Suzuki strings individual and group music lessons
The NAU Community Music and Dance Academy offer instruction in the Suzuki method for violin, viola, and cello players. The Suzuki curriculum provides instruction in the group class and individual lesson settings by talented and experienced teachers. Students in the Suzuki program have the opportunity to perform in recital and throughout the community. Parents and students will be fully immersed in the philosophy while the parent trains and learns in parent classes as well as alongside the child in the classroom.
Students must be four years old by the beginning of the Parent Beginner class; for students who have not had any schooling (e.g. pre-school, kindergarten, etc.), we recommend at least one semester as an Academy student in a dance and/or Music & Movement class before enrolling in the Parent Beginner class.
Suzuki Philosophy Accordion Closed
Are Suzuki kids prodigies?
Are Suzuki students musical geniuses? Are they ‘gifted’ children who have a special talent for music? Are their parents professional musicians? Suzuki students are normal children whose parents may have little or no musical experience. Their parents have simply chosen to introduce their children to music through the Suzuki approach—a unique philosophy of music education developed over forty years ago by Japanese violinist, Shinichi Suzuki.
The suzuki legacy
Shinichi Suzuki was a violinist, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. Born in 1898, he studied violin in Japan for some years before going to Germany in the 1920s for further study. After the end of World War II, Dr. Suzuki devoted his life to the development of the method he calls Talent Education.
Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.” 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.
Every child can
More than forty years ago, Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children, the world over, learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, and constant repetition are just some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.
When a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. This involvement is mirrored in the Suzuki method. The parent will attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that he or she understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment for their child.
The early years are critical for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age four, but it is never too late to begin.
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important-especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child has aural knowledge of them immediately.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and increasingly sophisticated ways.
As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his or her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.
Learning with other children
In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performance during which they learn from and are motivated by each other.
Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk but rather use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.
Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. In the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.
- Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki
- To Learn with Love by William and Constance Starr
Parent beginner class–required for all parents of beginning students! Accordion Closed
Suzuki Program Structure
Group lessons for beginning parents provide foundational knowledge of the Suzuki philosophy. In addition, the parent will learn how to handle the instrument properly, achieve proper posture, and develop the skill to produce a clear, resounding tone.
“The Suzuki Triangle” is composed of the teacher, parent, and child. This triangle forms the basis for learning. Every child will eventually have an individual lesson with a teacher and the parent will be involved as an adjunct teacher.
- New Beginning Suzuki violin students will start by learning together in group class on Thursdays for the first 5-6 weeks before being assigned a lesson time with an instructor (in addition to the Thursday Group Class.)
- Lessons will be held at the Performing & Fine Arts Building or Ponderosa Building depending on teacher assignment
- A parent should be present at all private lessons for elementary age students
- Parents and students are encouraged to arrive early to observe any individual lessons
- A 24-hour notice is necessary for a teacher to reschedule a lesson. Please contact the Academy Office or your teacher if cancellation is necessary.
- A missed lesson without notice will not be made up
Weekly group classes
The main focus of group class is on review of repertoire, performance etiquette, note reading for appropriate levels, and techniques necessary to contribute and participate in ensemble playing.
- Group lessons take place on Thursday afternoons (see group class schedule)
- Regular attendance by students and parent is imperative and expected
Teachers provide an opportunity to have an informal performance experience for their students at least once each semester.
- An accompanist will be provided for all students
- Instructors will guide students through the details of rehearsing with an accompanist
- Informal recitals take place on the Saturday of the week leading up to formal recitals–teachers will sign their studio up for a particular day and communicate this with students
- Academy enrollment includes accompaniment during formal and informal recitals for students through Book 2, and up to 20 minutes of rehearsal with accompanist each semester
- Students in Book 3 and above may need to arrange and pay for any additional time with the accompanist on their own
- Advanced repertoire should be given to accompanist no later than two weeks prior to scheduled performance
Formal recitals are designed to offer an opportunity to perform in a music hall in a formal setting for family, friends, and peers.
- All recitals take place in Ashurst Hall unless otherwise specified
- Students and families are expected to stay for the entire recital
- Students are expected to dress appropriately for formal recitals
There are many opportunities for Suzuki students to perform through the Northern Arizona community as a group each year. Group performances provide a safe venue for children to develop poise and presence for audiences. The repertoire is most often drawn from the Suzuki books. Anyone can participate in these performances, though not every student will play every piece based on the varied review. Community performances have included:
- Cornucopia Fall Festival at Thorpe Park
- Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Little America Hotel
- Mountain Campus Arts and Craft Fair at duBois Conference Center
- Coconino County Fair at Coconino County Fair Grounds
- Children’s Festival at Wheeler Park
Suzuki Strings Summer 2019 Workshop
Classes take place in the Ponderosa Building, room 112. Each day is comprised of a variety of classes, including:
- 9-10 am – Masterclass
- 10-11 am – Music Mind Games
- 11 am-12 pm – Group Class
Suzuki cello and violin students of all ages and levels are welcome to register. Register for the summer workshop here.
Supply list, instrument care, store listings Accordion Closed
What do I need for private lessons?
- Instrument, bow, rosin, shoulder rest or sponge (remember this one!!!), cleaning cloth (should remain in case)
- Parent—especially if student is young or in early books
- Suzuki books as well as etude, scale, and reading books
- Tuning fork
- Nail clippers
- Notebook for notes and assignments
- Recording device (dependent on teacher’s instructions)
- Extra set of strings (keep at least one extra set in case)
What do I need at home?
- Suzuki CDs
- Music stand
- Quiet place to practice
- Music dictionary
- Appropriate performance attire (black pants, white shirt or blouse, black shoes, black socks or hose)
What do I need for group lessons?
- Three-ring binder for handouts with paper for notes
- Music stand
- Never leave instrument in the car for a long period of time (e.g. going to work and leaving instrument in the car for a lesson that afternoon)
- Do not expose instrument to any form of extreme heat or cold
- Do not get your instrument wet
- Do not eat food and then play without washing hands
- Do not place the instrument on the case
- Do wipe rosin off the instrument every day after you play
- Do buy a Dampit (humidifier) which can be found in music stores for $5-10
Arizona Music Pro
204 East Route 66
Ann Arbor, MI