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Knollwood Suzuki Guitar Program



April 8-10 2016
Sponsored by The Winston Salem Suzuki School
To register: Click Here
For Concert Ticket Registration: Click Here

Deadline for early registration perks is March 15!



     We are excited to announce the first annual Boone Suzuki Workshop sponsored by The Winston Salem Suzuki School of Winston Salem North Carolina.

     Our workshop in Boone will coincide with the annual Appalachian Guitar Festival that takes place at Appalachian State University.  Our Suzuki Workshop will include opportunities to take advantage of the wonderful offerings of the Appalachian Festival. This will be a great opportunity to

  • Hear some fabulous concerts at special discounted ticket prices being made available to Suzuki Guitar Workshop participants
  • Take some lessons with master Suzuki teachers
  • Take part in the Appalachian Guitar Competition if so inclined (or just enjoy listening to the contestants!)
  • And have a great time associated with the guitar!  

     All Suzuki activities (master classes, group classes, and electives) take place at our workshop location, the Boone United Methodist Church, 471 New Market Boulevard, Boone, North Carolina 28607. This is a beautiful facility located about 10 minutes from the Appalachian State University campus where their guitar festival will take place. All competitions and evening concerts take place at Hayes School of Music on the University campus.

     These are the kinds of events that really get students practicing, both before and after the event.   For information concerning the Appalachian Guitar Festival go to http://music.appstate.edu/news-events/guitarfest).

     You will also have opportunities throughout the weekend to visit the many interesting shops in both Boone and Blowing Rock (less than 15 minutes from Boone).







Mir Ali, Buffalo NY - Master Classes, Group Classes


Adam Kossler, Sterling VA - Master Classes


William Kossler, Winston Salem NC - Master Classes


Justin Craig, Blacksburg VA - Master Classes


Jason Pickard, Charlotte NC - Guitar Making Elective Class


Mary Greene, Boone NC - Dulcimer Playing Elective Class  (dulcimers are provided, or bring your own)






     Enrollment is open to guitarists of all ages:  from our youngest "pre-Twinkle” beginners up to advanced students.  Students of teachers not using the Suzuki Method are also welcome, as are their teachers.  You can enroll as a Full Suzuki Guitar Workshop Participant (Friday-Sunday) or Partial Workshop Participant (Saturday-Sunday only).  In both cases, Sunday activities are optional.  





A. Students enrolling in the Suzuki Guitar Workshop will receive:


  • Friday night Play-In                                                                                        
  • One Saturday masterclass (additional optional private 30 minute lessons are available for those arriving on Friday afternoon - additional fee). For more information on this, contact William Kossler at wkossler@triad.rr.com.                                      
  • Two Saturday group classes                                                                
  • Two Saturday Electives: Guitar Building and Dulcimer Playing (dulcimers are provided at no charge, or bring your own)   
  • Additional optional Friday and Saturday Arts and Crafts Elective
  • Opportunity to have your guitar repaired or just "tuned up" by our resident guitar maker Jason Pickard (fee involved - discuss this with Mr. Pickard)                                                                  -
  • Opportunity buy or sell an "outgrown" guitar. Bring your used instruments and we will display them for you at our registration desk!                                                                         
  • Opportunity to participate in an optional Sunday morningperformance (offertory) for the church service of the United Methodist Church where the workshop will be held.                                 -
  • Opportunity to participate in an optional Sunday morning final performance for the entire Appalachian Guitar Festival at the Hayes School of Music  


For The Teachers: a "Best Practices" Saturday lunch session for the purpose of exchanging ideas and catching up on our experiences and research into the art of teaching the guitar.

There is no fee for this, but please contact us at wkossler@triad.rr.com if you will be attending.


B. Additional optional activities at the Appalachian Guitar Festival available to students and family members attending the Suzuki Guitar Workshop:

  • Appalachian Guitar Festival Evening Concerts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon (additional fee - see below). It is recommended that all Suzuki workshop participants attend these wonderful concerts. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suzuki Guitar Workshop participants get reduced priced tickets!
  • Opportunity to participate in the Appalachian Guitar Festival Guitar Competition. (Additional fee - see below).        
  • Opportunity to observe the Appalachian Guitar Festival Guitar Competition (free, no Appalachian Guitar Festival registration required).  It is recommended that all Suzuki workshop participants attend this great opportunity to hear these wonderful students perform.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. 
  • Opportunity to attend all Appalachian Guitar Festival master classes and workshops (free)
  • Opportunity to view and play guitars made by visiting guitars makers showing their instruments at the Appalachian Guitar Festival (free)


     Please note that all of these activities at the Appalachian Guitar Festival are optional, and any participation in these events involving an additional fee will require a separate registration form (see below) submitted to the Appalachian Guitar festival, not to the Boone Suzuki Guitar Workshop.


     Please note that our Suzuki Workshop students will not have the time to participate in the Appalachian Guitar Festival Guitar Orchestra or the master classes offered by their teachers.




Guitar Making With Jason Pickard

     We are very fortunate to have guitarist and luthier Jason Pickard joining us.  Jason is a unique combination of accomplished guitarist (he teaches guitar at Garner Webb University) and also a guitar maker.  Jason has a luthier workshop and store in Charlotte NC and has been building guitars for about the past 20 years.  His guitars are widely respected.  We are going to get an inside look at the process, as well as roll up our sleeves and help him build one! 


     If you'd like, after our weekend workshop Jason can give us photo updates on the progress of the guitar throughout the year. When it is done you can get an invitation to visit his workshop in Charlotte to see and play the finished product that you had a hand in creating!


     Children under the age of 10 are required to be accompanied by an adult for this elective class.  Parents:  this sounds like a great class to take together with your child!



Dulcimer Playing With Mary Greene

     Mary is a highly respected dulcimer player and experienced teacher. We are very fortunate to have her with us introducing us to this traditional Appalachian instrument. We will have instruments there for you to use, or you may bring your own. Mary will explore the basics and get you playing a song right away! She will also demonstrate up close some of her wizardry on this instrument.


Arts and Crafts Corner With Mrs. Kossler


     This is an elective titled as "optional" in your schedules because it will be open during the majority of workshop for students to visit as they like - it is not formerly structured into your busy schedule. In this class students will enjoy three different activities at three different stations: 1) building practice bead counters, 2) working on a pencil drawing for the art competition for next year's T-shirt art, and 3) Iris Paper Folding Art. Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult.





     Students interested in an additional private lesson Friday afternoon will be scheduled individually.   Please contact William Kossler at wkossler@triad.rr.com for scheduling of an additional private lesson for Friday only.


     Individual schedules will vary and will be given to you in your registration packet when you arrive. The first scheduled event for the Suzuki Guitar Workshop is a Play In at 5PM and optional Pizza Dinner/Faculty Recital at 6PM. An informal concert will be given by our students at the end of the day on Saturday at 5:30.


     Sunday activities are optional but strongly encouraged! Sunday morning you are invited to help us provide the offertory music at the worship service for the United Methodist Church. Shortly afterwards, a short formal concert for the Appalachian Guitar Festival will be given as part of the Festival's guitar orchestra concert.   The final optional event for Sunday is the finals for the Division I Guitar Competition at 1PM.





      You will receive a copy of this schedule, along with your child's schedule, at the workshop.





     At the United Methodist Church (Suzuki Guitar Workshop):

2:00 - Registration begins

3-6:00 - Optional Arts and Crafts Elective

3-5:00 - Optional Private Lessons

5:00 - Welcome/Group Play In - Mir Ali

6:00 - Pizza Dinner and short Faculty Concert

     At the Appalachian Guitar Festival (Hayes School of Music):

8:00   Festival Opening Concert  





     At the Appalachian Guitar Festival (Hayes School of Music):

9:00 - First round junior level competitions (Divisions III and IV)

     At the United Methodist Church (Suzuki Guitar Workshop):

9:00 - Electives for those not participating in or observing the Competition

10:00 - Group Class, Master Class, Electives

11:00 - Group Class, Master Class, Electives

12:00-2:00 - Workshop Participants: Lunch

                 - Teachers Only: Lunch and Best Practices Workshop

     At the Appalachian Guitar Festival (Hayes School of Music):

2:00 - Competition Finals for Divisions III and IV

     At the United Methodist Church (Suzuki Guitar Workshop):

2:00 - Electives for those not participating in or observing the           Competition

3:30-4:30 - Master Classes with Mir Ali and Adam Kossler,     Elective classes

4:30-5:30 - Master Classes with Mir Ali and Adam Kossler,     Elective classes

5:30-6:30 - Large group class, all participants.

6:30 - Dinner on your own.

     At the Appalachian Guitar Festival (Hayes School of Music):

8:00 - Appalachian Guitar Festival Concert




     At the United Methodist Church (Suzuki Guitar Workshop):      

8:45 - Optional performance for Boone United Method Church        Service (Offertory)

     At the Appalachian Guitar Festival (Hayes School of Music):

11am - Short Suzuki Concert at the Appalachian Guitar Festival               

12PM - Lunch on your own.

1PM - Concert at the Appalachian Guitar Festival





     The official partner hotels for the 2016 GuitarFest are the Fairfield Inn and Suites, and the Comfort Inn and Suites. They are both offering special rates to GuitarFest registrants. Be sure to mention the GuitarFest when booking your rooms! The same rate is being extended for the Suzuki Guitar Workshop Participants, but you must mention the GuitarFest when booking!









(Please note - visiting teachers are free!)


For Registration and Information Form Click Here:

(Please print this form and send along with your check to

The WS Suzuki School, 3112 Burkeshore Road, Winston-Salem NC 27106)




     Appalachian Registration options summary: There are several things to register for here if you are interested:

     1. Appalachian Guitar Festival Registration Fee - pays for 3 concert tickets (for the registrant only) and eligibility to perform in the guitar competition. There is a link below for this. Print it out, and send it along with your check (no credit cards) to the Appalachian Guitar Festival, not to the Suzuki Guitar Workshop.

     2. Additional reduced fee tickets for Appalachian Festival Concerts. Print the form provided at the link below under "Additional Concert Tickets for Family Members:” and send it along with your separate check to Appalachian Guitar Festival, not to the Suzuki Guitar Workshop.

     3. Appalachian Guitar Competition - if your child is interested in participating as a player in the competition, hit the link below and follow the directions.


Full Registration Fee: 

     The Appalachian Guitar Festival registration fee pays for entrance to all of the Appalachian Guitar Festival concerts (the Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon concerts), and all Appalachian Guitar Festival events. This full registration fee is normally $75, but has been reduced for the Suzuki Guitar workshop participants to $40.  An additional separate fee is required for those interested in playing in the guitar competition (see below).

     Rather than require siblings and parents of guitar students to also pay a full registration, family members of students paying the Appalachian Festival full registration fee are able to get half-priced concert tickets IF they pre-register for these concerts on a separate registration form provided at the bottom of this page. To do this there is an April 1 deadline for registering.

     Register for the Appalachian Guitar Festival by check through the mail, not by credit card. To register your child for the Festival, visit the registration link at Appalachian Guitar Festival Website at  http://music.appstate.edu/news-events/guitarfest. The form there that you will print and send in to them for the full registration mentions the $75 fee for regular participants. Just write in in the reduced $40 fee for Suzuki Workshop Participants next to this $75 figure, but please write the word SUZUKI next to it.

Guitar Competition Fee:

     To compete in the Appalachian Guitar Festival Competition, our students will be in either Division III or IV. For information regarding the age ranges for these divisions and the cash prizes involved, see the competition link on the Festival website:


     To register to compete, the fee is an additional $20.  This fee is added to your $40 Festival Registration (the full registration fee) on the form you are asked to print and submit from the registration link at the Appalachian Guitar Festival Website at http://music.appstate.edu/news-events/guitarfest. To compete, you must be a full registrant in the Appalachian Guitar Festival.

     Please be sure to speak with your teacher before deciding to compete, and remember that the deadline for receipt of all Festival registration, including competition registrations in all divisions is April 1, 2016.  

Additional Concert Tickets for Family Members:

     The full registration fee mentioned above pays for entrance to all Appalachian Festival concerts for the registrant only - not for additional family members.  If you would like extra tickets for family members, you will also need to print and fill out the form at the link below with a separate check, and send it to the Festival (address is on the form). After the registration deadline, additional tickets for the parents and siblings of registered students are full price at the door ($25), instead of the reduced price being given to us (see below). Please observe the April 1 deadline for this opportunity!

     Concert tickets are usually $25 at the door, our reduced price for additional family members is $12.50 if you use the pre-registered form below.  There are two options:

- on your registration form below you can pay to attend all three concerts (this is Option 1), or

- for those families who desire only to attend the Saturday night concert, the festival is allowing the reduced ticket price to apply to a single ticket for attending that concert only (this is Option 2.)

       Please remember that there are no discount tickets offered at the concert event doors, so anyone wishing to attend concert events at a reduced price must follow the steps given above by  April 1.

     All Appalachian Guitar Festival registration information and concert tickets can be received at the Festival registration desk at the Hayes School of Music before or during the Festival.


Separate Suzuki Workshop Concert Ticket Registration Form



     Feel free to email William Kossler at wkossler@triad.rr.com if you have any questions about the Boone Suzuki Guitar Workshop or the special arrangements we have made with the Appalachian Guitar Festival.

For information regarding Sorrento Guitar Festival, June 4-8 in Sorrento Italy, visit Sorrentoguitarfest.it  





What about Private Lessons?



     The private lessons run for 30 minutes and are a great opportunity for some intensive work with a clinician. These are only available on Friday afternoon and are not reflected in the registration fees because payment for these is made directly to the teacher. For more information, contact William Kossler at wkossler@triad.rr.com



What is a Master Class?



     A Master Class consists of no more than 4 or 5 students. Each student will perform a solo piece for the teacher while the other students watch quietly. The teacher gives specific feedback for each performer and offer tips to the other students to help them practice the same pieces. Each class lasts for about an hour.



What is a Group Class?                                                       



   A Group Class usually consists of a group of students of approximately similar ages that perform at similar levels. In this setting students will be perform pieces together, learn practice techniques, enjoy games, and enjoy working in a collaborative environment with others.                                                               


What is a Play In?



     A Play In is a meeting of all students, all levels, that perform usually on the same instrument. All students will be invited to perform pieces that they are able to play. Students who do not know how to perform any of the pieces can watch quietly while the others perform.                                                                            


Can siblings and parents participate in Elective Classes?


     We welcome siblings and parents of Suzuki Guitar Workshop registrants to participate in our elective classes at no cost, but we do ask parents to be sensitive to the number of registered students in any particular class, and to the availability of class materials. We will do our best to include everyone! Children 5 and under need to be accompanied by an adult.






Mir Ali - Guitar   

   Since winning his first competition at the age of thirteen, Pakistani-born guitar virtuoso and composer Mir Ali has been described by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as “an exceptional nylon string guitarist," as "mesmerizing and hypnotic" by National Public Radio, and as “innovative and eclectic” by Soundboard Magazine.


     Mir’s early training in Buffalo, New York was under Oswald Rantucci. By the age of nine, Mir was recognized as a child prodigy and was one of the youngest students to have been awarded a scholarship to study classical guitar under Professor Richard Pick at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. He spent his summers studying with Aaron Shearer at the School of the Fine Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Mir went on to study music composition and performance at the University of Buffalo where he received a BM in music and continued his graduate studies at the University of Akron under Professor Stephen Aron; he was awarded full scholarships to both universities.


     Ali has written music for movies, theater, radio, television commercials, and (most recently) for the documentary "Roots and Branches," which won the “Award of Excellence” from the prestigious Film Advisory Board of Hollywood. His recent tours include performances and master classes in India, Romania, Spain, Italy, Bangladesh, and Canada. Mir is active as an adjudicator and clinician at prestigious guitar competitions and festivals in the United States and abroad. His publications are available through Mel Bay and Clear Note Publications.


     Mir serves as Director of the Amherst School of Guitar and has been President of the Buffalo Guitar Society and Artistic Director of the Rantucci Guitar Festival and Competition for the past 15 years. www.mir-ali.com 



Adam Kossler - Guitar

     Dr. Adam Kossler began his musical studies with his father William Kossler and continued his musical training through college with Dr. Elliot Frank receiving his BM degree at East Carolina University.  He then earned a MM degree at Appalachian State University as a teaching assistant to Dr. Douglas James. Most recently, he completed a DMA degree at Florida State University where he served as a teaching assistant to Bruce Holzman. 

     As a performer, Dr. Kossler has been a top prizewinner in a number of international guitar competitions including the Boston Guitarfest, Columbus Guitar Symposium, East Carolina Guitar Competition, MANC guitar competition, Texas International Guitar Competition, Music Teacher National Association Competition, and the Appalachian Guitarfest Competition.

     Dr. Kossler performs regularly as a solo artist, as a member of the NOVA Guitar Quartet, and with the Kossler Guitar Trio alongside his father Bill and brother John. 

He has been featured on many prestigious concert series including the John E. Marlow Guitar Series (Bethesda, MD), Isle Newell Concert Series (Appalachicola, FL), and the Seven Hills Guitar Series (Tallahassee, FL). 


Jason Pickard - Guitar, Luthier

     Jason Pickard holds a Masters Degree in music performance from East Carolina University. His classical guitar performances have earned him top prizes in numerous competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association, National Federation of Music Clubs, and The Appalachian State University Guitar Festival. He has performed extensively throughout the Southeast as a soloist as well as an ensemble musician, and competed in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America solo competition in 1999. He was twice awarded the East Carolina Friends of the School of Music Scholarship, and the St.Cecilia Guitar Scholarship for outstanding musical and academic performance.

     As an educator, Mr. Pickard has served as a faculty member for East Carolina University (as a graduate assistant), Barton College, Catawba College, and Central Piedmont Community College as well as a private instructor in the greater Charlotte community.

     Currently, Jason Pickard resides in Concord, North Carolina and remains active in the music community in Charlotte area as an educator, performer, and classical guitar builder at Music49, Inc., a collection of Charlotte's finest music educators.


Justin Craig - Guitar

     Justin Craig graduated from Radford University in 2003 with a Masters in Music and focus on guitar performance where he studied with Valerie Hartzell and Robert Trent.  He is also a registered Suzuki Instructor through Guitar Book 7. 

     For the past ten years Justin has been the Suzuki and Classical guitar instructor at the Renaissance Music Academy in Blacksburg Virginia.  The RMA is oldest most prestigious non-profit music academy Southwestern Virginia. 

     Justin is an active performer, leading a jazz quintet, Brazilian group, and classical guitar trio.  He is also a busy arranger, continuously working on both solo pieces and large ensemble works for a variety of student ensembles.


Mary Greene - Dulcimer 

     Mary Greene is a dulcimer player, shape note singing specialist and ballad/folk song singer who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Boone, NC.  The daughter of a hard-working farmer and a schoolteacher, her early musical experiences were in the religious music tradition.  Mary's years of academic study of Appalachian music and culture culminated in a master's degree in Appalachian Studies. Her expertise in the region's cultural arts also resulted in a stint as director of educational services at the award-winning Appalachian Cultural Museum at Appalachian State University.

     Mary has coordinated and performed at numerous festivals, events, and concerts, where she presents regional traditions to schoolchildren and adults.  These include presentation of Appalachian folklore and musical traditions at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife, and dulcimer and traditional arts residencies in the public schools.  Mary's affiliation with Appalachian State University include teaching a course in Appalachian Music as well as over a decade of performing and teaching at the University's Dulcimer Playing Workshop.  With funding from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, in 1994, Mary produced a documentary recording on North Carolina Heritage Award winner Ora Watson, a traditional fiddler and singer. Her own recording is titled The Unclouded Day. She also produced and directed a documentary film titled Blue Ridge Shape Notes: Singing a New Song in an Old Way in 2004.  Mary has won first place in the mountain dulcimer competitions at both the Fiddler's Grove in North Carolina and at the Grayson County Old-Time Fiddler's Convention in Virginia.

     Currently Mary teaches in Ashe County Public Schools, for the Crooked Road Dulcimer Festival in Virginia and for the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium held in the Adirondacks. She also teaches mountain dulcimer and guitar classes for the Silver Burdett/Scott Pearson workshops held each summer at Appalachian State University.


William Kossler - Guitar, Workshop Director         

     William Kossler is a gifted guitarist in demand internationally as both a teacher and performer. He holds Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from the University of South Carolina where he studied with Christopher Berg. William has placed as a finalist in regional and national competitions and received positive reviews for his compelling performances. He is the author of several publications on guitar pedagogy and his articles have appeared in Soundboard (the Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America), The Suzuki Journal (the Journal of the Suzuki Association of the Americas) and several other publications. He has conducted Long Term Artist Residencies with both the South Carolina and Tennessee Arts Commissions. As a recipient of a Rotary International Scholarship he spent a year in Japan studying with pedagogue Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. A co-author of the Suzuki Guitar Method, Mr. Kossler has conducted pedagogy workshops for guitarists throughout the United States, South America, Canada, Europe and Australia. He currently directs a Suzuki program in Winston-Salem with his wife Lauren, a violinist, teaches guitar at Piedmont International University and has served on the North Carolina Arts Council’s Touring Artists Directory as a performer on the guitar, lute, and vihuela.


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