We aim to build the love of music, self-confidence, discipline, good work habits and outstanding achievement in every student.
All students receive weekly private lessons at either my home studio in Berkley or at Pine Hill Congregational Church in Bloomfield. Lessons range from 30 to 60 minutes and are designed to suit the individual needs of the student being taught.
30 min lessons
Students who have never played an instrument before start as PreTwinklers. During this stage of instruction and development, they are learning a strong foundation of instrumental technique that we will continue building on for many years. We will learn short songs and games that will help get us ready to learn the Twinkle Variations which is the first set of songs from Suzuki book 1. Some students only need 5 steps to get ready for the Twinkles - others need 50. Every child is different.
At this stage with young players, lesson time is often split between working with the student and also the parent. The parent and child will establish a consistent home practice routine including posture, singing, rhythm and listening. The parent will learn the basic mechanics of playing to assist in home practice. As the parent of young students begins to learn basic skills to assist their child, they may wish to rent a larger instrument, depending on the size of the student's instrument.
Book 1 and 2 Students
30 min or 45 min lessons
Over the next few years, students will continue developing their technique and working through books 1 and 2 of the Suzuki repertoire. Once they are through their Twinkles (early book 1), students are ready to join Group Class in addition to their weekly private lesson. See information about Group Class below.
Students typically begin reading music when they graduate from book 1. Towards the end of book 2 it is often helpful to move to a 45 minute lesson to allow enough time to get through more material.
At this level, the focus during lessons is almost entirely on the student, and the parent is coached on practice techniques along with the child. The parent is the lesson observer/note taker and home teacher. The parent’s commitment at this time is crucial to the success of the student, but any parent (regardless of musical background) can be successful in helping their child.
Book 3 and Beyond...
45 min or 60 min lessons
For more advanced students, lessons are generally 45-60 minutes, determined by age and repertoire. Students will work on developing sight-reading skills, musical expression, a fine sense of intonation and rhythm and independent practice techniques.
They will be taught HOW to practice, learning methods to break their repertoire into efficient practice sections, work on individual techniques, understand musical ideas within the repertoire, develop independent practice habits and build problem-solving skills.
Group class incorporates all of the instrumental skills and repertoire the students master at home and in lessons, and also includes skills such as ensemble playing, playing with an accompanist, harmony, theory, ear training and audience etiquette. The class is an opportunity to experience the social aspects of music, polish pieces for performance, review repertoire in a "strength-in-numbers" environment and learn from peers.
Dr. Suzuki considered Group Classes to be an invaluable part of the student learning experience.
Group Class meets during the fall and spring semesters at Pine Hill Congregational Church. Each semester ends with a recital where students perform both as a group and also as soloists.