Workshops & School Programs
Over the years, Suz has led and provided music for workshops on singing, songwriting, improvising, playing with Boomwhackers, ukulele and other topics. Here are a few of them.
Music Improv Instructor, Stages Theatre Camp
Yearly, since 2012
Stages Theatre Camp of Corvallis, Oregon is an award-winning educational yearly experience presented by CSD Theaters and Corvallis High School. The positive and fun training provides education in theater skills while raising the student’s appreciation of the arts. Suz created and teaches their music improv program for students of all grade levels, from 1 through 12, with a focus on on-the-spot songwriting, quick and easy music improv secrets, and the 3 elements used to create a song.
The two week camp, held each summer, culminates in a student showcase of techniques and projects worked on during camp. Unlike traditional theater camps, STAGES is a skills-based camp and not a recital-based camp. The focus is on students cultivating marketable skills necessary for careers in the theater industry.
Ukulele Quick Start for Beginners
An 2-hour workshop by Suz designed to cover all the basics (and special tips and tricks) for those first learning ukulele.
Includes: Tuning; parts of the uke; 7 most common (and cool) strumming patterns; Visual comparison of chord diagrams versus tablature; Easy songs with 1, 2, and 3 chords; Easy Songs with faster chords changes and strums; Cool songs (with 4 to 5 chords, minor chords, and a bit of tablature).
Also covered are tips and tricks for simplifying chords on the fly, playing partial chords, hand positioning, and lots more (including the top-secret “X” chord that you can play anytime — especially helpful if at a jam where you don’t know the song, or where the chords may be a bit too challenging).
This workshop is built on Suz’s experience over the years playing in Uke bands, presenting workshops at Uke festivals (Tunes in the Dunes, Uketoberfest, the Ukulele Convergence & others) and co-hosting/ co-teaching at the Corvallis Ukulele Cabaret Singalong.
- photo by Dave Walton
Singing and speaking Without Fear
Jan 13, 2010 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.)
Adventures in Life Long Learning, Corvallis, Oregon.
An interactive 2 hour workshop about recognizing and releasing the blocks we hold to expressing our authentic voices, whether in singing or speaking.
Co-presented with Vicki Hannah Lein of Outrageous Visions.
Nov. 5-8, 2009 Los Angeles, CA USA
- Suz sat on a panel called “Writing Songs and Composing Instrumentals for Film & TV”, moderated by Taxi founder Michael Laskow. He interviewed her along with fellow Taxi composers Matt Hirt, Dean Krippaehne, Chuck Schlacter, Ed Hartman, Martin Haene, Vikki Flawith, Dave Walton, Barry French, John Mazzei and Tracey Marino.
On the closing day of the Rally, Suz co-led a Creativity Workshop along with Vikki Flawith and John Mazzei, in which she invited participants to explore on the spot songwriting and song stylizing.
Participant Ted Fox won the Brady Bunch T-Shirt for his punk rock rendition of “The Muffin Man,” and Trent Oliphant Wowed everyone with his Operatic Pizazz!
Yes, that’s right — a Brady Bunch t-shirt — with the entire theme song printed on it. How groovy is that?
Body Wisdom Wealth & Purpose Experience
July 13-16, 2009 Crystal Ballroom, Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
A four day healing workshop for entrepreneurs with Dr. Kirk Prine, Donny Lobree, and David Neagle. Suz provided improvised piano music with viola player Lobree, led specific songs on voice and piano throughout the event, and also led a singalong during one of the evening events. The event was sponsored by The Missing thread, which focuses on an archetypal system of success for activating purpose.
April 18, 2010, 2009 - Seven Feathers Casino, Canyonville- a two hour playshop using Boomwhackers (tuned percussion tubes), given for 120 women who are members of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha International conference at Seven Feathers Casino, Oregon.
- photo by L.R. Smith
Singing (and speaking) Without Fear
Adventures in Life Long Learning, Corvallis, Oregon. Feb 12, 2008. An interactive 2 hour workshop about recognizing and releasing the blocks we hold to expressing our authentic voices, whether in singing or speaking. Suz and participants explored how to PLAY again — using the voice without fear or judgment. At the same time, Suz demonstrated top secret performance tips, tricks and techniques to tap into the relaxed, natural voice inside everyone. The workshop ended with participants making up oodles of styles of singing one song (from country to Grand opera), and then Suz demonstrated some of her on-the-spot songwriting. Yahoo!
- photos by Tony Hayden
Easy Improv for the Classical Teacher
April, 2007 A presentation by Suz for the Oregon Music Teachers Association, Corvallis Chapter. Suz led teachers through specifics of how to teach students to improvise and play by ear right away; how to integrate this information into traditional piano lessons, and how to encourage music play.
Right Brain Fitness
Jean Bonifas, Springboard Speakers Studio. Suzannah has joined Jean numerous times in presenting romps through tapping into one’s inner creativity through movement, storytelling and vocalizing.
Singing Without Terror
Unitarian Universalist Women’s Reatreat. A, fun small group experience with Suz and Vicki Hannah Lein at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Woman’s retreat at Triangle Lake, Oregon. Participants explored basics of music, improvisational play, and how to create song “styles”. At the end, participants co-wrote two fantastic songs celebrating the human spirit!
Live Out Your Piano Dreams
Group Classes through Corvallis Parks & Recreation Department and Gracewinds Music, 2001 to present.
Suz led students through the secrets of how songs are made from just 7 notes of a scale, how chords, harmonies, and styles are also made of the same building blocks, and how students can play songs right away using 3 simple chords.
Music Sequencing and software for Teens
Students did hands on sequencing and recording projects using digital keyboards and Roland MT200 sequencer and sound modules at Gracewinds Music.
Suz has led numerous sonwriting workshops over the years, at her private music studios, through Gracewinds Music, through the local Olympics of the Mind groups, and through Corvallis Park & Rec and other venues.
CD Recording Project: “Outta Sight”
Oregon State School for the Blind, Relan Colley’s Class. Suz visited the class several times, gave concerts, and coached students in playing and singing songs of their choosing. Then they recorded the songs and created a nifty Compact Disc of their own!
Building Communities Block by Block
Keynote concert and workshop presentation by Suz and 2-6-07 with Vicki Hannah Lein, Salem, Oregon
Keynote Concert & post dinner concert
With Vicki Hannah Lein at Kahneetah Lodge in Easter Oregon, November 2002
CD Recording Project: “Boomwhack Attack!”
Calapooia Middle School, Albany, Oregon, Cindy Miller’s class. Suz visited the classroom several times to teach students the fun-damentals of using Boomwhackers, tuned percussion tubes that are waaaaaayyyyy tubular, man! Students learned to play 8 songs, including one that they composed themselves. Then these were recorded and made into CDs — and every student got to have one. Pretty fun!
Keynote Concert with Vicki Hannah Lein
In Coos Baby, Oregon June 28, 2003
“Building Block to Learning: Developing Capable Children, Supporting professional You”
With Vicki Hannah Lein - Retreat by the Lake June 28-29, 2003 Care Connection, Coos Bay, Oregon
Seaside Oregon Wellness Retreat
A week of fun, healing and misc. Workshops. Suz gave a workshop on “Fun with Boomwhackers,” and, along with Vicki Hannah Lein, led a workshop on “Singing Without Fear.”