Suzuki Talent Education Society (Calgary)
Our Story Why We Exist
Alexander is a fun-loving boy, who was shocked when he discovered that violin was not going to become an easy instrument anytime soon. Part of the Suzuki Method of teaching is to use musical games to engage the children. However, they recognize that often we adults can find it quite taxing to invent enough of them. To counter this, the Suzuki Talent Education Society engages older students to mentor the younger ones. Noah was Alexander’s mentor. They first met at weekly group classes for the five to eight-year-olds. As mentor and student-teacher, Noah would come to all the classes. With his imagination, Noah could relate to the kids in ways that adults could not—we would never have dreamed up the image of holding violins in a way to catch scoops of ice cream falling from the sky. Alexander adored Noah as a student teacher.
At age six, Alexander was going through a patch of finding violin especially frustrating. His teacher, Wan-Tsai Chen, hit upon a brilliant idea: what about asking Noah if he would give Alexander weekly mentoring sessions. Most junior high kids would not embrace that, but Noah has grown up in the community of beautiful hearts that make up Suzuki Talent Education Society. He seized the chance to show Alexander the fun of making music. Noah has created innumerable games to mix music and fun for Alexander. Noah would often greet Alexander with a new creation, like cardboard Ninja stars with musical activities written on them, or giant homemade dice. Alexander’s eyes shine every time we head to Noah’s house for a lesson.
Noah is showing Alexander the joy of music. What is an even rarer gift is that Noah is a model of what a kid can do to make the world a better place through generousity. Others at the Suzuki Talent Education Society radiate that spirit, too, so I am not surprised when our kids are excited to play at seniors’ homes, or dream up the idea of busking to raise money for victims of Calgary’s great flood of 2013.
Alexander proudly raised a lot of money for UNICEF at his last birthday party. The lessons from Noah and others at Suzuki Talent Education Society are working.
For my seven-year-old son, Alexander, Suzuki Talent Education Society has not just exposed him to the joy of music and stretched his elastic brain, but has also been a community of beautiful hearts helping him to blossom into a beautiful heart, himself.
Our Impact What We Do
“Character First, ability Second” – Dr. Suzuki
Suzuki Talent Education Society seeks to develop the hearts and minds of children with results beyond music itself including increased self-discipline, higher sensitivity, improved academic skills and a sense of confidence and self-esteem.
- This focus and rich history was realized in our performance last year at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in combination with the Joshua Bell concert. We carry these thoughts through in our actions as we have performed for various charitable associations in the Calgary area, expanding our community and enhancing the lives of Calgarians has been a key driver.
Using the Mother Tongue Approach or Suzuki Method (as it is also called), thousands of children world-wide are developing considerable abilities in such complex areas as music, languages and mathematics. Our society maintains this process and while focusing on music, expands our approach to character and community development.
- Dr. Suzuki's fundamental belief is that all children possess natural ability (Suzuki uses the word talent) that grows according to the degree to which it is nurtured (education). It is our focus to create an inclusive positive environment for students, parents and teachers to flourish.
At Suzuki Talent Education Society, ability is fostered by parents and teachers working together with children. Parents create a home environment conducive to learning, structured listening and practice activities. Additionally our membership through concerts, group classes and social events builds a network to sustain and amplify this community.
- It is never too early to begin music education using the Suzuki Method. Training may begin as early as age zero by means of exposing children to selected recordings of good music at home until the children, even as infants, begin to recognize them.
In the fall of 2014, Suzuki Talent Education Society offered six programs to 138 children within the different programs inclusive of early child education, violin, piano, cello, flute and an ensemble. Our core focus and unique benefit lies is in our early childhood education program. An innovative and powerful resource that not only provides the community with the core basis of Suzuki, it enables the students to achieve the necessary fundamentals for future success.
Are Suzuki students musical geniuses? Are they ‘gifted’ children who have a special talent for music?
- Our students are active, intellegent members of our community that want to learn music in a caring supportive environment and embrace the parent teacher student model. A model in which each element supports each other and every child becomes an exceptional citizen with a love of music and nobility of character.
Our Programs How We Do It
“Thank you Mom and Dad for putting me in Suzuki Talent Education Society, you have given me the life long gift of music, and an appreciation for the arts” - Recent Graduate
Let It Ripple (we can shape who we are, and what we want to be):
Suzuki Talent Education Society offers a wide range of classes and potential. Starting at or before age zero we have formalized programs that lend and develop to instrument training.
Complex and comprehensive our music lessons are numerous and provide you with a multitude of choices. There are fundamental commonalities amongst all our offerings. Primarily we are structured in a parent, teacher and student triangle, each element benefiting and synergizing for the betterment of the experience.
Also a common result improved character, though we can list of a multitude of community and charity events, our proudest achievement are our students. They graduate with a sense and love of arts, music, increased nobility and leadership. As our experienced students and parents continue their journey they assist and nurture our newer community members.
We embrase our community to play past the instrument, echoing each other's tone to influence and affect the songs of thier community.
Community Collaboration The STES Board has been very active, working on the success of past boards in establishing a governance model and has been working to define a strategic business plan. In October 2014 our conversations expanded to our community partners. Our drive was to develop new opportunities for the benefit of our next generation, we are continuing to explore positive mutually beneficial opportunities to enhance our environment.
Our Requests What You Can Do
We have been successful raising and graduating community members, individuals that have positively impacted their environments.
Our goal is to increase our scope and embrace a large, more diverse community for the betterment of all global citizens. We appreciate your sensitivity to know that a beautiful tone and a beautiful heart create a harmonized community.
We appreciate the support in these areas:
- Partnerships in expanding our reach to other community partners.
- Sponsoring and support of concert events, providing venues and opportunities for our community to express music to yours is always appreciated.
- Beautiful tones resinate in the hearts and minds of the human race, providing our students with instruments will benefit this goal. Specifically our piano program requires exceptional pianos of the highest quality to transfer the tones and knowledge to our students.
- Providing the best to our community, requires our community to excel. Offering continual professional development opportunities and support is a key step to make sure we provide you the best.
- As a not for profit, our operational costs to maintain and grow are always a key consideration. Assistance to provide a growing home for our students so they can provide beautiful hearts and tones to the community is critical.
Finally, we are here to accept you in our community, if you are eager to love, learn and laugh with your child in our STES journey, support and clasess are always available, please contact our head office at 1-403-243-3113 or by email to STES@suzukitalented.org.
Your support will resonate with our community and together we compose beautiful songs!