Worldwide Suzuki Events
Suzuki Institutes around the world run workshops, camps and concerts in their areas. Sometimes, membership to your local Suzuki Institute will enable you to attend events even outside your local area. Parents usually attend all events and lessons with their children, even teenagers.
Before attending Suzuki events please check in with me because I want to ensure that you are sufficiently prepared to get the most out of the experience. I will check that you have all pieces up to your current working piece memorised (or at least your most recent book), and that you are actively working on posture and tone as well as learning notes.
New Zealand Events
There is usually an event on somewhere in NZ during every school holidays, often in more than one location. Suzuki summer camps run in 3 locations around the country in January. I usually go to the one in Timaru. In terms of South Island events, there is usually a winter workshop in Christchurch in July and an Autumn Workshop in Dunedin in April. In order to attend any of these events you need to be having regular lessons and you need to join the New Zealand Suzuki Institute (NZSI).
Suzuki events are great fun! The Timaru summercamp is always a highlight of my children's summer holidays. If you are new to Suzuki events, here is how they work: The lessons at camps and workshops do not teach the notes of pieces, they are for reviewing and polishing pieces that you already know and all playing is done from memory. It is expected that students will be able to play all pieces from the beginning of book 1 up to their current piece by memory. Don't let this put you off, it is great motivation to do lots of playing in the next couple of months! Also please note that parents attend all classes with their child (even teens). However if you have more than one child and their classes clash it is fine to only be in one place at a time.
For more general information on upcoming events see the NZSI calendar here:
To attend Suzuki events in New Zealand you will need to join the New Zealand Suzuki Institute.
The following notes are from my experience of events in the South Island but they are probably quite similar to how events run in other places.
Concerts - usually held on a week-end afternoon. Often involve a small cost to cover room hire. Performers are expected to announce their name and the piece they are playing, then to bow to the audience. They always perform from memory and bow again after playing. Violin players then thank the accompanist, if there was one. Usually there is no dress code but sometimes performers are asked to wear concert dress (black-and-white). In most concerts it is considered quite acceptable for a parent to go up onto the stage to support a hesitant small child.
Workshops and camps - The difference between these is that accommodation is provided as part of a camp whereas no accommodation is provided for a workshop. Both events usually run for a few days in a row. They usually start with an informal "play-in" where all the children play some pieces together in casual dress. They usually finish with a "play-out" concert, which is more formal with children wearing black-and-white. Most lessons start and end with the child and teacher bowing to each other.
In South Island events children usually attend three 1-hour classes each day. The three classes are:
a masterclass where a group of children and parents sit in the room together. Each child takes a turn at having a short lesson with the teacher while the others watch and their parent takes notes.
a group class where a group of children play pieces together (from memory)
the third class might be "music enrichment" (music-related games) or playing in an orchestra or doing fiddling.
Most children attend all 3 classes each day but preschoolers who do not yet learn any instrument can often attend just music enrichment and slightly older children (aged about 3 to 5 yrs) who are only learning the twinkles can attend just two classes (music enrichment and a group class).
Some workshops/camps involve each child playing an individual concert (see the notes on concerts above).