Suzuki String Program
It is preferable to begin study at the beginning of the fall semester for a new beginner or possibly at the beginning of the spring semester in January. Transfer students already studying or new beginners may be accepted at any time of the year at the teacher’s discretion (if space is available) and fees for that semester may be prorated.
Students are accepted into the program by an application date based method . A list is kept in order of receipt of applications. Those first on the list who have completed the observations, (access Observation Form below), and the orientation, (if offered before study begins), will be assigned the first available teacher with openings, or the student may wait for a teacher of choice to have an opening if that teacher is currently full. Please note that the Application Form is separate and different from the Registration Form.
Welcome! We are pleased you are interested in studying in the Suzuki String Program at the University of Louisville. Please follow these few easy steps to enroll your child in the program and orient yourself for lessons following the Mother Tongue Method of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki.
Read the following orientation information. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
Please complete the Application Form and mail the completed form to:
University of Louisville
School of Music
Community Music Program
Louisville, KY 40292
Your application will be dated upon receipt and your name will be added to our waiting list for the teacher of your choice, or the first available teacher with a slot available at a mutually agreeable time. Please note that the Application Form is separate and different from the Registration Form.
Please observe at least four lessons with your child over a minimum period of a month.
Please use one Observation Form - Word Doc or Adobe PDF for each lesson you observe. The observations are for the child and the parent to observe a student already in the program taking lessons so that you can see and understand better how the Suzuki method works and what is expected of the parent and the child in lessons. Also it gives you a chance to observe the personality and teaching style of the teacher to see if you think that teacher will be a good fit for your child. It also allows the teacher a few moments to meet you and your child so that the teacher can also assess whether or not the child is ready to begin formal lessons. It also gives you a chance to ask question in person to clarify anything about the lessons that you need more information about.
Plan on attending an orientation session before your lessons begin. This meeting will give you an introduction to the Suzuki Method. It will also explain your expected involvement in the parent/teacher/student triangle of learning.
The orientation will also include:
• Materials needed to begin study
• Where to purchase materials
• How to begin home practice
• Options for renting or purchasing an instrument
• The importance of listening to the recordings
• A final opportunity to ask questions before study begins
We hope this orientation will provide you with the information you will need to be comfortable, prepared and ready to begin this wonderful journey of exploration, imagination, self expression, self confidence, and creativity your child will learn through the study of music.
Please contact one of the following teachers to set up observations at a mutually convenient time:
Private and Group lessons:
Based on the age and readiness of your child and the number of previous years of study (if any), the teacher will suggest a course of study based on one of the following models:
• Private study of one lesson per week, the duration of which is 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes.
• For younger students- one 15 minute lesson per week in groups of three or more. (The parent and child stay for 45 minutes and observe the lessons of the other students).
• For younger children- one 15 minute lesson per week, plus one 50 minute group lesson.
• For the intermediate student- a private lesson of 30 or 45 minutes each week plus one 50 minute group lesson per week.
• For the advanced student- a private lesson of 45 or 60 minutes each week, plus membership in the advanced performance ensemble.
Please Note: Music Theory and Appreciation classes are available to all students: Visit The Music Theory/Appreciation Program website.
Concerts and Recitals:
The following are traditional parts of the program that all students are encouraged to take advantage of each semester:
• Opening Play-In
An informal recital in the fall where all students play the common repertoire together.
• Solo Recitals
As each student is prepared to present a polished piece in public (at the teacher’s recommendation), they are invited to perform as a soloist on the monthly recitals.
• Holiday Concert and Final Spring Concert
At the end of the fall and spring semester, the students present a polished concert together in group style of the music (both Suzuki and outside literature) which has been coordinated between the teachers and worked on all semester in group classes and private lessons. ( These concerts counts as a group lesson for all students.)
Each teacher has flexibility to run their group lessons and organize them in whatever flexible format works for the teacher and to the benefit of the students in that teacher’s group. In general, there are two semesters, each consisting of 16 weeks and students should receive 16 private or semi-private lessons and 16 group experiences if enrolled in group, however the individual teacher of those groups wishes to organize them. Check with your individual teacher if you have any questions as to what counts as a group or private lesson experience and how they wish to fulfill this required number of meetings. Some teachers may choose to have fewer group meetings and charge a lesser fee as appropriate.
• Fall Workshop and Summer Institute
Each year the Louisville Suzuki Association sponsors a fall weekend workshop and a week long summer institute in June. These events are at an extra charge and not covered in the UofL fees, but are an in depth immersion into the Suzuki experience that can completely change the student and their relationship to music. We highly encourage all students to take advantage of these events when offered.
Program Calendar 2012-2013
October 13th, 2012- Departmental Recital, 1:00pm, Bird Recital Hall
November 10th, 2012- Departmental Recital, 1:00pm, Bird Recital Hall
November 10th-11th, 2012- Fall Workshop, 1:00-5:00pm, Music Building
December 1st, 2012, Fall Group Concert, 3:00pm, Strickler Hall Auditorium
December 8th, 2012- Departmental Rectital, 1:00pm, Comstock Hall
March 23rd, 2013- Departmental Recital, 1:00pm, Bird Recital Hall
April 13th, 2013- Departmental Recital, 1:00pm, Bird Recital Hall
April 27th, 2013- Spring Group Concert, 3:00pm, Comstock Hall
May 11th, 2013- Departmental Honors Recital, 1:00pm, Bird Recital Hall
June 16th-21st- Summer Suzuki Institute, Music Building
Timothy Durbin Group Lessons
Book Six and Up - Tuesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Book Two and Three - Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm
Book Four and Five - Wednesdays 6:00-7:00pm
A word about groups:
Dr. Suzuki felt that the group lesson experience was a vital part of the success of the method he developed. There are many reasons for group lessons:
• Students are motivated in groups and have fun
• Memory skills can be worked on and developed
• They learn from each other in group, not only the teacher
• It is a non-threatening environment in which through play and experimentation they can develop the confidence and self assurance to play as a soloist later
• They develop ensemble skills
• New techniques can be presented together to save lesson time for other things
• Musical expression and body coordination skills can be developed and refined that were introduced in the private lesson.
• Other literature outside the traditional Suzuki repertoire can be learned and performed as well.
For these reasons, it is fundamental to all Suzuki instruction that students be enrolled in group classes. Only by consent of the private teacher for special circumstance will a student be allowed in the Suzuki program without attending group lessons as a part of the total program. We feel that it is not truly a genuine Suzuki program unless the minimum requirement of parental involvement, private study, listening and group lessons are part of the curriculum. Groups are a part of what makes Suzuki unique and special and we feel that to offer the best instruction possible, that should include group lessons for all students.
The Parent’s Role
A few points of consideration for the parent as you embark on this journey:
• Be willing to be consistent and devote regular time over a long period to develop the ability of you child.
• Be willing to be open with and work closely with your teacher for the good of your child’s development.
• Be willing to learn along with your child the fundamentals of music and the violin so you can better help them at home.
• See that the violin and materials are in good repair and get to the lesson every week.
• Be willing continually to be further educated by reading new materials on education and child development, talking with other parents and creating a learning community where excellence can thrive.
• Be willing to support all children in the program and be concerned with their growth as beautiful, noble people as if they were your own children. Do not compare or compete. Each child is unique and special and should be celebrated as such.
• Be willing to listen to the Twinkle Variations and all the literature 10,000 times. This is the first basis of the Suzuki Method. Listen to the recordings until you can’t stand it any more and then listen some more.
• Attend the lessons, take notes, attend concerts, attend musical events, recitals, etc. and make sure that your child is in attendance at all Suzuki events.
• Attend the yearly workshops and the summer institutes if possible. Attend the daily parent lectures and share with other parents and learn from them as well.
• Be willing to work to help in creating a total environment of affection, support, encouragement, a positive attitude, and understanding. These are the ingredients necessary to the superior development of children through music as developed and explained by Dr. Suzuki.
The parent need not be a trained musician in order to be a good home teacher. With the teacher’s guidance, the parent can help with bowing, fingering, posture, stance and later on with note reading.
Basic Supplies and Where to Get Them
1. A good quality instrument is needed and it needs to be kept in good playing order.
2. The recordings need to be bought and listened to at home until the player wears out.
3. The Suzuki books and other materials (rosin, shoulder rests, tuners, music stands, reading books, etc.) as required by your teacher need to be purchased and brought to each lesson.
4. The following books are fundamental and as you can you should buy or borrow them and read them.
• “Nurtured by Love” by Shinichi Suzuki
• “Ability Development from Age Zero” by Shinichi Suzuki
• “ To Learn With Love” by William Starr
Noteworthy Sheet Music, Dupont Circle, 893-0448
Young Musicians, 1-800-826-8648, www.ymonline.com
Shar Products Company, 1-800-248-SHAR, www.sharmusic.com
Southwest Strings, 1-800-528-3430, www.swstrings.com
Mark Edwards, 239-2423, 9706, Fairgrounds Rd. Fern Creek
Mel Owens Music, 893-6624, 4210 Shelbyville Rd.
To find out more information about your local Louisville Suzuki String Association, visit their website.
A limited number of financial need scholarships are available. Contact the Community Music Program Office at (502) 852-5850 or complete this form: Suzuzki Scholarship Form. A separate application is required for each semester, and should be submitted no later that a week prior to the start of each semester.
Each year the CMP sponsors a week long Suzuki summer institute in June. The Louisville Suzuki String Association may also sponsor an October Suzuki weekend workshop. These events are at an extra charge and not covered in the UofL fees, but are an in depth immersion into the Suzuki experience, featuring exceptional faculty from around the country, that can completely change the student and their relationship to music. We highly encourage all students to take advantage of these events when offered.
Tuition & Fees
Suzuki String Program Tuition and Fees ( 16-week semester)