Author Archives: suzukinl

Come play with us!

STEP is accepting new members for the 2018-2019 year! Do you have a child 3 or older to whom you wish to give the gift of a lifetime of music? The Suzuki Talent Education Program has been cultivating beautiful hearts and musical souls in children and families in St. John’s for over 35 years. We offer violin, viola, and cello lessons (private and group) to children as young as 3 – it’s true, the younger they start, the better. They grow so quickly… let us help them blossom.

Your child will enjoy private lessons in your choice of stringed instrument with one of our highly trained faculty; group classes on Saturday mornings with their friends at the same age and level; and concerts and other events at which to play and listen. Parents are essential team members at STEP; you and your child will learn together and build a strong bond.

We welcome younger children too, offering “Music With Your Baby” classes for under-threes with their parents. No need to wait – fill your little one’s life with music and fun!

Please email us at for more information. You can also sign up for private teaching studio space on our waitlist, or for notification when group registration opens in August. We would love to hear from you!

NLSI/ICMI 2018 Schedules are out!

We’re almost ready for NLSI and ICMI to begin!

Daily schedules for all participants, as well as the master schedule, have been emailed to everyone. If you didn’t receive yours, please write and we’ll make sure you get it.

Registration check-in is on Sunday, at Rennies River School, anytime between 12pm-1:45pm.  At 2pm will be the opening play-in concert, where our teachers will be introduced and all our returning students will play together – don’t miss it!

Every Child Can!©

STEP will be offering “Every Child Can!©”, a one-day course in Suzuki educational philosophy given by master teacher-trainer Susan Gagnon.  This course provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning. For teachers, it is the first prerequisite to further Suzuki-certified teacher training; and, for parents, a thorough preparation for starting STEP lessons with your child.

Who should attend?

  • Parents and caregivers of young children,
  • music teachers and prospective music teachers,
  • early-childhood-education professionals,
  • and all others interested in learning about the Suzuki approach to education,


  • Date: Saturday June 30th
  • Time: 12:30-3:30pm, 4:30-7:30pm, six hours in total
  • Location: Merrymeeting Road Sobeys Community Room (Central St. John’s)
  • Fee:

Register here:

STEP Thursday Update, 5 April

No group classes this Saturday! Here’s the week’s news.

Music with Your Baby

The Spring term of MWYB starts this week, 9:45-10:30, in the “Chamber” room 1001. There are still a couple spots left in this class, so it’s not too late for newcomers to sign up – just drop us a note at

Solo Concert in the Anglican Cathedral

A lovely concert will be held in the Cathedral at 11:00 am, with offerings in viola, cello, and all levels of violin. All welcome, admission by donation. Bring your student (or a family who might like to join?) to find some motivation and inspiration in the wonderful artistry of our young performers. Reception to follow.

Performers: if you haven’t received your rehearsal schedule, please reply and we’ll fill you in.

Fiddle Day in MMaP

– All junior-level fiddle fans are invited to get together with me (Heather) for some fiddle fun, 9:30-10:30. All welcome whether you know two tunes or twenty, or want to have a scuff – We’ll either dance or play tunes or both depending on how the morning goes!

– Fiddle 3 and 4 classes will have their regular rehearsal, 10:30-12 noon. Naomi Brown is substituting for Christina this week.

Calling all Jenny Griffioen fans!

Jenny is the accompanist and pianist for the Young Virtuosi, our solo concerts, and advanced classes, and she is graduating with her music degree this spring! She’s invited us all to her graduation recital, Friday April 13th at 5:00 in Cook Hall. It’s free and open to the public – let’s all go and give her our congratulations (and listen to some impressive piano)! See the Facebook event for more information.

CAMP Registration deadline approaches!

NLSI and ICMI deadlines are fast approaching! Take advantage of the early bird prices until April 14th! After that, registration closes on May 5th. It is 99% likely that camp will take place at Rennie’s River Elementary School. However, the NLESD won’t be able to give us 100% confirmation until later this month. We have been informed that there shouldn’t be a problem with our application. However, if for some reason we cannot hold camp at Rennie’s River Elementary, we guarantee you that camp will take place in a centrally located school in St. John’s. Register for NLSI at and Iceberg Chamber Music Institute at

If you are not going to camp…

Will you be away on holidays during camp week? Would you be willing to loan your home to Zack Ebin and his family for the week of camp? We are thrilled that Zack is joining us again for a third year at NLSI, and this year he is bringing his family! Let Carole know at if you’re able to help out.

Bath Bombs Fundraiser

Order for Bath Bombs by St. John’s Soap Works are due on April 14th. Download the info sheet and order form. You can drop off forms at the admin desk or you can even scan the form and email it back to if you like.

Group classes resume on April 14th – see you then!

STEP Thursday Update, 2018 15th March

Hello STEP Families,

Here we are, finally, back for another Group Class Saturday! Here’s what you need to know for this week, and upcoming news.

As always, please reply via email if your child will be absent – your teachers appreciate the advance notice.

1) Theme of the week: St. Patrick’s Day
2) Substitute teachers
3) Fundraising project for everyone: Bath Bombs from St. John’s Soap Works
4) Camp registration, and busking info to help with your fees
5) Parent Orientation begins

1) Winterfest fun continues on in group class! Each Group Class Saturday, from now until Newfoundland and Labrador Suzuki Institute begins, will have a fun theme. This week it will be St. Patrick’s Day! Wear anything green! Shamrocks, leprechauns and a pot of gold are all encouraged!

2) Several teachers (Maria, Dominic and Carole) will be away: here is the list of substitutions.
Early Book 1, usually Dominic: Maggie Burton
Book 2/3, usually Carole: Jennifer Johnson
Musicianship Red B, usually Maria: TBA
Fiddle 2, usually Carole: Christina Smith
Musicianship Red A, usually Maria: TBA
Fiddle 1, usually Maria: TBA
Twinkles, usually Dominic: Nancy Case-Oates
Musicianship Yellow, usually Dominic: Lauren Smee
Musicianship Orange, usually Maria: TBA
Book 4/5, usually Carole: Lauren Smee

3) FUNDRAISING PROJECT: We are so excited to partner with St. John’s Soap Works for our major group fundraiser this year! Please pick up your bath bomb order forms at the main desk on Saturday morning. Forms and payment are due on Saturday, April 14. The bath bombs will be ready for pick up on Saturday, May 5. They make wonderful Mother’s Day gifts! This is a program-wide fundraiser. Every family is asked to participate – from our Music with Your Baby participants all the way up through. As a non-profit, parent-led organization, we rely on these funds to enrich the educational experience of our students to provide them with experiences beyond classes and lessons.

4) CAMP Registration is in full swing! Take advantage of Early Bird prices until April 14th.
There is a hard deadline of May 5th this year, so be sure to get your registrations in on time! Register at or

Did you know? You can offset your camp fees by signing up to busk! Kristy Piercey will be setting up busking opportunities in May and June, where hours and money banked during busking will go directly towards your family’s camp fees. Get in touch with Kristy at for more information.

Can you donate Air Miles or Aeroplan Points to help bring visiting teachers to our Institutes? There’s a discount or other benefits available for donors! Get in touch with

5) Parent Orientation starts this Saturday! If you are brand new to the program or will be joining shortly, you will meet this week in room 2025 at 9:45. If you have an instrument, child- or adult-size, please bring it along. More details may be sent via email.

Finally: Rob Cass is managing administration solo this week since I’m away. Give him a high-five, and a hand opening up and clearing away if you can.

Have a great Saturday, see you next time!
Heather Patey
STEP Administrator

STEP Thursday Update, 22 February 2018

Hello STEP Community!

There are no regular group classes this week, Feb 24th, but there’s lots going on regardless. Here’s some info for the upcoming weekend.

Another Winterfest is over – we hope everyone that attended had a good time! It’s a lot of work for our Artistic Director and admin staff to put together all the new schedules, visiting instructors, and events, so we would really like to hear from you about your experience.

WINTERFEST SURVEY: please fill this out, even if you didn’t go. It’ll be a great help in planning for next year.  Contributors will be entered into a draw for a STEP T-shirt, in your choice of size! Winner to be announced on Thursday March 15th.

This Saturday:

Music with Your Baby students (not “Transitions”) will have an “Extra” class with Valerie, 9:45 at MUN in Chamber Room 1001 as usual.

Fiddle Day at MMaP:
Jam Session at 9:30-10:30… for all fiddle fans, whether you know 2 tunes or 20, come out and play your favourites, and maybe try something new.
Senior Fiddle Ensemble rehearsal at 10:30-12 noon. Last rehearsal before Kiwanis!

All three of STEP’s performing groups are in the Kiwanis Music Festival this year. Please come out and support your friends and classmates, and get some great inspiration for what’s ahead for younger students.

– YES (Youth Ensemble of Suzuki): Saturday Feb 24th, D. F, Cook Hall, MUN School of Music, 3:10pm
– Young Virtuosi: Saturday Feb 24th, D. F. Cook Hall, MUN School of Music, 7:45pm
– STEP Fiddlers: Saturday Feb 24th, D. F. Cook Hall, MUN School of Music, 8:20pm

Some of our students, individually, will be playing in strings classes on Sunday Feb 25th – do support them too if you can. Check out the full schedule at
Best wishes to all participants!

Maria Cherwick, a member of our fiddle faculty, is also part of her family’s Ukrainian band, the Kubasonics. They are having a family-friendly Matinee Concert and Dance Workshop, Saturday afternoon at 2pm at the Elks Club. They are high-energy, super-skilled musicians with a lot of weird instruments 🙂 – it’s going to be a fantastically fun time for all ages! Facebook link:

CAMP registration is open! It’s a terrific week stuffed full of fun and learning, July 1st to 6th, for young string students (and pre-instrument little ones too) and their parents. Sign up at for the Newfoundland and Labrador Suzuki Institute, or, for advanced chamber-music players, Questions? Write Carole or Kate at

Can you donate Air Miles or Aeroplan Points to help bring visiting teachers to our Institutes? There’s a discount or other benefits available for donors! Get in touch with

Have a great weekend everyone- make sure to make time to listen, practise, and have fun with music!

Heather Patey
STEP Administrator

Winterfest is here!

Winterfest is here! This Saturday, Feb 17th, is a time for everyone to shake it up, swapping out regular classes for lots of new things to try, and getting together to all have some fun.

Everyone moves with their group class, through two to four short activities during the morning. Don’t miss the giant JAM SESSION at 10:30 for absolutely everyone! And there’s even a Body Mapping Class for Parents too.

The day continues with more great activities (all free admission):

KITCHEN PARTY @ the Geo Centre: 2:30-4:00 PM
RECEPTION: 5:00-6:00 PM, Instrumental Room (Room 1034) at MUN Music. Pre-order your Pizza in the morning! Drinks provided, please contribute snacks and sweets.
SENIOR PLAYERS + FACULTY CONCERT: 6:00-7:00 PM in Suncor Hall (MUN Music)

More info, including times and rooms, and full class descriptions, at

Alert to Hotmail users

If you have a Hotmail address, you may have difficulty emailing us – we’ve received reports of people not receiving our emails. Please try contacting us from an address with a different mail provider, or sending us a Facebook message.

We send a broadcast to the membership every Thursday evening, so if you are a member and don’t receive this, please update your contact information. Sorry for the inconvenience!

STEP Holiday Concert

Join us at STEP’s 2017 Holiday Concert!

  • Saturday, December 16th 2017, 10am
  • George Street Church

Come check out some of the finest young string players in the city, as they showcase their talent and inherent love for music this Christmas season. From toddlers to teens, you’ll hear everything from classical to folk, and perhaps even some Christmas tunes! Rumour has it that a special visitor (wearing a red suit!) may pay us a visit :).

We’d like to offer a special welcome to all STEP Alumni students and parents, as this year marks STEP’s 35th birthday!!!

This show is for all ages, and admission is by donation.

Facebook event: