Dolomite Suzuki summer music camp 2016
by Andrew, Isabel Zeng and family
On top of all the good things a Suzuki program offers, our favourite is we can combine travel with learning as a family at many camps our Suzuki community offers, so when Ms Diane told us about the new Dolomite camp in early 2016, we immediately were drawn to the idea of learning music at a beautiful location surrounded by history and nature! After all, man is a product of his environment.
Packed with violins and mountain hiking outfits, after 13 hours of flight and 4 hours of driving, we finally arrived at Fiera di Primiero, a small peaceful town at the base of mount Dolomites and so thankful we made the effort to come all the way!
Our camp was conveniently located within 5 minutes walk from the hotel, everyday we would cross a wooden bridge overseeing crystal clear stream with the Dolomite mountains at the backdrop to begin the day. The two week camp consisted of morning and afternoon classes. The mornings started with a group singing lesson, we had the opportunity of a three day music garden program lead by Marco Messina, he taught many interesting new songs and new lyrics of some Suzuki book 1 songs.
We then took a break and had a group instrument lesson. After lunch, we continued with private instrumental lessons where all students could observe and ended the day early with an orchestra practice to leave some time for leisure. Whilst the course was much more intense, the atmosphere of the camp was relaxed, when time permitted we went to observe other classes, learning more about the Suzuki program and the violin. One lesson I remembered vividly was how one had to overcome shyness to open up in front of strangers when performing. The camp was completed with a formal concert where each student performed a solo piece for the local residents. Being in Italy, the birth place of Paganini, Vivaldi and the like, you could hear in the applause how much the audiences appreciated classical music. The youngest violin group class also had an opportunity to perform on the street.
Lunch was served at the canteen on campus, and with parks nearby, the kids spent their breaks hanging out with new friends whilst parents sat back and exchanged ideas. The camp organiser was kind enough to offer extra activities such as hiking, cooking class and a day trip to Venice.
The only side effect of having to study there was the temptation of alluring sights of Mt Dolomites appearing in every corner of the campus, so when the weekend finally arrived, we put on hiking shoes and marched out to embrace the nature. Passing wildflower meadows beneath a blue sky, listening to the cow bell ringing at the background, breathing in the most precious fresh mountain air and watching the magical Dolomite mountains change into pink and red hue at dusk. The violin forest where the Stradivarius violin wood was said to come from, the turquoise water lake, the museum of Otzi of a 5000 years old iceman, the adventure park await you, not to mention the window shopping in Venice and being completely museumed out in Florence! Please do allow some extra time if you can to truly appreciate what Dolomites and Italy has to offer…