The newly established Northern Irish Suzuki piano community welcomed my tutor, mentor and friend Mary McCarthy for an eagerly anticipated workshop.
This was a nourishing experience for both the young and teenage groups. Each group opened with a concert followed by short individual lessons and concluded with a group activity. The teenagers finished with an enthusiast jazz improvisation session. By all accounts it was a great day. The only criticism, there wasn’t enough time! We hope this is the first of many visits!
‘I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops. Mary’s enthusiasm for music and the Suzuki method was so infectious. We loved her telling of the stories behind the pieces of music and the students she has met over the years. Her gentle encouragement to all the children was so focused yet so relaxed and the music was wonderful. We all learned so much. Thank you.’
– From Ruairí(aged 10), Eilís-Mairead (aged 5) and their mother Michelle.
‘I thought it was really good. I liked hearing the two Ecossaises. I didn’t know in the dance the man had to lift the lady up on the strong beat!’
– Philomena aged 10
‘I loved the program. Starting with the concert followed by individual lessons made it both entertaining and personal. It was nice to hear background personal stories too. I would have liked to have heard Mary play more and heard about her music journey from childhood to now – we’ll just have to bring her back. We loved it all’.
– Parents Marionette & Martin
‘We especially loved Mary’s performance and all the helpful tips she gave us. Thank you Mary for a great afternoon of music. Hope you can come for another workshop very soon’.
– Tom (aged 12), Kate (aged 6) & mother Breige
‘My expectations were that after the concert pieces were complete the one to one lessons were going to be repetitive which was not the experience at all. I found it all very interesting and informative. Mary engaged the whole room and everyone seemed drawn in and attentive. I really loved the whole thing. Lara said it was very good. She loved the stories Mary told of other students from around the world. At the beginning Lara felt under pressure but was delighted that Mary made her feel at ease. The time flew by very quickly. Thanks Mary Hanna for your effort in having Mary come to our wee community.’
– From Clare mother of Lara (aged 11)
‘Thank you so much for the opportunity of attending the workshops: it was a fantastic afternoon. It was particularly wonderful to listen to Mary recount her time spent with Dr Suzuki himself. My children enjoyed performing and the positive ‘can do’ atmosphere created by both Mary’s really instils a sense of calm and confidence – a far cry from my own experiences of stressful performances I endured as a child! The individual lessons within a group session was an added bonus and beneficial to all! My boys commented that Mary was ‘funny’ and ‘nice’ and from my perspective, as a parent, if they are enjoying their musical journey then inevitably the skills they are learning will become intrinsic to their holistic development. Thank you.’
– From Fionn (aged 7) and James (aged 5) mother Cathy
‘I enjoyed transposing Allegretto 2 into the new keys and the jazz session.’
– Paul (aged 13)
Thank you for the workshop today. It was an experience to listen to a master at work!
– Maria mother of Maeve (aged 14) and Grace (aged 16)
Thank you Mary for a wonderful workshop in which you encouraged the children positively and give them great ideas to help them improve their technique. We hope you can visit us again in the near future.
– Sarah (aged 14), Padraig (aged 12) and mother Nuala
Thank you Mary for a very enjoyable and informative workshop. It was interesting to hear all your stories. Thank you for your positive feedback on the boy’s performances, which is a huge help when learning music.
– Joanne mother of Paul (aged 13) & Luke (aged 10)