Beginner Program

Stage 1 – Learning about Suzuki Method

The typical Edmonton family is introduced to the Suzuki method and our Suzuki community through attending a Learn with Love session. Check the STE calendar for the next available date.

Starting in February you will contact the Society for Talent Education office to register for the beginner program. In this segment of the beginner program you, as a parent, learn about the Suzuki method, and you and your child observe and learn about how Suzuki method instruction works.

Once you have registered for the beginner program you will continue to learn more about the Suzuki method by reading your copy of Nurtured by Love and observing group classes. You will be required to observe at least 3 beginner group lessons, but this is a minimum so feel free to observe as many group lessons as you like. You are required to observe a minimum number of beginner classes, but you may enjoy observing lessons at different levels to see what happens as a student progresses through the program.

Later in the spring you will be assigned to your private teacher. You will need to contact your teacher to arrange to observe three private lessons.
There will also be three parent talks that you are required to attend.
The three talks are:

  • Getting the Most from your Private Lesson which covers how Suzuki private lessons are structured and gives tips on how to make notes and otherwise record what happens in the lesson so that you can “take the lesson home” for effective home practice.
  • Priming the Practice Pump covers the how and why of home practice. Everything from what happens in your brain when you practice to what may be going on when your child doesn’t want to practice are discussed.
  • The Social Environment covers group classes, peer modelling, the importance of concert attendance both as performer and audience member and discusses the group class as the portal to the greater musical community.

Stage 2 – Starting Lessons

Once you have completed the beginner program you will register for lessons and become a beginner student family. Your private lessons will start at the beginning of September. Days, times and location are typically arranged with your private teacher in June or over the summer and confirmed in September.
Typically private lessons at this stage are weekly half hour sessions. Group lessons are 45-50 minutes on Monday late afternoon or early evenings.
The parent who will practice with the child must attend each private lesson. Typically they will participate in the lesson, learning how to play the instrument along with their child. In this way the parent is able to experience the beginning stages of learning the instrument. The parent is then able to model home practice, perseverance, and become more empathic in the home practice.
At the beginning stage daily practice should be about half an hour. With young children this is often most successfully divided into several short 5-10 minute segments throughout the day. Listening to the CD will typically be passive listening, the CD will be playing in the background while other activities, meals, quiet play etc are happening, although the teacher may assign certain activities to be done along with the CD.
The student will be considered to be part of the beginner program until they are able to play through the Twinkle Variations accurately and fairly independently.