Suzuki Violin Program
Teacher: Andrew Snow
"Dr. Suzuki's goal was not simply to develop professional musicians, but to nurture loving human beings and help develop each child's character through the study of music." https://suzukiassociation.org/
In the Suzuki Method, parents and teachers work closely together to create a nurturing environment to achieve success. This is a process and it is in this process that we achieve our true goals of a child's lifelong character development.
Step by Step
Students are taught in small steps in a logical and carefully thought-out way. This sequence builds slowly, ensuring each step is mastered before completion. Parents and teachers create a positive environment of encouragement for each step taken. When a child utters their first attempt at speech parents react with enthusiasm. So it is in the Suzuki Violin environment.
Just as with language acquisition, parents play a crucial role in the Suzuki Method. A Suzuki parent attends lessons, observes techniques, and takes notes including pictures and videos as needed to be able to be the teacher in the home. This ensures productive practicing during the week outside of the lesson. Since the concepts are broken down into very small steps and tasks, no previous experience with music is needed to fill this role.
Equally as important as practice is consistent daily listening to the Suzuki CD repertoire. Children hear words hundreds of times over before making their first attempts at speech. As a child is immersed in the music, they will come to know the pieces by heart and even start to learn to play them on their own. Listening can take place in the car, during breakfast or during play time and so on. Make this, along with daily practice, part of the violin routine.
A child first learns to speak and then to read. The Suzuki Method follows the same approach with emphasis first being given to a strong foundation in technique and an ability to discern and create beautiful tone before moving attention outward to music notation on a page.
Repetition and Graded Repertoire
The Suzuki Methods builds an incredibly strong foundation by repetition. In language acquisition, children learn words and repeat them gaining confidence and fluency over time. The Suzuki repertoire beautifully introduces techniques in a graded sequence. Each new piece is cleverly positioned to build on previous concepts while gently introducing a new technique. Rather than discarding a completed piece, Suzuki students continually review their mastered repertoire. As they do they strengthen their foundation and ease of playing.
Group Class offers opportunities for peers to learn from each other and to lead each other. In this way all learn together and are inspired. The motivation from group class participation gives wonderful support to home practicing.
These features are what largely set the Suzuki Method apart from traditional lessons. The most important message is this: Every Child Can! This is a wonderful experience for families to develop the whole child in significant, lifelong ways.
"The main concern for parents should be to bring up their children as noble human beings. That is sufficient." -S. Suzuki
At WHMS, there are two different paths that a young student can take.
- Magic Violin Track
Beginning Magic Violin
First Semester (September – December)
This course covers basic violin positioning, introduction to parts and language of violin and exposure to beginning Twinkle themes
This choice is slower and spread out in two sections throughout the year
For parents of younger children who are looking for a “test drive”
Only meets once a week, during school time, for 30 minutes in a group setting
Requires no rental violin, only purchase of a Cherub box violin and bow ($10 ) from Sharmusic.com
Group class with maximum of six students
Will perform in the WHMS Winter Concert
The cost is $110. Registration Form for 2018-2019
Pizzicato – Advanced Magic Violin
Second Semester (January – June)
Requires purchase of package rental violin and music book from Sharmusic.com
Group class with a maximum of six students
Will perform in WHMS Spring Concert
This course covers advanced violin positioning with a real violin, care for the instrument and further ear training in preparation for transition for Suzuki violin track.
The cost is $190
Registration Form for 2018-2019
Suzuki Violin Track
This choice is a more demanding, Suzuki-based approach that does not have an ending point
For students and parents of whom are serious and very eager about starting their violin studies
Requires commitment from both parents and students for greatest success
Five years of age is often a good starting point, but ultimately depends on the child
There are 33 scheduled lessons throughout the school year.
Primary students attend 30 minute private lessons. LE, UE and MS students may choose between 30 and 45 minute lessons, dependent on level.
Private lessons are once a week, and run for 30 or 45 minutes. 45 Minute lessons are recommended when a child is both practicing daily for at least 30 minutes and is in Book 2 or 3 or above.
If your child is in the Primary, they will take their lesson during school hours (from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
If your child is in the Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary or Middle School, they will take their lessons outside of school hours (from 8:30 – 9 a.m. or 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.), or during their lunch and/or recess time. There will be no charge for morning/after care before their lesson.
Registration Form for 2018-2019
Attendance will be taken at every lesson by the instructor. There are NO make-ups for missed lessons due to personal vacations or no-shows. In the case of snow days, delays or illness the extra weeks of the school year will be used to reasonably make up what we can.
A swap sheet will be provided to all students and parents for advanced notice absences (class testing, WHMS field trip, WHMS assembly, WHMS rehearsal or concert, and Shakespeare rehearsal or production, student illness, special school lunches, etc.). Please contact another parent to swap lessons when there is a conflict in order to not lose a lesson.
Parents are to bring a notebook and take notes for their reference in practicing with children at home.
A child in the Suzuki Program should be practicing at minimum of ten minutes a day and depending on their age and level, working up to 30 minutes daily. If this practice is programmed into a child’s routine, it becomes more of a daily enjoyment rather then an unexpected chore that would distract from another activity. There should never be any surprises during your child’s practicing. Rather, just a simple review of mastered pieces and of the new and material taught at the latest lessons.
Questions and Answers:
Q: Can my child begin violin in the second semester if they have not taken Magic Violin in the first semester?
A. Violin is a year-long commitment. While some exceptions can be made, it is highly recommended that your child start in either the Magic Violin program or Suzuki violin in September and continue through the spring.
Q: Can my child take regular Suzuki violin lessons if they have not taken Magic Violin?
A. The program that a child is placed into is determined by their age, and/or previous experience. Generally, children ages three to four will be placed in the Magic Violin for a year. Children approximately ages five and older will be placed in the Suzuki Violin lessons.
Q: Is a parent required to be at the lessons?
A: The parental role is a key part of the Suzuki Method. Gradually a student gains independence as they progress through the years, but all beginners must have parental support. If circumstances don't permit a parent to participate they are advised to wait for more favorable circumstances to start lessons.
Q: My child has soccer in the fall on Thursdays. When are lessons offered?
A. Setting up the schedule for every child in September to meet everyone’s needs is a complicated process. Once lesson times are set, they are very difficult to change. Please check all special and extracurricular schedules in the beginning of the year to avoid such conflicts.
Q: What if we decide that violin is not working for our child. Can we quit mid-year?
A. We hope that each family will commit to the year-long program; however, if you decide that violin is not for your child, you may opt out at the end of the semester (around mid- January).