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Information for Prospective and Beginning Families

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Structure of the Program

  • The SIUE Suzuki Strings Program includes about 250 students on violin, viola or cello, drawn from a 75-mile radius from SIUE.
  • Each student receives a weekly individual or private, lesson, held at a convenient time for student, parent and teacher. Included in the tuition are group lessons, which are held on Saturday mornings from 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Students are taught by SIUE Suzuki faculty and graduate assistants. (What’s the difference between a graduate assistant and a faculty instructor? Faculty instructors have master’s degrees and teaching experience. They have specifically studied the Suzuki Method with distinguished teachers, many with Vera McCoy-Sulentic or John Kendall. Graduate students are studying Suzuki Pedagogy with Vera McCoy-Sulentic and are working to earn their master’s degrees at SIUE.)
  • Classes for Beginner Students under the age of 9 start only in the fall, and parents participate in an 8-week orientation class (see Parents Preparatory Class, below). Older students may begin lessons at any time throughout the year, space permitting.
How do I know if my child is ready?
  • The Suzuki Method starts from the premise that any child can learn to play a musical instrument. Because children show a natural curiosity about music and musical instruments, the appropriate question for parents may not be “Is my child ready?” but “Am I ready?”
    • Can parents commit to regular attendance at lessons and classes?
    • Can parents set aside regular daily listening and practice time?
    • Do parents enjoy spending time with their children, take delight in their children’s smallest accomplishments, and can deal calmly with the backward steps as well as the steps forward, they are probably ready to consider Talent Education for their children.
    • And if parents are ready, then their children will usually be ready too.
  • New students are admitted only during the fall semester if they are under 9 years old. Students transferring from another program and older students may start at any time according to space available.
  • Most lessons are held in Dunham Hall; park in Lot E if you have a parking pass, or Lot B for a pay lot.
  • Saturday Group classes are held in Founders Hall; park free in Lot A on weekends.
Parents Preparatory Class
  • At the beginning of fall semester, new students and parents will observe private lessons. Your own private lessons will begin shortly after the semester starts, and group classes for parents and students begin in September.
  • Parents of new students, ages 3-8, attend a weekly Parent/ Beginner Class during the Saturday morning 11:30 a.m. group time.
    • Parents learn to play the violin, and learn tips for practicing and helping students.
    • Attendance at the Parent Class ensures the parent’s success in their role as “home teacher” by giving them first-hand experience with the violin and with teaching points such as position, posture, and tone production. This is a time to build friendships with other parents and create a network of friends who are new to the Suzuki Method.

Basic Equipment

We will provide new PreTwinkle students with all the supplies they need to get started. PreTwinkle students will start with a "box" violin to learn to take care of their instrument. When ready, students will move on to use a real violin. Here is a list of music stores (local and online) where you can get your supplies once you need them.

PreTwinkle Song Recordings

How to Set Up a Bowhold- video!

Instrument Care- Prezi presentation!

History and Philosophy

For More information ...

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