by Jonathan Smith
A Suzuki Institute is a rich musical environment that immerses a student and family for a week. Dr. Suzuki believed that a child needs the right environment in which to strive musically. Motivation does not come by itself but is acquired through positive enriching experiences.
I started playing the violin when I was four and did not overly enjoy practicing that much. My mother set up a practice time for me each morning so it became part of my daily routine like brushing my teeth before going to bed. As I got older it was even more difficult for me to practice with the many different activities I partook in as well as a busy school schedule. This became especially true in high school because of sports and the difficulty of school. However every summer from age 4 to the end of high school I went to a Suzuki Institute for a week and practicing was easy and fun there! One of my favorite classes was my chamber group where we got to learn a trio, quartet, or quintet and perform it at a high level by the end of the week! I was easily able to practice a lot and enjoy it because everyone was doing it there and it was a great experience to be making music with so many other Suzuki students.