Lessons for my students
The big difference between the Suzuki method and the traditional methods is that parents are fully involved. Children are not left to “get on with it” on their own. This motivates the child enormously and the activity is shared with the whole family.
The nature of the lessons is therefore quite unique and they are structured as follows:
- Parent and child observation sessions – see below
- Prior to the childs first lesson there are parent training lessons lasting 30 minutes.
- Child with a parent in attendance at the initial Suzuki book 1 stage are 30 minutes long, weekly.
- Child with a parent in attendance at Suzuki book 2 stage are 45 minutes long, weekly.
- Child with a parent in attendance at advance stages are 60 minutes long, weekly.
- Group lessons with other children in the same age group are 45 minutes long, monthly.
The aim of the group lessons are to tackle music theory, but they are very relaxed and are meant to be fun. Activities will include:
- a chance to perform for peers
- theory games
- Orff/Dalcroze activities (Rhythm, Movement, Singing)
- Ear training
- Theory instruction
It is vitally important that both Parents and child understand the commitment they are making before they start and so they are invited to observe at least 4 lessons of other children before committing to the lessons. Observing a lesson is free.
It is also very beneficial to observe lessons for others once the child’s own lessons have started and good practice is to observe at least 10 lessons per year.
A well maintained acoustic piano at home is essential for success. Electronic pianos and keyboards are fun and have their place, but they do not respond the same way musically and technically and will hamper the student’s progress. I am happy to advise families in purchasing a good piano.
The following course materials are necessary:
- Good CD player with good speakers.
- An adjustable bench or chair to strategically position the body.
- An adjustable foot stool to adequately support the body and adjusts for the growing child
- A good CD player with good speakers.
- Suzuki Piano School Book 1 and CD International Edition – Seizo Azuma (For Beginners)
- Improve your Sight- Reading-Getting Started by Paul Harris
- Suzuki Piano Book 2 and CD 2 and 3
- Improve your Sight-Reading Book 1 by Paul Harris
- Other books for advance students as necessary
My Piano Studio
I teach children aged from 3 years and upwards with the Suzuki method. Each child attends a weekly individual lesson and a monthly group lesson for five or six children of similar age and standard.
Every lesson covers aspects of technique, sight-reading, polishing a concert piece, working on a new piece, and developing musicianship with an old repertoire piece.
One or both parents of each child always attend lessons and will make written notes to enable them to practice effectively with their child.
Some lessons are observed by other parents or by families thinking of starting. This enables children and parents to learn through observation and to be comfortable playing in front of others.
Group lessons are arranged by children’s age and level and consist of theory games, musical exercises and ensemble playing which reinforce and develop concentration, their co-ordination, ear training, visual reading skills, performing skills and social skills.
The family and child are encouraged to listen extensively to recordings of the music they are learning as well as to other good classical music.
I arrange recital concerts on a regular basis, either in my teaching studio or in a concert hall and occasionally with other music teachers. These can sometimes end with an informal tea party in which we share food and refreshments.