The Suzuki Method of string pedagogy is the main structure of my program. This method focuses on forming excellent technique and beautiful tone (sound) from the very beginning of study, skills that are transferable to all musical styles. Classical, fiddle, folk, pop, hymns, and Christmas are all music that is explored within my program.
Children that begin study with me enter the standard program that runs from September to May and consists of one private lesson per week at my home in Stratford, plus one mandatory group class every other week.
Adults that begin study with me often appreciate a more flexible schedule and I am happy to accommodate. Although the majority of my students tend to be children I have taught a number of adult learners, which I enjoy thoroughly!
Nurturing the Student as a Whole
Top priorities for me are nurturing the student’s spirit, building confidence, and instilling a sense of excellence at every level. Every interaction I have with students seeks to model love, respect, and empathy. These qualities form the big picture framework from which my musical instruction happens.
Ability= knowledge + 1000 times. In order to progress with violin skill, practicing is necessary. I write out practice homework after every lesson. A practice should take between 10-30 minutes, depending on the level of the student. I expect practices to happen 3-5x per week.
Group Lessons – Learning with Peers
The violin is an instrument that is played with other instruments as much as alone. It is important early on to learn the skill of playing with other musicians. Feeling at ease with other players, enjoying camaraderie, learning to catch up after a mistake, feeling and playing within the group rhythm, playing harmonies and chances to perform in a low stress environment, are a few of the many things we work on during this time. Students really enjoy group lessons. It is a time that fosters friendships, and further motivates them to continue to improve their own playing.
Sharing music is important and a skill that is built. Nerves are normal, but like any skill, musicians can learn to share their music with confidence through repeat exposure in a safe environment. The rewards and lessons learned in performing carry into any life experience that is new and daunting. There are various formal and informal opportunities to perform in the studio.
- playing with/for peers in group class
- Christmas show at local retirement home – early December
- year end recital, solo and group performances – May
- Kiwanis Music Festival (voluntary) – April
- small groups wandering retirement homes (voluntary) – March Break
- various informal opportunities that come up yearly