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MA Suzuki Festival 2021

General Information 

Online Festival ~ March 6 - 7, 2021


The Massachusetts Suzuki Festival is a two-day annual event for Suzuki students, parents, and teachers from across the state and worldwide. Participants enjoy masterclasses, Suzuki group classes, enrichment classes, performances and much more for Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Guitar, Flute, Piano and Early Childhood Education.  

We can't wait to get CONNECTED…

to inspire your CREATIVE abilities…

with our dedicated Suzuki COMMUNITY!

Student Schedules were emailed on Sunday, February 28th and Monday, March 1.

Schedules for Teacher Workshop and Observation Registrations and Late Student Registrations will be emailed on Friday, March 5th.

All schedules with Zoom Links are emailed via suzukifestival@gmail.com. Please check your inboxes (and spam folders).


Basic Information

*All information subject to change--please check the website regularly for up-to-date information!

Location: The festival will take place online via Zoom. Each participant will receive an individual schedule with Zoom links to each class.

Schedule: Saturday Masterclasses will begin on the hour and run for 55 minutes each. On Sunday, classes will run for 45-minutes with a 15-minute passing time between each class. Lunch will be an hour on Sunday from 12-1pm for all participants. The day will end with play-ins and recitals at 3:00 and 3:30pm.


What to have: Have ready what you normally have for a lesson. Parents are expected to stay with their children for the entirety of the festival.

What to wear: Dress casually. Registrations with t-shirt orders that are received by the deadline will be sent ahead of the festival.

Scholarships:  Scholarships are available! To apply, go to the Scholarship Information and Application on the Student Information page. All scholarship applicants receive the Early-bird discount.

Online Festival Considerations: We understand the special circumstances an online festival presents and we want to help all participants enjoy the festival in a way that best suits their needs, while also being aware of potential technical issues.

  • Classes and Teacher Workshops will be recorded and made available for viewing by private link for 10-days following the festival to students and teachers registered for those classes.

  • The Full-Day Sunday Festival schedule for Book 1+ students will include 5 classes. For those students who might prefer a shorter online experience, an option of a 4-class schedule is also available.

​Questions?  Contact us at www.suzukifestival@gmail.com


General Schedule

*All information subject to change--please check the website regularly for up-to-date information!

Saturday, March 6 (12:00pm - 6:00pm)

Student Masterclasses: 12:00 - 6:00pm and additional violin and viola masterclasses 10:00-12:00pm.

Please note that all Masterclasses are scheduled on Saturday only. No Masterclasses will take place on Sunday.



Teacher Workshops:

12:00-1:50pm: "Empowering Ability Development"  (open to teachers of any instrument) –Jane Kutscher Reed 

2:00-3:50pm: "Instruction for the Pre-Piano Student" –Piano Early Education Workshop with Blancamaría Montecinos Valdivia

2:00-3:50pm: "Body Balance" –Violin and Viola Workshop with Ann Montzka-Smelser

CANCELLED (2:00-3:50pm: "Attention to Tension: Helping Students Play with Ease" –Cello Workshop with David Holmes)

2:00-3:50pm: "Teaching Music Theory by Ear" –Guitar Workshop with Mychal Gendron

4:00-5:50pm: "Creative Ability Development: Improvisation for the Suzuki Student" (open to teachers of any instrument) –Alice Kanack

Sunday, March 7 (9:00am - 4:00pm)

Early Childhood Education: Students ages 0-4 are scheduled for 2 hours of classes between 10am-12pm including the Early Childhood Education Class and watching the performing ensemble concert.


Pre-Twinkle: Students are scheduled for 3 hours of classes between 9am-12pm including Suzuki group class, Eurhythmics, Improvisation or a Pre-Piano class, and watching the performing ensemble concert.  


Full-Day Sunday Festival: (For Books 1 and higher) The schedule varies slightly depending on the student's instrument. It consists of a Suzuki group class, a concert by the performing ensemble, and 3 enrichment classes (or 2 enrichment classes depending on registration). Class assignments are based on age and level. Students registered for the full-festival are scheduled for 5 classes, 45-minutes each, (or a schedule of 4 classes is also available) from 9:00am - 3:00pm with a break for lunch from 12:00-1:00 pm.

Sample Full-Festival 5-class Schedule:

  • Suzuki Group Class

  • Family Concert with Performing Ensemble

  • 3 Enrichment Classes:

    • Rhythm, Rhythm Revolution or Eurhythmics

    • Improvisation or Eurhythmics

    • Fiddling Traditions, Caribbean Music, Irish Tunes, Blues Guitar, Instrument Workshop or Entering Bach's World

Sample Festival 4-class Schedule:

  • Suzuki Group Class

  • Family Concert with Performing Ensemble

  • 2 Enrichment Classes:

    • Rhythm, Rhythm Revolution, Eurhythmics or Improvisation

    • Fiddling Traditions, Caribbean Music, Irish Tunes, Blues Guitar, Instrument Workshop or Entering Bach's World

Parent Sessions: Parents also have the opportunity to attend Parent Sessions titled:

  • Dedicated to Making a Positive Difference” with Jane Reed

  • "Games in Practice" with Sharon Kuhn. Learn how to turn repetition into skill development while disguising drills as games to keep practice fun.

The festival culminates with a String "Play-In" 3:00-3:30pm and 30-minute Piano and Flute Recitals between 3:00-4:00pm.


Class Descriptions

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Family Concert with the Dali Quartet


Do you enjoy Latin beat? Do you like salsa dancing? This interactive 45-minute program takes participants on a journey of different rhythms and melodies including Argentinean Tangos, Cuban Boleros, Caribbean Rumbas, and Venezuelan Joropos. Audiences will learn various rhythmic patterns, dance steps and the origin of many of these genres and how they relate to and influence Western classical music. An interactive concert for the whole family!


Suzuki Group Class

In Suzuki group classes, students review common repertoire by joining in fun activities with their peers.


Saturday Masterclasses

During a 55-minute masterclass, students take turns performing for a master teacher and receive feedback in front of their peers.  Masterclasses will take place hourly on Saturday between 12pm-6pm and select violin and viola masterclasses between 10am-12pm.  Sunday schedules will not include a masterclass.  Therefore, if you want a masterclass, please sign up for one on Saturday. Book 1 students are assigned to groups of 4 and receive approx. 13-14 minutes of instruction, Book 2-3 students are assigned to groups of 3 and receive approx. 18-19 minutes of instruction, and Book 4 and older students are scheduled with 2 students per class and receive approx. 27-28 minutes of instruction.  Students and parents are expected to stay for the entire masterclass.  


Pre-Piano Class on Saturday

Students ages 3-5 have the opportunity to join us on Saturday at 4:30-5:10pm or 5:15-5:55pm for this 40-minute pre-instrument class of movement, singing, games and fun. You will learn activities to practice preparation, the ability to take turns, how to make a nice team with parents and doing active observing. These activities aim to build a young student's confidence to begin instrument lessons. This class will be taught by our piano faculty member Blancamaria Valdivia. While geared towards pre-piano students, young students pursuing any instrument will gain a lot from the activities presented in this class.


Suzuki Early Childhood Education

This class is for children ages 0-4 and an accompanying adult. The ECE class uses song and movement as a beautiful introduction to the Suzuki method for babies and toddlers. The class will take place on Sunday 10-10:45am.  ECE participants will also watch the Dali Quartet at 11:00am.


Rhythm Rhythm Revolution - Dance Puzzles for Rhythmic Literacy

In this imaginative, high-energy class, we will be exploring rhythm through moving, jumping, conducting, singing, and dancing. Our time together will be an introduction to the book, Rhythm Rhythm Revolution. If you have the book, please have it and a music stand ready for class. If you don't have the book, it's totally fine! You'll be able to follow along on the zoom screen!  


Creative Ability Development - Improvisation

Come experience the joy of this unique method designed to develop skills  through fun interactive games! In CAD, or Creative Ability Development,  the first rule we learn is “there's no such thing as a mistake when we  create!” In CAD, theory is simplified so that students of any age or level can learn to freely improvise within complex structures and immediately begin to express their unique musical voice. Students who add CAD to regular practice routines develop heightened musicality, relaxed technique, excellent intonation and beautiful tone. In this workshop, students will use online platforms to communicate and enjoy delightful games! Parents will have opportunities to learn more deeply about the CAD program and will be shown how to incorporate it  into their daily practice!



Based on the pedagogy of Emile Dalcroze, this dynamic and active class explores music through movement, ensemble, singing and improvisation.


Entering Bach’s World: Suzuki, Vivaldi, the French King and Bach

Deepen your understanding of the musical styles that influenced the music by J.S. Bach and other Baroque Era composers. Travel back in time 300 years to visit the court of French King Louis XIV and hear some of the music that would have entertained him. Experience the craze in Venice for violin virtuoso Antonio Vivaldi and his Italian Style “Opera Seria” - but watch out flying objects!  Bach was heavily influenced by both styles of music and adapted them into his music. During this virtual presentation, in addition to listening to and learning about the music above, we will sample some of Bach and Vivaldi’s music in the Suzuki Repertoire for Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar and Piano.  Whether you are playing music by these composers or are in earlier Suzuki Books, you will find something of interest. So grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate, relax and prepare to Enter Bach’s World. 


Fiddling Traditions

Learn traditional fiddling techniques and foster new skills with New England fiddle styles including French-Canadian and Scots-Irish music.

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Instrument Workshop

The Instrument Workshop class is an interactive class where students will work on honing technical skills and ear training, bridging the gap to sight-reading skills. Students will brainstorm how different techniques can improve their musical playing and much more.

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Caribbean Music - Rhythms, Melodies, and Lyric

You will be feeling the beat in this Caribbean music workshop! Strings explore Caribbean rhythms on their instrument through traditional folk songs.

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Traditional Irish Tunes for Flute

Flute students will explore traditional Irish tunes, learning new techniques and rhythms.


Suzuki Blues Guitar

Give me 45-minutes and I’ll show you the blues! Andrew Leonard’s blues workshop combines the listening skills already developed through Suzuki training with an introduction to blues chords and the very basics improvising.  We will start with an explanation of what to listen for in a 12-bar blues and the similarities with some of the music in our Suzuki guitar repertoire. From there, we will discuss a basic approach to improvising and learn to avoid “getting turned around by the turnaround!”  This class will involve part playing and part listening to the blues.  Students will leave with a handout for review and further exploration.


Repertoire Lists

Festival Repertoire for Group Classes:


The magic of bringing Suzuki students together is that we share a common repertoire of pieces. While we do expect that students will make an effort to review all of the music they have already learned, we realize it’s helpful to have a smaller number of pieces on which to focus for this event.  


Book 1



Book 2

Chorus from Judas Maccabeus


Handel Bouree

Witches' Dance

Lully Gavotte


Book 3

Minuet No. 3

Gavotte in G Minor

Gavotte in D Major


Book 4

Seitz #2 - Concerto No. 5, 1st Mvt.

Seitz #3 - Concerto No. 5, 3rd Mvt.

Vivaldi A Minor, 1st mvt

Bach Double


Book 5

Country Dance

Veracini Gigue


Book 6

Handel F Major Sonata, mvt. 2

Fiocco Allegro

Rameau Gavotte


Book 7 & 8

Veracini Sonata, mvt 2


Bach A minor, mvt 1

Mozart Minuet


TBA (depending upon enrollment)


Book 1:



Book 2:

  Minuet No. 1

  Chorus from “Judas Maccabaeus”

  Hunters’ Chorus

  March in G

  Witches’ Dance

  Handel Bourree


Book 3:


  Lully Gavotte


  Gavotte in C Minor



Book 4:

  Breval Sonata, 1st movement

  Chanson Triste


Book 5:

  Danse Rustique


Book 6:

  The Swan


Book 7:

  Eccles Sonata, 1st and 2nd movements


Book 8:

  Faure Elegie


 TBA (depending upon enrollment)


Book 1



Book 2

Long, Long Ago

A Toye



Book 3


Waltz from Sonata #9

Celeste y Blanco


Book 4



La Folia


Book 5

La Volta

Gavottes I & II

Allegro Vivace


Book 6

Guardarme las Vacas


Book 7


Sounds of the Bells


Book 8



You must review all pieces in your current book that you have learned with your teacher, and ALL the pieces listed from all the previous books on this list.  For example, if you are learning "By the Limpid Stream" from Book 4, you should know Mozart Rondo, Mozart Minuet, Burgmuller Arabesque and then all pieces listed below your own book level.


Book 7

Mozart Rondo alla Turca


Book 6

Mendelssohn Gondola Song


Book 5

Beethoven Fur Elise

Chopin Waltz in A Minor


Book 4

Beethoven Sonata in G, 1st Movement (Allegro)


Book 3

Kuhlau Sonatina Opus 55, Vivace

Gurlitt Little Waltz


Book 2

Lichner A Short Story


Book 1

Twinkle Variations

Go Telll Aunt Rhody

Allegretto 1

Allegretto 2



 TBA (depending upon enrollment)


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