As we approach the summer season, it’s a great time to explore the many concerts and events happening in Chicago and the surrounding areas.
Taking your child to hear live music is an important part of keeping them motivated and inspired, and there are many wonderful festivals and concerts to choose from.
Attending live performances is an excellent way for students to witness the mastery achieved by high-level performers and to gain valuable insights into the technical details they practice daily. Seeing the dedication and attention to detail that the world’s finest musicians put into their performances can inspire young performers to create their own artistic vision and approach.
We encourage you to take advantage of the many wonderful concerts and festivals coming up this summer.
Here are a few that we recommend:
Grant Park Music Festival: This is one of the biggest and most beloved events of the summer, offering free, outdoor classical music concerts all summer long. We recommend checking out Augustin Hadelich, who is the violinist on the most recent Suzuki book 4-6 recordings, on August 11th and 12th. You can find more information about the festival’s lineup here: https://www.grantparkmusicfestival.com/music/2023-season
Thirsty Ears Festival: This 2-day classical music and street food festival takes place on August 12th and 13th in Chicago near Wilson and Ravenswood. You can find more information about the festival here: https://acmusic.org/events/thirsty-ears-festival-2/
Ravinia Music Festival: North America’s oldest summer festival brings local and international artists of all different genres, including classical and jazz concerts. It’s a great place to bring a picnic basket and eat while listening to music. You can find more information about the festival here: https://www.ravinia.org/Information
We hope you and your child enjoy attending these concerts and festivals and have a wonderful summer filled with music!
2018 Benefit Concert funds to go to Hephzibah Children’s Association.
Save the Date:
Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2:00p at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki was a Japanese violinist and humanitarian. Witnessing the destruction of his homeland due to the second World War, he formed a vision to help nudge the world toward peace through its children. Through music, Dr. Suzuki hoped to build noble hearts in children all around the world.
With this in mind, we produce an event each year that connects our students from Oak Park and the surrounding areas to the larger world they live in. In previous years, our students helped to raise money through their music for the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and the Heartland Alliance’s unaccompanied minor program. This year, our music students are collaborating with Hephzibah Children’s Association in Oak Park, IL. OPSA students will be performing a concert at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park on December 15 at 2p.
OPSA students and faculty will be collaborating with other Oak Park area musicians to create a global concert featuring music from around the world. In previous years, we performed music from Syria, Lebanon, China, Romania, and more. This year, the concert will include special faculty performances, global music, and even a holiday sing along. Local Suzuki students from neighboring studios will join to play music together and hopefully make the world just a little more peaceful and beautiful.
Hephzibah will be the recipient of the funds we raise. Last year, OPSA raised almost $2,000 for Heartland Alliance. We hope to do even better this year! You can make a donation right away!
Have a new baby or a toddler? Consider enrolling them in Suzuki Early Childhood Classes at the Oak Park String Academy! SECE classes for 0-3 years begin this September!
“If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” – Shin’ichi Suzuki
Suzuki ECE is an early childhood program that uses music to develop the whole child, including social, emotional, cognitive, kinesthetic, and musical skills. Through the use of a carefully designed music curriculum, we aim to nurture child development, parent-child bonding, and awaken the child’s readiness for learning. For schedule and more information, visit: https://www.secchicago.com/
Special Offers for Fall Term
Register before July 31 and receive a waived administrative fee ($10) and one free class ($24).
We hope you are all enjoying your summer activities!
Individual lessons are still going on at OPSA throughout the summer although on a much more flexible schedule. Be sure to check your lesson schedule!
Here is some beautiful music to enjoy on this summer day. This is young violinist, Soo-Been Lee, who won 2nd Prize in the Junior Division with her performances at the Menuhin Competition in Beijing in 2012. Our four OPSA violin students attending the Indiana Summer String Academy for four weeks this summer will all be playing this. We wish them fun with their beautiful music making!
Even before I had children, I loved to read about the youngest members of society and why, when and how people raised them to become not only informed and capable people, but also kind, helpful and aware citizens of the world. Raising kids in a culture where parents are quick to be villainized and slow to be supported is still mighty challenging, although we are making progress in many communities. Parenting is a relentless job that often leaves us feeling like we are sprinting only to reach a long line in which we suddenly find ourselves waiting, with little to do.
But take heart! We live in exciting times of research and information! It seems that every day we can read about new research and understanding about Growth Mindset, child development, the plasticity of the brain, the power of modeling and environment. I have hope that the world around us is slowly but surely developing strategies for growing kindness and laying the seeds of empathy in the hearts–and brains– of our children.
When I feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn and wonder whether what I am doing is hurting more than helping, I find solace in books. Sometimes this is an escapist novel, but often it is a book like the ones on this list. Rather than feeling like I am reading a book about everything I am doing wrong, these books help me fill my cup with concepts, strategies, and ultimately, the inspiration to try a different way, keep at it and carry on. Even the most balanced and steady parent with a loving and peaceful upbringing has moments when they wonder, “What is this behavior about? Why is it happening and how do I handle it with this child at this moment?” If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed as a parent and wondered how to make things easier or more peaceful (and what parent hasn’t?!), try one of these books and I hope it helps you find encouragement for what is, no doubt, the challenge of a lifetime.
Join us for our spring solo recitals on April 28 at 1p and 2:30p at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park.
Recitals are free and open to the public. We encourage prospective families to come and listen to and enjoy these great student performances! Students between the ages of 4 and 16 will be performing on these recitals. We will hear Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and more! If you have been considering starting violin or cello lessons with your young child, this is a great way to introduce them to our program. Come and join us for all or part of a recital. We look forward to meeting you!