Charlotte Price started the Burlington Suzuki Association in 1978. Ten families joined the first year studying violin. By the second year there were 25 students with 3 taking piano lessons from John Bigham. At this time the association was sponsored by the City of Burlington and teachers were city employees. Anne Marie McCarthy joined the organization in 1987 teaching piano.
An executive committee consisting of parents meeting monthly was formed to assist the teachers in arranging workshops, Solo Concerts, parties, graduations and outside performances. They maintained an informed membership by means of newsletters and a telephone network and assisted new parents by informing of ways and means of overcoming practice problems, and in general to help these people to achieve a sense of belonging to the Association. In addition, the Association maintains an extensive lending library of Suzuki-related material and keeps an up to date listing of used instruments for sale by members.
In 1994, the association separated from the City music program and formed their own association with fees being paid directly to the music teachers and the BSA association. They remained at the Music Centre paying rent to the City of Burlington for individual lesson times and group lessons. Janet Cowan began in 1995 teaching violin. Suzuki Guitar was also introduced and in 2000, Charlotte Price retired and Terry Ball joined the organization-teaching violin.
In 2001 we introduced the Early Start program for newborns to age four. Researchers and educators have found that children living in cultures rich with music tend to develop learning and communication skills quicker than other youngsters. The Suzuki Philosophy believes that all children have infinite potential to develop and advocates beginning music study early. Most children attending the Early Start program continue on to take individual private music lessons.
Some of the concerts and events organized by the Executive Committees over the years are as follows:
The Ontario Suzuki Associations Teachers Conference was held in Burlington and many from the executive were on the organizing committee. Our students attend and teachers participate in Oakville Performing Arts Day Camps and Piano and Violin Workshops held in Oakville and Hamilton.We issue a newsletter to all association members three times per year and now offer Suzuki Early Childhood, Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello lessons.