Frequently asked questions
What will our schedule look like?
Check out these sample schedules.
What should I bring?
Bring whatever gear you normally bring when you go to a lesson, including small cello chairs, small guitar stools, rock stops, and foot rests. Music stands are not necessary, unless you will be using your score for Greensleeves or your Jazz masterclass. You may wish to have a water bottle. There are also water fountains in the halls. Because of the environmental abuse caused by plastic water bottles, we will not be providing those.
What should I wear?
NEC classrooms are hot! We recommend dressing in layers. Although there will be no final performance, the Festival is a classy event. Students show the teachers respect and reinforce the special nature of the workshop by dressing nicely.
Where should I go?
The Festival takes place at New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115.
What is the nearest T stop?
Symphony, on the Green E line, or Mass Ave, on the Orange line, are all within a short walk of NEC.
Where can I park?
Saturday: There is metered street parking or parking at a nearby garage. We recommend arriving early to find street parking. On Saturday, you will need to feed the meters.
Sunday: This year, there is reserved parking on Sunday for $32 at the nearby Northeastern garage on Gainsborough St. If you would like a space, let us know on the registration form. There is also limited street parking. We recommend arriving early to find street parking. On Sunday, metered parking is free.
What day is the piano masterclass? This year, we are planning the same schedule for pianists as for all the other instruments. Piano masterclasses will be on Saturday, and on Sunday, Piano students will enjoy guest performances, group classes, and enrichment sessions along with the other students. There will be sufficient pianos and/or high quality keyboards in each room to accommodate the students. We have been given permission to use New England Conservatory's special piano classroom for Piano Group Class, which is equipped with twelve 88 Key Rolands with touch sensitivity and weighted keys.
How do I apply my membership code in registration for the $5 discount? If you join the Massachusetts Suzuki Association as part of your registration process, your discount will automatically be deducted from your total. Suzuki:MA members have received an email containing a discount code. Enter it in the registration process to receive $5 off your Festival registration.
If you are unable to locate code, we encourage you to register as usual and contact us so that we may verify your membership and reimburse you for the discount.
Where can I eat lunch?
We have invited the Bon Me food truck, and a few others, to park on Gainsborough street during lunch time. There is no cafeteria at NEC and the Festival does not provide lunch.
How can we make the most of our Festival day?
Festival Sunday can be a long day! Here are some suggestions to help you make it as fun as possible:
-Work with your teacher to prepare the appropriate repertoire.
-Make sure you and your child get a good night's sleep the night before.
-Children's schedules will differ, so every student must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Families with more than one student should arrange to have one adult per child.
-Arrive 20-30 minutes early to find parking and to orient yourself to the space.
-Bring some water and nutritious snacks along with you, or visit the food trucks or nearby cafes during some free time.
-There is a 10-minute break in between each class and an hour-long lunch break, but if your child is losing concentration abilities then you may want to consider skipping a class. The schedule is full of wonderfully fun activities, but none of them is mandatory.
What is the All Musicians Creative Improvisation Ensemble? Violin, viola, cello, flute, bass, harp, piano and guitar students in Book 3 and up participate in a Creative Improvisation class with Ben Schwendener on Sunday. Students will collaborate with other instruments and levels to create a unique piece of music, which will be recorded during the session.
They will be improvising their own melodies and patterns, as well as responding to others’ ideas. By listening carefully to each other, they will experience the magical communication between musicians that brings out their artistic intuition and creates Art. No preparation is required, but students should be comfortable with the techniques introduced from Book 2 and up, in their own instrument's repertoire. Students who play more than one instrument have the option of coming to this class with their secondary instrument.
The Jazz masterclass on Saturday will foster a similar feeling of inspired improvisation, for one student and the teacher together.
Are scholarships available?
Yes, Suzuki:MA has a limited number of scholarships available. Scholarship applications will be considered by the Massachusetts Suzuki Association Board, after the January 31st deadline. All scholarship applicants will automatically be granted at least the Early Bird discount. Scholarship recipients will be notified of their award by Feb 22, 2017.
What if I miss the registration deadline but really, really want to attend the festival? Please be sure to register by Monday, Feb 27, so the directors will be able to arrange the Master Schedule and complete all the necessary details for an Excellent Festival Weekend! If you miss the deadline, you may still register, but there will be a late fee to offset the extra accommodations involved in rearranging the schedule.
What does it mean to Sponsor a Clinician's Coffee or Taxi?
Throughout the long teaching day, a volunteer may bring the master clinicians a refreshing cup of coffee from the nearby cafe or bakery food truck. If you would like to donate a few dollars to show your appreciation and give one of your teachers an afternoon smile, check the box on the registration form and a coffee will be delivered with a gift tag from your family.
Some of the clinicians are flying in from out of town. In order to get to and from the Festival each day, or the airport, they may need to have transportation arranged for them. If you would like to help cover the cost of a cab or Lyft, the festival would appreciate your thoughtfulness. Simply check the box on the registration form.
Still have questions?
Use this form to contact Festival Director, Bekka Schellenberg.