What age should I start my child?
The best age depends on the particular child. I prefer to start students around 4 or 5 generally. If you are unsure if your child is ready for Suzuki lessons, you and your student should observe lessons of another child. This will allow us to assess your student's attention span and level of interest. Since the parent is expected to practice daily with the student, it is important that both teacher and parent feel that the student is ready to begin.
Will we do private or group lessons?
In Suzuki, your student will receive both private and group instruction. Student and parent will have a private lesson once a week. In addition, you will attend group lessons/events (usually once a month). There are additional group events hosted by other organizations, such as other local Suzuki studios or the Southeast Texas Suzuki Association. Suzuki aims at creating plenty of group opportunities for students.
What if I just want to give it a try?
If you are on the fence about whether or not Suzuki is right for you, I encourage you to observe as many private/group sessions as possible. Teaching your child music with the Suzuki Method is a big commitment (with big rewards), so I want families who sign up to be 100% sure it is for them. This will ensure that you are successful!
Where do we get an instrument?
Lisle Violin Shop is the closest place to rent/purchase instruments. You can rent a violin/viola for a very reasonable monthly fee. I recommend renting for children because as they grow, you will need to exchange their instrument for a bigger size (this usually happens several times before reaching a full size violin/viola). With renting, it's easy to trade it in for the appropriate size as your student grows. I will happily go with you to help get instruments and the necessary accessories.
When can we have lessons and what is the price?
Lessons are scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time. I currently teach out of a few different locations. Contact me for scheduling, location, and pricing information.
I have no musical background. How can I teach my child the violin?
Many Suzuki parents have no musical training when they start lessons with their child. I will teach you everything you need to know to be a good Suzuki parent. The primary qualities of a good home teacher are dedication, enthusiam, and patience, not prior musical knowledge. If you are nervous or unsure, feel free to observe a private lesson or group event and speak with some of my current Suzuki parents. They would be happy to share their experiences and answer questions.
Why do the parents have to learn to play?
High parental involvement is the key to success in the Suzuki Method. Parents are expected to practice with their student at home, and in order to do this well, the Suzuki parent much have a good grasp of the basics of playing. Learning to do it first hand is the best way to achieve this. Parents are not expected to master their instrument (in fact, the students usually play much better than the parents). However, they are expected to learn enough to be an effective home teacher. I've never had a parent regret the experience of learning some violin basics and playing with their child, and some parents even keep up their violin playing!
How often should I practice with my child?
Although there are always exceptions, a student should practice everyday to get optimal results. Parents also need to allot time for listening to the Suzuki CD, as this is an essential component of learning the music. The more you practice, the better you will play. Coming up with a practice schedule that works for you is an individual challenge each family must tackle. With consistency, practicing will become a regular part of your routine and will soon be taken for granted.
My child doesn't want to practice at home. What should I do?
It's not uncommon for students to be very cooperative in their private lessons, but not want to practice at home. By enrolling your child in Suzuki lessons, you have already shown that teaching your child the violin or viola is a priority for you. This is half the battle! Even when home practice is difficult (and it will be), keep the big picture in mind and this will help get through those tough times. Check out practice tips for ideas to help make practice more effective.