The Suzuki Violin & Cello Program at Pakachoag
The Suzuki Method Violin & Cello Program at Pakachoag enrolls students at every level – beginner to advanced.
What is the Suzuki Method?
The Suzuki Method is based on the philosophy that “every child can”. The parent, child and teacher work together so that the child can learn to play a musical instrument.
Suzuki’s approach is modeled after the manner in which we learn to speak. That is: through listening and imitation. Students acquire basic playing skills through learning a set of variations of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. We begin, first, by learning songs by ear. We begin music reading instruction a little later. This sequence of instruction allows students to focus on developing a beautiful sound, accurate intonation and musicianship.
Students attend both a private and group lesson each week. We ask students to listen to music and practice every day. As a parent or caregiver, you attend all lessons and practice at home with your child.
The Three Components of the Suzuki Method
- Parent Education: Parents of beginners will gain an understanding of the Suzuki philosophy and method by participating in a training course. This course consists of six hours of class time held over the first two months of the school term. Continuing support is offered through meetings, online activities, and suggested reading.
- Lessons: The weekly private lesson focuses on developing good playing posture, tone, technique and musicianship; also, not reading once foundation habits are established.
- Group Classes: In group class students learn to play together, review skills learned in private lessons, and meet others who share their interest in music.
Join us for Suzuki Events
During the course of the year, we offer various Suzuki-specific events. These include:
- Late August and Mid-January Parent Information Sessions and Play-Ins
- Check the School Calendar for information. Please register for Suzuki events by e-mailing Suzuki Program Coordinator Amy Matherly at email@example.com
- Suzuki-specific performances scattered throughout the school year
- Check the School Calendar to view a monthly listing of events – – look for “Suzuki”.
- A 6-week Summer First Steps program
Ages 4 1/2 and Up
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.
Can One Enroll at Any Time?
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 assuming schedule availability.
Most students begin with the summer First Steps class and then rotate into the School year from there.
It is also possible that we a student can begin with private lessons with a Suzuki teacher. Once they have covered the required material, we may be able to feed you into a pre-existing group class.
Tuition Plus Program Fee
We determine the private lesson tuition according to your start date in keeping with the guidelines associated with the School’s private instruction program. Visit the Private Instruction Program page for general information.
The Suzuki Program fee is in addition to the private lesson tuition. Please visit Register > Tuition & Fees > Suzuki Program for fee information and discounts available.
Year One begins with the parent training and a weekly private lesson. Once you enter your second year, you’ll be attending a weekly private lesson and weekly group class 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 will not be made up.
The Suzuki Program fee is non-refundable. When signing up, we assume students are signing on for the full school year (or half year if joining between January and March). If a student must withdraw for unusual circumstances, and at least five months are remaining in the school year Suzuki program schedule, we will charge the half-year Suzuki program fee.
A Suzuki Group Class Sample
From a few years back, this is a second year class playing for a group concert.
Parent Education Cluster
Parents of beginners attend six weekly, hour-long classes. We schedule these during an evening time starting in September or January. During these six weeks, the child will take private lessons only. Group classes for the child will begin after you have completed the parent training.
More About Suzuki Lessons & Classes
Individual Lessons as Part of the Program
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. We ask that a parent be present at the lesson in order to learn with the student and to take notes for home practice.
The School’s Program Director will work with you to arrange a lesson day and time that suits your schedule.
Group Classes as Part of the Program
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. Group classes are as important as the private lesson in a student’s musical development.
We place students according to their playing level, and not necessarily according to age. The Suzuki Coordinator assigns students to a class at the beginning of the school year in consultation with your private teacher. Your child will get the most out of the group class when the class is held on a different day from the private lesson. Please plan to come twice a week.
Guidelines for Sibling Attendance
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 Amy@pakmusic.org
Other Benefits as Part of Suzuki with Pakachoag
In addition to the weekly lesson and group class, additional benefits of the Suzuki Program at Pakachoag include:
- Suzuki-specific performances both at the school and in the community
- Access to a school accompanist for at least one rehearsal prior to a solo performance
- On-going parent education through meetings, our regular e-mail newsletter and printed materials
Suzuki Teacher Training
Pakachoag is fortunate to have a Suzuki approved teacher trainer, Amy Matherly, on staff. For more information about teacher training, please visit the Suzuki Teacher Training Page.
You can learn more about the Suzuki Method here at the Suzuki Association of Americas website.