613 Area News Fall 2021

Janice Mah is currently covering for the 613 area. You can send her your news at janiceymah@gmail.com.

Summer Sensation

By Janice Mah

On August 13 2021, Janice Mah’s studio hosted the second annual Summer Sight Reading String Music event.  Students performed for parents, friends and community members from the Hunt Club Park area in Ottawa.  We were treated to some well-known pieces like music from Brave, The Avengers, La La Land, Ashokan Farewell and some classics like the theme from Beethoven’s 7th symphony, 2nd movement.  The students who participated are part of the Canterbury High School String Ensemble as well as from other Suzuki studios across Ottawa.  Ms. Mah hopes to expand this invitation to other studios in the hopes of creating an appreciation for making music together. She values the idea of community and hopes to inspire the kids to dust off the cobwebs from the instrument that may have gathered over the summer. Let’s get back into the enjoying the music making process!

Summer of Creativity and Connection

By Laura Nerenberg

It’s been an interesting summer in my corner of Ottawa. I did some online teaching and my bk6 violin kiddo participated in two wonderful online music events: an improvisation camp and the ever-inspiring SOSI (Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute).

I taught improvisation at virtual NESI (New England Suzuki Institute) as well as violin, group class and improvisation at SOSI.

Improvisation students at NESI

I also recorded some pieces with Gatineau’s Ensemble Prisme and played a live outdoor jazz show at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

It’s been said before: Zoom is highly imperfect. It’s so easy to focus on the negative. But, getting the chance to connect with students, particularly in improvisation classes, has been a true salve during the pandemic.

I never thought it would be possible to feel the students’ creative energy emanating through my computer screen, but it was!

I also continued my work with teachers, both through SOSI, where I offered a teacher enrichment course, and through my own online improvisation TT offerings. Working with other caring teachers, who want their students to excel in the art of choice, has become my passion project.

SOSI Teacher Enrichment Course in Improvisation Pedagogy

Psssst… If you’d like to join me for my next session, you can learn more by getting in touch via email: laura@lauranerenberg.com or on my website: lauranerenberg.com Just follow the links to Every Child Can Compose for info about the upcoming TT session.

As I look toward the fall, many things remain uncertain:

  • Will group classes be in person or solely online?
  • Will I ever get the basement cleaned up in time to be my new, COVID-safer interim studio?
  • How will I manage to drink green tea while I teach if I’m wearing a mask?

Through the uncertainty, some things will provide constancy:

  • a commitment to offering my students an enriching musical and human experience
  • the joy of hearing them play and support one another
  • the connection we continue to create whether masked in person, or unmasked online
  • the joy and release from improvising together with students and teachers

It’s that constancy that allows us to keep moving forward, setting goals and upholding our values as Suzuki teachers.