DECEMBER 31, 2020 NEWS

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NEWS FROM FALL 2020

We are remembering moments from the most unusual fall semester in FSTE history and being thankful that music is always available and always a powerful unifying force. Below you will read about highlights from our Suzuki teachers memories and thoughts on this challenging but often rewarding semester. We hope you all enjoyed what we offered and hope to see you again in the spring of 2021.

Registration for spring semester opens on December 31 online. We wish you all the best now and in the New Year!

FSTE Faculty

From Dr. Gail Johansen: 

Dr. Gail Johansen’s violin classes met via Zoom and in person during fall semester. It was interesting to learn about online group lesson teaching and to try out new ideas. I learned a lot! Thanks to Jim Spontak, we were able to alternate weeks with Audra Carlson’s classes at Fairbanks Lutheran Church and safely play together with our trusty pianist. The semester culminated in a video recording of the violin classes playing a polished piece and a Holiday themed song. A fun time was had by all in the production process. Here’s a hearty shout out to Chris Carlson for his expert recording work – Thank you, thank you for posting the recordings on YouTube. You may all check your FSTE emails to see these violin class presentations.

As always, we enjoyed learning new skills, polishing our pieces and playing Zoom duets with student leaders. I appreciate the students’ good efforts to navigate Zoom and their willingness to try new things using the online format. May the new year bring us closer to the day ahead when we’ll meet at UPARK school for in person group lessons. I can’t wait to see everyone there again! In the meantime, we’ll see as many students at the online lessons as can manage to participate. Come join us!

FSTE Book 3 Christmas Recital 2020 and FSTE Book 4 Christmas Recital 2020

Gail Johansen’s Book 3 Group Class
Gail Johansen’s Books 4-6 Group Class

From Audra Carlson: 

Audra Carlson’s Book 1 and Book 2 classes met this fall on Zoom and in person at the Fairbanks Lutheran Church, alternating every other week with Dr. Johansen’s classes. We were able to play together socially distanced in the beautiful church space that our pianist, Jim Spontak, provided for us. It was fun to see each other in person, but even more exciting to be able to play together in person! Our Zoom classes were an excellent testament to the wonderful kids in our program. Everyone was so helpful and polite, each taking turns and being good listeners. We hope to see all of you again next semester!

Audra Carlson’s Book 1 Group Class
Audra Carlson’s Book 2 Group Class

From Nancy Morgan

ZOOM language: “insufficient band width,” unstable connection,” where did you go?”, “I  can’t hear/see you,” “Could you say that again?” 

ZOOM teaching taking us into our students’ homes: dog bounding into the room and  licking student’s feet; dog singing/howling at high notes; showing off new puppies, guinea pigs, Easter  chicks; visiting an out-of-state grandparent and having a lesson there; dealing with bread burning in  oven so lesson moving quickly to another part of the house 

 ZOOM private teaching integrating some fun ideas from reports about group class: 

Etude Tango- finally the student gets it, repeats and all; Martini Gavotte-the rondo form is really  enjoyable; Jingle Bells and Hark How the Bells with harmony! 

From Thom McLean: 

As summer Zoom sessions ran into fall and winter we’ve all learned to adapt. I’ve been so impressed with the resiliency and good nature of students although their lives have been turned upside down with restricted social interaction and virtual schooling. Although I’ve still had the pleasure of seeing some people in person–masked, distanced and with hand sanitizer in reach–I have several students who have been on Zoom for the past nine months. Others resort to Zoom when protocols in their family have changed or out of convenience for that week. One thing I’m always surprised by during Zoom meetings is the novel delight of getting to see ENTIRE faces! I miss seeing those smiles or whatever expression the day brings. I’ve been privileged to be virtually invited into people’s homes and meet other family members and my favorite–family pets. I hope we are all playing together again soon.

From Dorli McWayne:

The flute group class has been meeting via zoom for the entire fall semester, since there is  no getting around the fact that flutes are very windy instruments. Nevertheless, good times were had by  all with monthly recitals, a Halloween program, and culminating in a beautiful Holiday Evening with  decorated Christmas trees, some fancy clothes, and chamber music with other family members. It was  good to exchange verbal and musical pleasantries with each other every week.

Flutists amid the flowers in a light  summer rain

From Jeff Merkel: The guitar group has had a fun semester, meeting at Christ Lutheran Church with social  distancing and masks. We had a Christmas concert to ourselves, and here is one of the pieces the kids  liked the most. It’s called “Ottawa Blues,” composed by Andrea Cannon, who has taught at our Suzuki  Institute for a number of years.

Institute schedule for Sunday, June 2

Michele Jeglum Fairbanks Suzuki Institute

TODAY’S  SCHEDULE

Schedule Change:

Afternoon classes will begin at the following times; 12:45, 1:45, and 2:45.  Our final concert will begin at 4:15.


11:30 Parent Brown Bag Lunch Talk 

Today’s topic will be “Practice Goals for Long-term Success” – Wiegman

3:50 Report to the following rooms for tuning:

M217   Violins, Twinkle – Book 2

M223   Violins, Book 3 – 6 and Violas

M219   Advanced Violins

Davis Hall   Cellos

M211   Flutes

M207   Guitars

4:15 Final Concert

Institute Schedule for Saturday, June 1

Michele Jeglum Uncategorized

TODAY’S  SCHEDULE

11:30 Parent Brown Bag Lunch Talk 

Today’s topic will be “Meter Matters: Using meter awareness games to achieve musicality” – Perrin

12:45 Student Recital in Davis Concert Hall

5:00  SAA Focus Meeting in room M301

7:00 Chamber Music and Elective Class Recital in Davis Concert Hall 

Institute Schedule for Friday, May 31

Michele Jeglum Uncategorized

 TODAY’S  SCHEDULE

Special reminder that the graduation recital begins at 12:30 today.


Need dinner on Saturday?  Join the Chamber Music and Elective students for a pizza party outside the front doors of the Fine Arts Building on Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30.  This event is open to all FSI participants and their families. The cost is $7 for one slice of pizza, drink, and veggies.  Extra slices are available for $2.  Please sign-up in advance at registration or in the office until Friday, May 31st at noon.

11:30 Parent Brown Bag Lunch

Today’s topic will be “Getting and Keeping Your Child Hooked on Music” – Bossuat-Gallic

12:30 Graduation Recital in Davis Concert Hall

Institute Schedule for Thursday, May 30

Michele Jeglum Fairbanks Suzuki Institute, Uncategorized

TODAY’S  SCHEDULE

Need dinner on Saturday?  Join the Chamber Music and Elective students for a pizza party outside the front doors of the Fine Arts Building on Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30.  This event is open to all FSI participants and their families. The cost is $7 for one slice of pizza, drink, and veggies.  Extra slices are available for $2.  Please sign-up in advance at registration or in the office until Friday, May 31st at noon.

11:30 Parent Brown Bag Lunch Talk 

Today’s topic will be “Language: Ideas to maximize connection and empowerment” – Smelser

12:45 Student Recital in Davis Concert Hall

7:00 Showcase Recital

Zachary Spontak, a graduate of FSI and the Johansen Music Studio, will perform a recital on Thursday, May 30 at 7:00 pm in the Davis Concert Hall. He’ll be joined by his father, James Spontak, at the piano. FSI participants will be admitted with the institute name badge. The public is invited and we encourage you to spread the word about this exciting performance. Admission is $20 for adults or $15 for seniors, military and students. Tickets are available at the Suzuki Office and at the Box Office prior to the performance. Come be inspired by his artistry, skill and beautiful, expressive tone.

Institute Schedule for Wednesday, May 29

Michele Jeglum Fairbanks Suzuki Institute, Uncategorized

TODAY’S  SCHEDULE

Need dinner on Saturday?  Join the Chamber Music and Elective students for a pizza party outside the front doors of the Fine Arts Building on Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30.  This event is open to all FSI participants and their families. The cost is $7 for one slice of pizza, drink, and veggies.  Extra slices are available for $2.  Please sign-up in advance at registration or in the office until Friday, at noon.


11:30 Parent Brown Bag Lunch Talk 

Today’s topic will be “Suzuki Vitamins: What keeps our musical diets healthy?” – Felsing

12:45 Student Recital in Davis Concert Hall 

Institute Schedule for Tuesday, May 28

Michele Jeglum Uncategorized

Parking on Campus

All visitors to campus will need to purchase permits to park in campus parking lots during regular business hours. Campus visitors can still park for free on weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays. Parking convenient for Suzuki Institute is available by short-term meter kiosk in the Eielson South lot and daily parking permits are available for parking in the Nenana and Taku lots. Permits are available for $5 a day or multiple days up to one week. Kiosks accept cash, coins and credit cards at the following locations: Nenana across from the Student Recreation Center and Taku parking lot off of Farmers Loop.

Shuttles are available from the Nenana and Taku parking lots. Regular decal lot locations are shown on the UAF campus map online at www.uaf.edu/campusmap/. Gold reserved lots are excluded during the workday but are open for visitors after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Shuttle bus schedules are available at www.uaf.edu/fs/services/shuttlebus/

Today’s Schedule

9:00 Teacher Traning Class Gruening 208

11:30 Chamber Music Coaching Sessions

  • Room M301: Alex Apicella, Else Mayo, Audrey Swank, Joshua Swank, Coach Alex Croxton.
  • Room M223: Rosy Kauffman, Sophie Henry, Fiona Secor, Cadence Tozier, Coach Carol Ourada.

12:30 Chamber Music Coaching Sessions

  • Room M217:  Clara Teller, Jonathan Swank, Dylan Candelaria, Cirdan Vonnahme, Coach Everett Goodwin
  • Room M301: Lex Zacheis, Asa Eduards, Kestrel Wigglesworth, Casey Lambries, Coach Alex Croxton
  • Room M223: Sean Raften, Forest Rodgers, Ani Merkel, Ian Carlson, Juanito Richards, Coach Carol Ourada
  • Room G207: Joseph Montalbano, Blaque Secor, Caleb Tolbert, John Haran-Delong, Coach Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Room G310: Noelle, Bertram, Owen Wooller, Hannah Weaver, Luke Buth, Bonnie Marriott, Sophia Benson, Coach Noelle Perrin
  • Room G308: Nicholas Buth, Matteo Kuigenza, Anna Westfall, Talven Wigglesworth, Coach Andrea Cannon

1:00 – 3:00 Pick up schedules in the Great Hall and locate classrooms

  • Students in Viola for Violinists sign out a viola in the Suzuki Office.
  • Please use this time to familiarize yourself with the location of the rooms which we are using this year.

2:00 Graduation Rehearsals

Students who are graduating this year go to these rooms for your rehearsal:

  • Violin and Viola will meet in room M217
  • Cellos will meet in room M301
  • Flutes will meet in room M223

3:00 Orientation and Faculty Introduction in the Davis Concert Hall

  • FSI Official T-shirt Picture for all students and faculty – outside the Great Hall on the steps of the Rasmussen Library facing the fountain.  Join us after the orientation for this historic moment with everyone together.

3:30 Play In

  • Violins: Twinkle to Andantino meet in room 301.
  • Violins: Etude to Book 6 meet in Concert Hall.
  • Flutes: All levels meet in room 223.
  • Cello and Viola:  All levels meet in 217.

4:30 Faculty Meeting in 217

5:30 Picnic at Pioneer Park Playground Shelter

A rain or shine picnic will be held today, May 28, at Pioneer Park. All students, families and teachers are invited to the picnic area closest to the main playground. Parent volunteers have been working hard to make this a delicious Potluck Picnic. Moose burgers, reindeer hotdogs, drinks, and picnic dinnerware will be provided. We ask our Suzuki families to bring picnic foods to share. Let’s treat our clinicians to a bountiful Alaska Picnic! Come and join in on some fun games put on by our parent volunteers.

A Typical Day at the Fairbanks Suzuki Institute

Michele Jeglum Fairbanks Suzuki Institute, Uncategorized

It is nearly time for Institute! You will receive your individual schedule with your registration packet on Tuesday, but here is an overview of a typical day.


8:30 to 11:30 Morning classes
11:30 to 12:30 Lunch and Parent Talks
12:45 -1:45 Student Recital  – Attendance at these recitals is strongly encouraged
2:00 to 6:00 Afternoon Classes
Evening events include:
Tuesday, 5:30 pm potluck picnic at Pioneer Park
Thursday, 7:00 pm Showcase Recital featuring Zachary and James Spontak
Saturday, 7:00 pm Chamber Music and Elective Recital

Institute schedule for Sunday, June 3

Michele Jeglum Uncategorized

TODAY’S  SCHEDULE

Schedule Change:

Afternoon classes will begin at the following times; 12:45, 1:45, and 2:45.  Our final concert will begin at 4:15.


11:30 Parent Brown Bag Lunch Talk 

Today’s topic will be “Loving Your Instrument” – Cannon

3:50 Report to the following rooms for tuning:

M217   Violins, Twinkle – Book 2

M223   Violins, Book 3 – 6 and Violas

M219   Advanced Violins

Davis Hall   Cellos

M211   Flutes

M207   Guitars

4:15 Final Concert