Category Archives for Suzuki Violin

How much money are you wasting on violin lessons?

It’s a fair question.

When I was a young student, I wasted my share of family funds in the violin studio. I was unprepared. I didn’t fully understand what the teacher was saying. The subject matter was over my head. The teacher couldn’t explain it in a way I could understand. It could be 1000 things. And over the years, it probably *was* 1000 things..

And it’s not all on the student side; teachers are human… they make mistakes too. They miss things that should be fixed. Or they don’t know how to correct problems that the students brings into the studio.

Enter the real world; distracted parent, exhausted student and frustrated teacher. This is not a recipe for making progress on the violin.

It gets me when people worry about the high cost of private lessons, then turn around and barely put any effort into making good use of the invested time and money. It just doesn’t make any kind of sense.

That’s why Invincible Violinists are always fully prepared. They value their time and money. They want to use their teacher’s expertise in the best possible way. Whether in the studio or at home, they’re embracing the best practices.

The most expensive violin lessons you can ever take, are the ones you have to take over. And over, and over.

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Violin Lessons, Turn Signals and Intersections

The city where I live took more than a year to approve a stop light at a busy intersection near my home. When crews finally began construction, I saw activity at the site for many weeks. But there was little visible progress. No lights, no stripes, no traffic control at all.

Finally, one day almost a year later, the shiny new signal lights stood guard at the intersection. In fact, they were installed in a matter of hours. Then it all became clear: the end was the easy part. But the months of planning, drilling, digging and wiring seemed unrewarded and unnoticed. One morning’s work is what got all the attention.

Your violin journey will likely be much the same. The first months, even the first year of lessons may not produce a result that looks glamorous or exciting. Still, it’s the most crucial period of time in any violinist’s lifetime. Doing things correctly at the start make it possible to reach the Mozart Concerti and beyond.

In the perfect curve of a tiny five year old finger, I see a brilliantly executed concerto passage. In the simple arc of an arm are the seeds of a rich and mature violin tone. It doesn’t look like much, at least to the untrained eye.

In the perfect curve of a tiny five year old finger, I see a brilliantly executed concerto passage.

Patience and vision and resolve are by far the most important virtues for a violin family. Too many folks try to sandwich this long term project into a few remaining slivers between soccer practice and homework.

When your child mounts the stage and plays her first Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, it’s a 90 second reflection of months and hour upon hour of dedication. It’s a celebration of a family’s resolve.

Practice is a pleasurable activity for an Invincible Violinist. He works to make sure that is so. That’s not to say there won’t be some moments that test our mettle.

The decision to begin a violin journey is always easier than the many decisions that follow. There’s a decision point at each intersection of the journey’s path with a busy family schedule. Greet each intersection with care. That’s how to make the journey successful.

Are Suzuki Violin Lessons the Best Choice for My Family?

The Suzuki Method of violin lessons has gained great popularity over the past several decades, and for good reason. Suzuki instruction has demonstrated superior results for thousands of students. These students enjoy added benefits often not available to violin students from previous generations.

In fact, many of today’s top performing violin soloists have come up through the Suzuki system. This, in addition to countless thousands of students and families who have enjoyed being part of a burgeoning and warm violin community.

So, how is Suzuki instruction different from “traditional” violin lessons?

This question can be the source of much confusion, but here’s the key thing to remember: Suzuki lessons are really very traditional in approach.

Suzuki instruction is very traditional in approach. So don’t worry that your student will be missing out on any aspect of violin technique.

Plus, Suzuki comes with many other benefits, not the least of which the ability to get up on your feet and build stage confidence at an early age. Suzuki students are required to get up on stage and perform pieces from memory from the very beginning. That’s huge!

There is a large and growing network of Suzuki teachers all across the world. They are tightly networked and enjoy many opportunities for professional development.
Teachers and students alike can travel to special summer “institutes” which are great opportunities for networking and enrichment of skills. Suzuki students share a common graded and progressive library of musical selections and thus are able to play together. with any Suzuki group.

There is a common misconception that Suzuki students don’t learn to read music. This is completely untrue; music reading skills are introduced to the student at an appropriate age.

Another misconception: Suzuki students don’t play as “musically” as other students. Attend a recital at a great Suzuki studio and you’ll know that is utter rubbish!

Full disclosure here; I’m a certified Suzuki teacher and an enthusiastic proponent of the method. In fact, I wish it had been available when I was a young student! If it were, I’d have developed these skills more fully:

  • Easily memorize long musical selections
  • Eliminate stage fright at an early age
  • Always have something ready to play at a moment’s notice

On the other hand, the Suzuki vs traditional violin lessons choice in itself won’t make or break your results. The key is finding a great teacher that you are comfortable working with, and doing the best possible work with that person.

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