The Piano Group in the North Surrey Suzuki Group

Carol Abson started the Suzuki Piano Group in 1983, when she was training to be a Suzuki piano teacher at the British Suzuki Institute.

At the time, her own children were studying violin with Sue Thomas, who had just founded the North Surrey Suzuki Violin Group, and so Sue invited Carol’s group to become part of the NSSG.

Soon after that, Penny Heath and her cello students also joined the NSSG. The result, over the last 30 years, has been that the pianists have had the opportunity to really enjoy performing with the violinists and cellists.

In the early days, the NSSG was based in Esher and Walton and they all worked very closely together, joining up for concerts, Christmas parties, International workshops directed by Dr Suzuki himself, busking and even a concert tour in the Cotswolds.

Now, the NSSG has expanded to include more violin groups and covers a wide area geographically – Virginia Water, Walton, Guildford and Farnham, so it is only possible to get together once or twice a year.

 piano group

Carol Abson's Piano Group


Carol and the Piano Group 

Carol learnt to play the piano with her father and started teaching in her teens, when she took over some of his younger students. After training as a primary school teacher, she taught as a general form teacher and Head of Music at primary schools in Ewell, Claygate and Cleves in Weybridge. Later, she was a peripatetic piano teacher at Heathside Comprehensive School for 10 years, while at the same time teaching her own Suzuki pupils at home.

The Piano Group is still based in Walton.

Currently, the Piano Group has students ranging from age 3 years to 16 years. They all take part in termly concerts, and the annual concert is held at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton. Some students take part in the London based concerts, including the National Suzuki Concert at the Purcell Room, South Bank. Once they have reached Level 1 (when a student can play Bach's Minuet 2 in Book 2), most participate in the Graduation concerts held at St John's Smith Square, London, every year.

Some of the students also attend one-day workshops or residentail workshops, the favourite one being the Village Workshop in Hitchin during the Easter holidays.


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