Suzuki Method 6 Week Short Course

Week 1

Wasn’t sure what to expect but after a quick chat we started to stretch a little on the floor, the leader said it was a little yoga like and I could see where he was coming from with that. After we stretched we started to experiment with our weight and sitting and standing in ways that either used our hands or didn’t at all. We were told to focus on telling a story rather than getting the move totally right. An essential part of the Suzuki Method is the connection to the ground so we did a couple of exercises about grounding and getting as much of your foot on the floor with some balancing and ballet/yoga type things. Stomping became a big part of this lesson and I had a little trouble with this as I don’t think I stomped with the right bit of my foot consistently so I am going to practice that at home. The walks that we did are very peculiar and physically hard but I am going to practice a little at home as well so that I can try and focus more on telling the story next week. The final bit of this lesson we got given three very short speeches to learn before next week so that we can incorporate text into the physical and discover a new voice. I am very excited for week 2.

Week 2

We warmed up much like before with our floor stretches and testing weight then doing  a few ballet type exercises and balancing poses all with the intention of feeling the floor, warming up our feet and ankles and feeling our weight. The first thing we did was recap ‘Balance 2’ which is a series of movements and experiment with intentions and telling the story. We then worked more on the walks we started last week, I was having a lot of trouble with one walk in particular ‘The Pigeon Walk’ and my God that one is hard. All the walks are difficult and you need to work on finding the stillness but the movements being quick. Stomping was a bit easier this week which makes me happy. We were tasked with learning a short piece of text from Dante and after a water break we incorporated that with the ‘Balance 2’ movements and then the standing and sitting poses. We were told to always work at full voice unless told otherwise with Suzuki as it is about filling the space and constant performance. Adding the text was hard because we all spoke in unison, whilst holding these poses that are very hard, at full voice with some people forgetting lines or fluffing them a bit (I did this a couple of times) whilst keeping the ‘performance’ face up; yeah it was hard! I did find this week very good though, I found the challenges exciting and I look forward to seeing what new stuff we learn next week.

Week 3

We did our nice little stretching but then we moved into a new warm up of crawling round and pushing against each other with our heads into the other persons shoulder (two people managed to accidentally exchange hair pins) and rolling onto each others backs from a hands and knees position. The rolling onto backs bit was really nice, I need to find more people I can roll on without it being weird…what am I saying, I know far too many people I could do that with and it not be weird! Once we were all warmed up we recapped the walks and learn ‘Balance 1’ and ‘Balance 3’. Now we had all these we incorporated them even more with our speech. We did the walks for a while as well so by the end we were all very sweaty. After a quick water break we moved onto slow walks, this was were you were constantly moving forward but you didn’t step or sway. We all tried it out and then got into pairs. One of the pair sat down and the other got up (I did it first in my pair), we walked across the room and then we also did some speaking. Once we had done that our partner had to jump on our back and we redid it while giving them a piggy back. Then we redid it again without them. The difference we noticed after was really quite astounding, we all felt a lot more connected to the floor and the audience remarked it was like we had all been through something. My big issue with this was the continuous movement but I am working on it at home now. I am noticing a lot about the way I learn by doing all these short courses, I am discovering that more often that not if the tutor gives anyone a note or the class as a whole a note I implement it in my own thing. If the tutor gives someone a note to go lower in the balances I push myself to go lower. Group classes really brings out my competitiveness and I am not sure that is a good thing or not yet. I don’t think it is ‘I must be the best in the class’ sort of competitiveness it is just a ‘I don’t want to do myself, the class or the tutor a disservice’. We were warned by the teacher that now he is going to start really pushing us, this has been the easy stuff guys!! I think I need someone to hold me.

Week 4

We did our usual warm up with some more crawling and back bends with toe warm ups, I really enjoy these warm ups as it is all about what feels nice and I love warming up my feet for some reason. Once we had warmed up we did ‘Balance 1, 2 and 3’ with our speech. I can sometimes get confused direction wise with ‘Balance 1’ and I need to get better at not commenting on that if it does happen. We then did the statues, the sitting statues are hard on the stomach but the standing statues are hard as I am up on my tip toes and my balance can be God awful! We spent a lot of time doing all this and redoing them and I found it helpful to see what people do well and what can be improved on. After a little break we did the three minute stomp. We were split into two and then we stomped for three minutes and it fucking hurt, it was so bloody tiring but I am really excited to do it again as I don’t think I pushed myself hard enough. The whole point of it is you get to the point where you can’t go on and then you keep going and I feel I played it safe. Doing this gave the speech a whole new quality and it was different for everyone.

Week 5

We were in a different room today because the school is rehearsing for their shows, we were put in the Bausch Box and it was a beautiful studio. We did a few different warm ups that were a little big yoga like with a few more back rolls. The teacher got us to do some of Aikido’s  basic steps which was fun, if a little bit dizzying! We spent a lot of time warming up and then moved straight into our walks, I am still having trouble with the whole “don’t fret over being perfect” which we all spoke about quite a lot as it is something that a lot of people have troubles with. We covered all the walks and did some a couple of times and twin that with the muggy atmosphere we were all dripping sweat at this point. After being split into two we went through ‘Basic 1’, ‘Basic 2′ and Basic 3’ along with the ‘Sitting Statues’ along with our speeches. I got commended on my passion and the fact that I always throw myself into everything and my determination but I need to work on my stillness. We did a slow walk to finish which is something I have trouble with, I am not very good at the continuous movement of it so I need to work on that. I feel like next week I really need to keep pushing as it will be our last week and I feel like I am gaining a lot from this course.

Week 6

Sadly I didn’t make it to the final week because of family issues. I was sad to miss this as I have found the course so beneficial and everyone was so nice, I am sad I wasn’t able to enjoy that last lesson and say goodbye. From the post you can probably guess that I would recommend this course, or courses like it, to people but I would also include Fourth Monkey in that recommendation. The courses offered are varied and exciting and if they are done as well as this one was you will come away with so much.

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