“If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” –Shinichi Suzuki
Suzuki’s approach is modeled after the manner in which we learn to speak, through listening and imitation. Students acquire basic playing skills through learning a set of variations of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and then begin learning songs by ear. Music reading instruction begins later, so that instruction can focus on developing a beautiful sound, accurate intonation and musicianship.
Students attend both a private and group lesson each week and are expected to listen to music and practice every day. Parents are required to attend all lessons and practice at home with their child.
For children under the age of 5, we make the decision regarding readiness for lessons on a case-by-case basis based on a few simple questions, followed by a quick teacher assessment. One or more years of Music Together classes, including participation in the Music Together Big Kids class, can be highly valuable in preparing a child for private lessons.
The Summer “Suzuki Quick Start” program is also a good opportunity to determine readiness. Visit the Summer Page for more information.
Enrollment in the Suzuki program is based upon an academic year commitment, although a half year (January to June) is also possible at a reduced rate. Enrollment is linked to two fee structures:
Once a family is established beyond the beginning Parent Education Cluster, as an on-going full year Suzuki family, you will attend weekly private lessons and group classes from September to June. Private lessons are subject to the same make-up policies as the regular school private instruction program. Group classes missed by a student/family cannot be made up.
Parents of beginners attend six hour-long classes starting in September or January. During this time period, the child will take private lessons only. Group classes for the child will begin after the parent training sessions have been completed.
Students begin with a 30 minute lesson. As the child advances, the length of the lesson will increase to 45 minutes and eventually 60 minutes. A parent is asked to be present at the lesson in order to learn with the student and to take notes for home practice.
The Director will work with you to arrange a lesson day and time that suits your schedule.
Suzuki Program students participate in a weekly group class in addition to private lessons. In group class, students learn to play together, review and reinforce skills learned in the private lesson and polish pieces for performance. Group classes provide support, motivation and fun to both students and parents and are as important as the private lesson in a student’s musical development.
Students are placed according to their playing level, and not necessarily according to age. Class assignment is made by the Suzuki Coordinator in consultation with your private teacher. Your child will get the most out of the group class when it is held on a different day from the private lesson so please plan to come twice a week.
In order to make class time as productive as possible for all involved, we ask that families review our Suzuki Sibling Attendance Guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact our Suzuki Program Coordinator, Amy Matherly at AmyLMatherly@yahoo.com.
Please click 2015-2016 Suzuki Quick Facts & Group Schedules for a quick overview of current tuition, group schedules*, and other discounted ensemble opportunities in addition to the weekly group class.
*Please note that the group schedules are generally mapped out in May/June of each year, with the updated schedules posted here in September each year.
Additional benefits of the Suzuki Program at Pakachoag include:
For more information please visit the Suzuki Teacher Training Page.