“SUZUKI”, & Jean Grieve Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

I’m not really a Suzuki person, not a Norton or even a Harley-Davidson rider…my ‘cycle is a HONDA 750. Oops, wrong category, last evening’s concert at the Oakville Centre was about the renowned ‘SUZUKI METHOD’ of musical education; and a celebration of its 40 years here & the 80thbirthday of the woman responsible for establishing it in this community.

The SUZUKI performers under DeClara’s baton

When Japan was almost obliterated in 1945, Shin ‘chi Suzuki, observing the learning capacities of children five or six years old decided that this life-stage could also learn to play & appreciate music if the instruments were sized down; families would be totally involved; and both parent & child would saturated in the cultural activities of the community –a philosophy to which this paper is dedicated. The home environment not only would benefit the youngster, but would nurture his or her character. BRAVO.
The performance itself afforded the adult and upper level students the opportunity to display their training, talent, and depth-of-understanding for the classical masters (a showcase concert for the junior classes was held in the afternoon). Their selections were both eclectic & challenging thus affording a stage for displaying their technical expertise in almost all of the orchestral genres. While the format was rather amateurish and the M.C. ing hokey, with some obvious glitches in stage management; this was a fun event even for those not directly related to the musicians nor to the Grieve family. The accolades read were worthy of their recipient who has contributed so much to Oakville & to its cultural life. The conductor of the OSO, Roberto DeClara was at the podium for most of the presentations.
The major sponsor of the event was the Crotty family. Carole has the undying gratitude of this newspaper and its editor/publishers for her tireless support when we undertook to bring the Vienna Chamber Orchestra to what was at that time our city. We both received Community Spirit Award nominations that year [neither won – the Sewing Circle was considered more important!]. Obviously, the Crotty home environment is enviable; son George is a success scholastically; musically, creatively and socially. He’s also one of this paper’s contributors. His sister will no doubt participate in a future Soccer World championship and his brother will indubitably contribute to some scientific breakthrough.

Teaching is one of those careers whose appreciation comes from the successes of those taught. Supporting any form of education is a mitzvah! The Grieves; Crottys and all of those involved in supporting such an endeavor deserve all of our thanks and God’s blessings.

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