How does the Suzuki method differ from more traditional methods of teaching?
Unlike traditional violin instruction, Suzuki method teaches students to first play music by ear before they can read so children can begin lessons as young as age three. The parent plays a crucial role in their child's music education. Suzuki method requires parents to actively participate in the student's practice; including taking notes at lessons and motivating their child at home.
Parents must attend all private and group lessons.
As a parent, you are expected to participate in the private lesson by observing, taking notes, and even learning to play yourself. Lessons are a wonderful time to engage and bond with your child. Some parents tell me it's their favorite part of the week.
Will I need to practice with my child?
Yes! Part of the success of this method is the parent as "home teacher." Parents will learn the basics of playing the violin during the first couple of months of lessons, thus giving them a better understanding of how to help their child practice at home.
How often will we need to practice and for how long?
I ask my students to practice 5-6 days a week. The daily repetition of skills practice is essential for muscle memory. The more muscle memory, the easier playing becomes. Practice time depends on the age and level of each student. At first, practice sessions will be about 15-20 minutes a day.
Does the person attending the lesson need to be the same person practicing with the child?
The "practice parent" needs to observe lessons and repeat the same techniques during the home practice. If the practice parent cannot attend lessons, but their partner can, the partner may videotape the lesson for guidance during the home study.
Why do I need to listen daily to the Suzuki CD?
Children learn to speak their native language through immersion. They continually hear the spoken word in their daily environment. Dr. Suzuki's method is known as the mother-tongue method for this reason. The more your child listens to the Suzuki recordings, and music in general, the faster they will learn and absorb the language of music.
Group Lessons: What are they and why are they so important?
One of the joys of playing music is playing with others. Group lessons provide camaraderie and a great source of motivation for the young student. In this relaxed environment, students become more comfortable in front of an audience, whether performing solo, or in an ensemble. Through games and activities, students learn music theory and history, listening skills, and most importantly, how to play and engage with others.
Where and when are lessons taught?
- Private lessons take place Monday through Friday at my studio in San Francisco.
- Lesson times scheduled according to teacher availability.
- Suzuki Group lessons take place one Saturday a month.
- Fiddle Groups meet on Friday afternoons.
Should I rent or buy a violin. What size should I choose?
I always suggest renting your first violin. During our initial lesson I will measure your child for the correct size. If you would like to measure your child before lessons begin, click here to read an excellent article on how to do so.
Where will I get an instrument and materials?
There are some excellent instrument shops in the Bay Area as well as some great mail order sources. Please visit the resource page for more information.
How much do lessons cost?