Jennifer Martyn – 416 Area Representative

The North York Suzuki School of Music has had a busy spring with many fun and inspiring events for our students. In addition to our traditional year-end concerts, piano students participated in a ukulele workshop with teachers from the Doane Music School, and string students enjoyed an improvisation workshop led by our own Elena Spanu and Jeanine Noyes. Many of our students also performed solos and chamber music in a fair at Denlow Public School, where they were able to share their music with children and their families from the community.

Bao Huyen Huynh performs at the Denlow Public School fair
NYSSM piano faculty pose with Doane Music School clinicians at the spring workshop


Susan Wooltorton – 613 Area Representative

It’s been a great “near normal” year with our in-person classes and events back in full at the National Capital Suzuki School of Music. We were able to share in all our in-person usuals – lessons, classes, play-ins, ensemble concerts, recitals, and outreach events. Before we look towards the summer we have one very special thank-you and goodbye to share with you: One of our cornerstone violin teachers, Carol Deaville, is retiring at the end of this school year. Carol taught at the Brantford Suzuki String School from 1996 to 2006 before joining our school. She has taught here ever since, sharing her love of music and inspiring countless students with her embodiment of the Suzuki philosophy. Carol, we wish you all the best as you begin your well-deserved retirement!

Congratulations on your Retirement Carol! 


George Cleland – 905 Area Representative

Oakville Suzuki Association
Pierre Y. Gagnon

This year was a lean year for the Oakville Suzuki Association. The effects of the pandemic are still being felt. Registrations are down from previous years and OSA is in a period of reconstruction.
One of the OSA’s great source of recruitment is the OSA Performing Arts Camp (July 10 – 14 and July 17 – 21). This musical day camp has been running almost continuously since it was founded in 1980.  The Suzuki method is at the core of its offerings, and the camp also offers orchestra, chamber music, musical theatre and arts. This camp introduces parents and young students to the Suzuki method, gives students their first orchestra or chamber performance experience and gives teens the chance to become leaders. Becoming a leader is a badge of honour to anyone who has attended this musical camp. The younger students look up to these older teens and they can’t wait be like them one day. The camp administration counts on the teens to create a great camp. They greet the students as they arrive and help them learn their group class and orchestra music. The teens’ talent is showcased in a special chamber music concert at the end the week. Some of the most experienced teens lead some classes, giving them valuable experience in working with younger students which looks good on any CV. The enthusiasm generated by the camp carries over into the school year and inspires the newer students to the camp to continue their musical journey with the OSA. As for those who have attended the OSA Performing Arts Camp year after year, they cannot wait to come back for another summer of music making.
For more information, contact the OSA Arts Day Camp at https://oakvillesuzuki.org/osa/content/osa-performing-arts-camp-2023

Heart-Strings Talent Education 
Susan Beth Barak

Congratulations to Heart-Strings Talent Education students! What a year 2022-2023 has been with four recitals, many awards, certificates, honours, and other performance-related accomplishments: First Class RCM exams, Music Competitions and Festivals, including advancing to Provincials, advanced Master Class with Jonathan Crow, non-profit community performances…and more to come this summer!

Above all, as Dr. Suzuki expounded, this program is ultimately about character development, with the musical instrument as the vehicle. Although this character development coincides with intellectual and technical skills development, the most important accomplishments are the human growth and development of these beautiful young humans.

The kindness, caring, and respect shown within the Heart-Strings community and beyond the studio, in the students’ positive engagement and contributions to their families as well in their other communities (school, neighbourhood projects, worship, workplaces, other non-profit volunteering, etc.) is what is really the big picture. Self-esteem is also developed through honouring commitments and recognizing they have a vital role to contribute.

Another significant benefit is the poise and confidence gained through facing fears and realizing that they can persist and do hard things successfully. This will ultimately serve the students throughout their whole lives and bring benefit and honour, not only to themselves as individuals, but to their families, communities, and society as a whole. As Pablo Casals famously said, “Perhaps it is music that will save the world.”

Niagara Region 
George Cleland

It has been a busy season in Niagara. Our events are returning and our students have been working hard.

Niagara is hosting the OMFA Provincials, which runs from June 5th to 10th. I am a volunteer at the Provincials and I look forward to seeing some great performances, both from our local students and students from all over Ontario, many of whom, I am sure, are from the various Suzuki teachers across the province. Good luck to all of our competitors. 
Suzuki Niagara is running another students’ recital on June 17. It is so nice to be back into live in person events. On a personal note, I am happy to say that I have officially been offered a position as co-conductor of the Niagara Youth Concert Orchestra. The other conductor is a winds and brass specialist and I am looking forward to being able to plan more great concerts with them. 
I am sure that I speak for everyone that it is great to be moving forward again.