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Short Term Courses

Short courses are included as part of the hybrid studio package for all Schoen Duo Studio students.


These often take the form of a series of weekly classes based on a specific theme or topic, with a performance at the end of the session:

  • Canadian Music – in October and November, ending with performance at Contemporary Showcase
  • Baroque Music – in February and March, ending with a performance as part of Bach in the Subways

Hybrid courses incorporate a combination of in-person and on-line offerings

The summer course is one week of daily lessons and classes, including Suzuki teacher training courses, at the Borealis Suzuki Institute.


We are also developing an on-line “how to play by ear” course designed for adult learners. But even the on-line courses receive access to our Open Studios for real-time face to face assistance .

Lessons at the Schoen Duo Studio

In our hybrid studio, we offer a “menu” of individual and group formats for learning flute, violin, recorder, or viola. There is also an early childhood education class for very young beginners who have yet to choose their instrument.

Students progress at their own pace.

Opportunities are presented at every level. Everyone, even the beginners, can participate in concerts, group lessons and ensembles in a way that is appropriate, engaging, and empowering. We nurture our student community and have our in-studio and on-line students engage with each other.

We play by ear, read music, and improvise, both individually and in groups.

Our on-line resources allow students to practice their group playing skills on their own in between group sessions.

Our lessons are whole-body experiences:

  • You use your body: listen, feel and move
  • You use your mind: think, analyze, and anticipate
  • You use your emotions: self-expression is our goal at all levels

If you want to prepare for festivals and examinations, we will help you. We will let you know when you are at a stage where these experiences can enrich your learning. Our students who do participate do very well at these events, but they are entirely optional. Working for grades or placing yourself in competitive situations is not for everyone, and we offer many other ways to mark your progress.

Asynchronous Lessons

Asynchronous means “not at the same time”.

We can have a lesson even if we are not together at the same moment.

Students can submit recordings, and teachers respond with comments, further recordings of more examples, links to online resources, or whatever else will be most helpful based on the student submission.

What began as a coping strategy for bad internet and poor audio connections during the COVID pandemic, has now proven to be extremely helpful when travel or other life events interfere with scheduled lessons.

Making recordings is a doubly enriching experience for students. Listening to a recording of their playing promotes the development of objective listening and performance confidence. The most common remark I hear when students listen to their own recordings is “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was!” Small errors tend to be very big in the memory – hearing a playback puts them back into proportion.

If you choose to have an asynchronous lesson, please do not put off making the recording until the day before your next in person lesson! You will get the most value from this experience if you submit the recording in time for your teacher to offer some useful feedback that you can use before the next lesson. An asynchronous lesson recording is not homework to be submitted the next time you see the teacher! It is part of the ongoing give & take of information between you and your teacher in between lessons.

Parent Orientation

by Kathleen Schoen 0 Comments

We have always offered the Every Child Can!  (ECC!) class as part of the new parent orientation for beginners.

This is included in Schoen Duo Studio lessons at no extra cost.

This course is an excellent orientation to the Suzuki philosophy of learning, and very useful for families entering the program with a beginner student. 

Classes are online via Zoom. 

Register here to reserve your place in the class:


NO payment is required, but you still need to register as there are a limited number of places.

If you want to receive a registerable credit for the course from the Suzuki Association of the Americas (the course is a required pre-requisite to all other teacher training courses) 100% attendance is required.

If you have no intention of doing any further training, but are taking the class to support your own role as a parent of a young student, the classes will be recorded and replays will be available to those who register for the class. So even if you took the class before, it it possible to do it again or review the replays as a refresher if you cannot attend all the sessions. 

The class is a prerequisite to another different course: “Introduction to Suzuki Instrument”.

This is where we apply the philosophy, which is presented in the ECC! Class in a general way, to the specific instrument: flute, recorder, violin, and viola. This is the background to the STEP class for the parents – why we do what we do, what it feels like from the student point of view, and when do we wait or when do we move forward?

The “Introduction to Recorder” portion can be taken by teachers for SAA credit. Contact Kathleen Schoen at [email protected] for details.

Facebook Student Sharing Group

by Kathleen Schoen 0 Comments

I recently took a couple of online courses where the class used a facebook group as a platform for submitting assignments.

As much as I love to dislike social media, you have to admit that the platform is one of the simplest and most familiar ways to share text, recordings, and images. 

So I thought it would be worth trying it out for our own studio. If you have a project that involves sending your teacher a picture or a recording, let’s see if you can upload it to this group. This is a PRIVATE group – no one will be able to see what we put here other than the student families we have invited to join us in this space. 

Invitations are sent privately to individuals. To receive an invitation, email a request to:

[email protected]

This should make it easier to submit recordings – you can do them live, directly to the group, record them ahead of time and then upload them, or post them on another site and post a link. No more worrying about the file being too big to email, and having to use a mix of Dropbox, iCloud, Google, etc. It will make it much easier for your teachers too, to have all the submissions in one place. 

Added bonus – we get to see what our friends are doing – its like a big asynchronous group class! Commenting on each other’s efforts is encouraged, but please be encouraging. Positive and constructive remarks about growth and process are best (e.g. “I noticed that you held your instrument up more steadily / played with a more resonant tone / used more dynamic contrast than the last time I heard you play”). 

I hope you have fun sharing and enjoying each other’s work. We will post some tutorials to get things started, and share some of our own work with you as well. Participation in this space is optional, its just another offering on our studio “menu” for those of you who are comfortable using the Facebook platform.