Embrace the full institute experience, gain confidence in your Suzuki parenting, and discover effective techniques to better support your young musician!
For children under 12, there needs to be a responsible adult on campus. This is because of the important role of the parent in the Suzuki triangle: child, parent, teacher. We believe that a parent benefits from observing their child in class. Classes are held across an open campus in an urban environment. We want everyone to be safe, happy, and and fully embrace all that JSSI offers you. We recognize that it is not possible for every parent to attend a full week of institute, and offer the following suggestions.
USE THE BUDDY PROGRAM – COME AS A SUPPORTIVE STUDIO GROUP!
Students from the same studio who are within a few pieces of each other can register as buddies. They need to choose the same enrichment class, and they will be given identical schedules. This allows one adult to easily be in charge of both students. It is a great option for parents who have multiple children and/or cannot attend JSSI all week.
ATTEND THE FIRST FULL CLASS CYCLE & MEET OTHER PARENTS
We encourage you to make arrangements to be present for the first full class cycle (see the schedule page for details). This allows you to meet your child’s teachers, while your child becomes familiar with their schedule. Please chat with other parents, especially those in your masterclass, and see if they are willing to have your child walk with them to the next class or eat lunch with them on days you are unavailable.
PRIORITIZE THE MASTERCLASS AND WORK ON CAMPUS
For those who have flexible work locations, attend your child’s masterclass so you can participate. Bring your laptop and connect to campus WiFi during other class periods. If needed, work in the hall or lobby near your child’s class. Be prepared – parents who have tried this say it is difficult: “Please do not say that we can take our laptops and work from there. It’s better to set expectations that it’s hectic, and it’s much better to take the time off and just be present the entire week. I had to take last minute time off because it was way too stressful trying to do both” (anonymous feedback from 2023 JSSI survey).
FIND ANOTHER ADULT
Another option is to ask your teacher to attend and be the responsible adult. Teachers LOVE to observe at institute, and there is no charge for teachers who wish to observe, especially when they are helping their students. Or maybe your teacher knows a recent high school graduate or college student who would enjoy observing institute classes while attending with your child. Grandparents, aunt, uncles, and friends are also great supporters.
CONSULT WITH YOUR TEACHER BEFORE REGISTERING
Teachers always like to know which of their students are attending institute. During registration, we will ask for your child’s current working piece and current polished piece. Check with your teacher if you’re not sure. Your teacher can advise you and your child in selecting a polished piece for the video audition if they are interested in the Honors Recital or the Young Artist program. Once your child receives their orchestra parts, your teacher can help them prepare.
TAKE TIME TO REVIEW IN PREPARATION FOR JSSI
Dr. Suzuki taught: Raise your ability with a piece you can play. Our repertoire and technique classes assume students have a working knowledge of the Suzuki repertoire. Use the Repertoire List as a starting point to help your child review.
PREPARE A POLISHED PIECE FOR YOUR MASTERCLASS
In consultation with your home teacher, help your child prepare a polished, recital-ready piece for their first day of masterclass.
ATTEND THE RECITALS AND CONCERTS
You will hear excellent student playing from all levels in the 11 am Honors Recitals. Students love to hear other students play, especially if they have classes together! You will hear world-class performances from our Young Artist Faculty, Amy and Elisa Barston, on Tuesday at 7 pm and Wednesday at 11 am. These performances are included in registration.
MAKE FRIENDS AND HAVE FUN
You already know you have things in common with the other families at JSSI. Being here is a great chance to build community, swap practice tips, laugh about mishaps, or cry on each other’s shoulders. Sit with someone new at lunch, ask someone’s name a second or third time until you remember it, or hold the door for the pretwinkle parent whose arms are full. And when the kids want to play tag on the lawn (as long as it’s not class time), go ahead and join them!
JSSI 2024 will again offer Parent/Teacher Talks. JSSI 2023 featured in-person Parent/Teacher Talks by
Helen Higa, violinist and teacher of Alexander Technique: Studying with Suzuki
Barbara Wampner, Suzuki cello teacher trainer: Do You Hear What I Hear
Edmund Sprunger, Suzuki violin teacher trainer and psychotherapist: Your Questions Answered
Parent talks are included with registration.