying with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto in 1988. In midlife, she retrained as a certified professional Coach with the International Coach Federation and pursued certification in Positive Psychology. She is currently in demand as a career, leadership and transition coach, as well as a trainer and workshop facilitator.”

Dana Pettus: The Science Of Behaviour And Its Uses In Teaching

This talk will give you a brief overview of the basics of behavioural psychology and discuss tools and strategies that have emerged from the discipline. We will discuss ways to use positive teaching strategies to set a person up for success in a lesson, to systematically break down and teach a skill, and how to increase the probability of someone doing what you’ve asked them to do. These tools and strategies will be related to teaching individuals with unique needs.

Dana Pettus is a Behaviour Therapist who works with children and youth on the Autism Spectrum. In her 5 years in this role, she has learned to use the science of behaviour analysis to more effectively teach children, their parents and other therapists under her supervision. She feels that teaching should be tailored to each learner and that the science of behaviour analysis can be used to help everyone learn more effectively. 

Conference Location:

Both days of the 2018 conference will be held at the Lakeshore Campus of Humber College in Etobicoke Ontario (west end of Toronto). A lovely location by the lake, this college is easily accessible by car from the Gardiner Expressway, QEW and highway 427 or by TTC. 


Saturday November 10: A Day for Suzuki Students, Parents, Teachers and Aspiring Teachers.

Registration Due: Sept 30, 2018 (This is a firm deadline) Location: Humber College LAKESHORE CAMPUS West, 3199 Lakeshore Blvd West, Building A (park in Lot 1). Bring your own lunch. Fast food available on campus or on nearby Lakeshore Blvd. Sunday

November 11: A Day for Suzuki Teachers

Location: Humber LAKESHORE CAMPUS East, 17 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, Building G (park in Assembly Hall lots or Lot 1) Catered lunch provided. Click here for campus map (or visit the Humber College website).

Hotel: Hampton Inn by Hilton Toronto Airport Corporate Centre, 5515 Eglinton Ave West Toronto

This hotel is easily accessible from highways 410, 427 and 410. A block of Queen bedrooms have been reserved at the corporate rate of $149.00 (+ HST) Parking is free. Pool & fitness centre on site. Complimentary: breakfast, Internet access, and shuttle service to Pearson International airport and within a 5-mile radius of the hotel (subject to availability and pre-arranged). Visit the Hampton Inn website for more details of hotel amenities.

Direct Phone   416-646-3000.  Please quote Group Code “CHXSAO” Toll Free 1-888-381-4311 Guest rooms will only be held until Tuesday, October 9th, 2018.

Student Day:

Students are welcome to participate in a workshop day on November 10 to work with outstanding teachers. Instruction will be offered to the students in group classes and play-ins. Students will also be placed in a music enrichment class (Creating an opera, drumming, fiddling, or an orchestra for senior string students.) Children will also have the opportunity to create special crafts. Parents will enjoy a parent talk with acclaimed Suzuki pedagogue, Ed Sprunger, the author of Helping Parents Practice who will share in his talk “resistance” a unique perspective as a psychotherapist and musician.

To facilitate preparation for group classes, a workshop emphasis list will be provided in the Fall. Also note that repertoire will need to be memorized.

Encourage your students to enjoy a special weekend in Toronto; making music with many others from across the province as well as visiting the Royal Winter Fair, the Ontario Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, the ROM. Your studio will be revitalized when your students return from this inspiring Suzuki experience!

For more information contact saoconference2018@gmail.com

Viola Day at the upcoming SAO Conference 2018–Saturday November 10

The theme of the past SAA Conference in Minneapolis was “A Collaborating Community”. Not so long ago and for many years, the Viola Day was an annual event that all violists were looking forward too. Unfortunately, this event inexplicably stopped taking place. In the spirit of a collaborating community of violas, it is time to reinstate the Viola Day gathering!

My experience with the SAA Conference Viola Choir was an inspiring one. Twenty-plus violas make a gorgeous sound (played by thirteen students and their teachers). At the last SAO Conference held in Toronto, a group of students and teachers played Hymn Tune from Holts’ Planet arranged by Betsy Stuen-Walker.  Anyone who was there will still remember, with a shiver down their spines, the beautiful music we made together. It is time we gathered together once more.

The Viola Day will take place in the afternoon of Saturday, November 10 at the Lakeshore Campus of Humber College as part of the SAO conference Student Day conference.  There will be two sessions: one for violists Books 1 to 4, and the second for violists Book 5 and up. The Book 1- 4 sessions will include a play-in with the advanced students as well as their own level session. The Book 5+ sessions, aside from the play-in, will include their own level session plus a possible joint  session with the other strings (to be confirmed). The repertoire will be comprised of pieces from the Suzuki repertoire as well as viola choir pieces appropriate for each level.

To be successful, the various viola programs have to be on board.  As you may be aware, we don’t have the numbers the violinists and cellists can generate.  A special, more detail communication will be sent to all viola teachers. It will include the repertoire each level is to prepare. Please do include this event in your events calendar and facilitate your viola students’ attendance at this unique event! More information about registration will soon be posted on the SAO website. Let’s build together a new collaborative viola community in Ontario!

Encourage your students and colleagues to join you for a special weekend in Toronto!

For more information contact saoconference2018@gmail.com