plays on at Walla Walla College
By: Kristi Spurgeon
The sound of strings will fill the air around Walla Walla College July 10-15 as the college hosts the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute.
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The WWSI is an opportunity for students, parents, and teachers to study the art of string playing using the philosophy and teaching techniques recommended by Shinichi Suzuki. The Suzuki Method encourages young children to play their instruments by imitation, not by reading sheet music. The method also stresses parental involvement.
Eighty students from around the Northwest are enrolled in the Institute, along with 16 adults enrolled in the Teacher Training program. Classes are offered in violin, viola, and cello. Students take part in a master class, group classes, and orchestra, as well as other specialized classes in some cases. Many students have also been selected to play at solo recitals during the week.
“This is an amazing experience for the students,” says Benjamin Gish, director of the WWSI. “And I think they’re really enjoying it.”
This is the first year for the WWSI although Gish says it a continuation of the Suzuki Institute of the Palouse, which had been held for many years at Washington State University. This year, the Institute has 12 master teachers from around the world. Moshe Neumann lives in Israel and studied with Suzuki in Japan. He is teaching violin for the Institute. William and Doris Preucil teach violin and viola and founded the Preucil School of Music in 1975, a Suzuki school with over 700 students.
“I’m excited about all the faculty who have agreed to be here and I hope this is the beginning of a long tradition of the Suzuki Institute at Walla Walla College,” says Gish.
More information about the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute faculty and schedule can be found at www.wwsi.org.