“How do I know if my child is ready for instrumental study?”
Children are ready for instrumental study when they are able and willing to take direction. While children are still in their exploratory stage, it is best to enroll in one of our Introductory Music Classes.
Another very important question that many parents forget to ask is, am I ready for my child to begin instrumental study? With a young child, it is crucial that you are able to commit the time and energy to being the home teacher and practicing daily with your child as well as attending the weekly lessons.
“How will I know which instrument my child should learn?”
If your child shows a strong inclination towards an instrument, take them seriously! It’s quite likely that this is one case where they know exactly what they want. However, during the Family Meeting with the Instrumental Department Head, you will have a chance to observe your child playing the violin, viola, cello, and piano, and discuss which instrument may best suit your child. (Students interested exclusively in flute or guitar have a separate meeting with the head of each department.) Following the meeting, we will find a time for you and your child to come observe a lesson taught by your child’s potential teacher.
“I’m not a musician, how can I possibly help my child learn an instrument?”
By attending your child’s weekly lessons, taking careful notes and recording your child and their teacher at work, you will gain the knowledge you need to help your child learn their instrument.
“What is the time commitment for private lessons? Do we have to practice everyday?”
Private lessons require the weekly lesson commitment, daily practice, and a weekly group class.
“Will practicing with my child make me in to one of those overbearing parents?!”
No! Practicing with your child is a chance to interact creatively with your child and watch them learn. It should not be a way to impose your desires or ambitions on your child but rather to allow them to fulfill theirs.
“My child keeps telling me they want lessons, but I’m sure they’ll just end up losing interest.”
Children, like adults, don’t always sustain interest for an activity at a constant level, particularly when that interest requires hard work. If your child shows a strong desire to learn an instrument, that’s all that is required for a healthy beginning. Maintaining that interest through the hard work of practice will often fall to you, the parent.
“I work full time and we go away every weekend, is it still possible to enroll in the Suzuki program if I can’t attend lessons?”
It is possible to send a caregiver to your child’s lessons, particularly if they are able to video the lesson for you to watch at home. If you are working full time, the most important thing to consider is how you will be able to execute a consistent practice schedule with your child.
“I heard in the Suzuki approach kids don’t learn how to read music. Will my child learn to read notes?”
It is a misapprehension that the Suzuki approach discourages music reading. It is true that the Suzuki approach begins with the emphasis on aural learning and building strong physical technique. However, our teachers will introduce note reading when it is appropriate for each child, typically within the first year or so.
“What is group class and why is it important?”
Group class is one of the pillars of the Suzuki approach. Group is an unparalleled opportunity for string students to share their music with their peers, play musical games, play as an ensemble, and last, but certainly not least, get an extra day a week with a teacher!