CANTON — The Suzuki Summer Playgroup will be performing for patrons at Flatbread of Canton on Aug. 27 to benefit Hartt School's Fund for Access, a program that helps children afford music lessons at the Hartt Community Division for Music.
Candace Freedenberg of Canton has three children between the ages of 15 and 10 who all play string instruments following the Suzuki method. She said she started the Suzuki playgroup in 2007 as a way to encourage her children to practice their instruments over the summer while finding ways to share their music with the community.
"One of the principals of the Suzuki method is to give back … to create a beautiful heart," Freedenberg said. "So the teachers encourage that the kids give back."
She said she decided to team up with a friend, Jennifer Casey, whose five children joined hers to practice together.
"What we did was mentoring — her kids would practice with mine and it would be more fun for them instead of practicing with their mom."
Freedenberg said that each summer, the group holds four or five events, including a food drive for the Canton Food Bank, performances at the Collinsville Farmer's Market and the Canton Senior Center during special luncheons, and an ice cream social.
The group, which started with two families, has grown to include nearly eight families on a regular basis, and the Flatbread of Canton benefit will also include students from the Hartt Community Division For Music.
"Whenever we involve the Hartt Community Division there are hundreds of kids," said Freedenberg, who added that the musicians range from age 17 to as young as 7.
"The whole idea of gathering like this is to do a play-down — play the most advanced technical pieces first and play down to twinkle."
The event, which takes place from 5 to 10 p.m., will also feature a local children's band, Kais and Dollz, who will perform original music and covers, and the KC Sisters, five sisters who all sing and play a variety of instruments.
The restaurant will donate 25 percent of its profits from every pizza ordered during the event to benefit Hartt's Fund for Access.
"The goal for the benefit is to generate awareness of the Suzuki methods and generate funds so kids can take music lessons at Hartt through Fund for Access," Freedenberg said.
Flatbread of Canton is at 10 Albany Turnpike. For more information on the Suzuki Summer Playgroup, go to https://sspct.shutterfly.com/.