| Thank you for taking the first step toward making yours a "Suzuki family."
My program is dependent on community. I prefer to begin with a group of 4 beginners at once, and now's the time to get on the list for a group of 2018 beginners.
Beginners follow this process:
Suzuki Parent Class
Kids start weekly private and group lessons
Preparing for lessons
1) I've found that the most successful beginnings happen for students with some previous experience with music... singing in daily life, participation in a class such as Music Together, MusikGarten or KinderMusic. Some folks are lucky enough to have a musician in the family. If not (or even if so)...
2) Listen to the Suzuki CD. (Suzuki Violin School Volume 1 Revised Edition, William Preucil version). This is available through me, at violin shops, and all over the web. Also, listen to a variety of other violin/fiddle and related music. Have you considered that the best way to appreciate classical music is to learn to play it yourself?
3) Parents: Learn about Dr. Suzuki and his approach. Check out my About Suzuki page and other web links. Parents in my parent classes also read and discuss Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki.
4) Call me and discuss your (or your child's) interest in lessons. I'll invite you to...
5) Observe group and private lessons being taught by me and other teachers. You'll see what you'd be getting yourselves into, and you'll see why I don't call it the Suzuki "method." Each trained Suzuki teacher is encouraged to have their own style and activities. (So actually, I'm the only practitioner of the "Suzuki-Davidson method.")
Suzuki Parent Class
4 or more parents get together for 6 weeks of group lessons (without kids) to discuss Suzuki, how to set up for success, instrument facts, how to practice, and, yes, PARENTS LEARN VIOLIN TOO!... on their own full-size instruments or kid-size instruments. You leave with the knowledge and confidence to be an effective home-coach for your kid. Sometimes one-on-one private lessons with the parent can be substituted for the group class.
Some parents feel unsure about playing violin. Naturally. Some previous parent classes have consisted of "tone-deaf" beginners alongside professional musicians. Believe it or not, I've found that violin is a fun challenge for them all - sometimes even a bit more challenging to the musically-inclined because of unrealistic expectations.
This is exactly why I have parent classes... if it takes careful attention when you're 30, you can't expect greatness immediately from a kindergardener. And if you want your kid to persevere beyond simple practice frustration, having been there yourself gives you the patience and understanding to sympathize. Plus, it's pretty cool.
Note: Your long-term commitment is to practice with your child... Not to be a violinist yourself. Many parents find that they don't need to have a violin to help their kid practice, and end up returning it after 3 or 4 months. Leading to...
Having the right size and quality of instruments matters a lot. Speak with an instructor before buying! I promise you that violin that Grandma got online is the wrong size and sounds like tin. Better to rent a high-quality instrument that's easier to play and sounds great.
Also, timing matters. Hold off on getting the child-size instrument. Unlearning bad habits is not a fun way to start lessons.
Kid private and group lessons
both happen weekly once the parent has completed the parent component of the program.
Group lessons are held at the Armstrong Community Music School (ACMS)
Private lessons are held near Ben White and West Gate, or at ACMS
Please call Phil at (512) 585-9724.
Call to set up an observation: (512) 585-9724.
Copyright 2004-2016 Phil Davidson. Drawing by Kerri Tullius.