After-school Suzuki Violin
It is with great pleasure and excitement to offer you and your child Beginner Suzuki Violin lessons here at St. James Afterschool. The Suzuki Violin Program is designed to provide children the opportunity to start Suzuki Violin lessons during the afterschool hours while here at St. James. The Suzuki method teaches children how to play the violin by ear. During these younger years of brain development children can quickly learn the skills to play violin, along with learning musical pitches and rhythms. Traditionally children are accompanied by their parents to weekly lessons to a private studio. St. James understands that many parents have to work and cannot attend weekly lessons. Parents will be taught how to play the violin in a group lesson at the beginning of the session and then the children will meet weekly in a small group class. It is our hopes to offer this beginner program to as many people who are interested.
What exactly is Suzuki Violin?
The Suzuki Violin Method is an educational approach developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan (1898-1998). It is often referred to as Talent Education. This approach seeks to foster instrumental playing skills in young children in the same way they learn to speak – through imitation and repetition, in a positive, nurturing environment with the help of the mother and the father. Early education in any single area will create fine ability if nurtured by parents by the very youngest of children. According to Dr. Suzuki, every child has talent and can learn to play the violin using this approach. His goal was not to produce prodigies, but to develop in children an appreciation of music, self, and others. It is the intention through the Beginner Suzuki Violin Program to nurture the child’s love of classical music through positive teaching and a joyful environment.
Beginner Suzuki Violin Program
The Beginner Suzuki Violin Program is designed for children at the elementary age. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Each child will be in a small group class for a 30-40 minute lesson every week. The parent is required to come to the first lesson (or private meeting with the teacher). This is to make sure that the parent knows what to do to help their child practice. Parents are welcome to come to as many lessons as they can! The parents will be given the correct size in which to order a violin. In the beginning the students will work on specific rhythm patterns, learn words to songs and listen to the Suzuki Vol. 1 CD. These steps will be taken slowly so that it is understood by both parent and child. The teacher will help you with ordering a violin.
What are my responsibilities as a parent?
1. Attend lessons when possible.
2. Provide your child with a notebook to write in so that they can keep track of their progress and what to practice. Ideally this acts as an instructional sheet on what they did that day so that the parent can help with practicing.
3. Practicing should be done daily.
4. Purchase Suzuki Violin CD Vol. 1. Most local music stores have these or you can find it online. Parents are responsible for making sure that the child is listening to the recordings every day.
5. Parents must also learn the basics of playing the violin themselves so that they can practice with the child. Overtime, these activities together will grow into cherished moments with your child. This establishes the successful parent-child team. This is one of the best parts!
6. Read “Nurtured By Love” by Shinichi Suzuki. It can be purchase at Barnes and Nobles.
The purchase/rental of an instrument will be done together with the teacher. Each child will be sized for the proper fitting of a violin. Information will be provided on all options of whether to rent or buy. Renting is approximately 35$/month and buying is about $200-$450. This will be discussed in-depth together.
How do our students fit in with other violin programs?
Greenville, NC is actually one of the largest Suzuki Communities on the east coast. This is because of Mrs. Joanne Bath. Mrs. Bath studied under Dr. Suzuki in Japan in the early 1960’s. She came back to Greenville and nurtured the Suzuki Approach to local children of all ages. She continues to teach children and is the Hardy Distinguished Professor of Suzuki Pedagogy at East Carolina University. The Greenville Suzuki Association (GSA) offers several group lessons, performance opportunities and lots of learning for children and parents! This brings together children from all over Eastern North Carolina. Some of the best friendships will be made during these activities.
What do our students do after the Beginner year?
It is our hope to build the program from beginner to all levels within the Afterschool Program. You may of course choose to move on to a private studio/teacher. A list of local teachers will be provided so that you can make a choice.
When and how do I register?
You must register during orientation period. Enrollment is limited, so parents are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The fee for classes is $320 for first semester (Sept. – Dec.) and $400 for second semester (Jan –May). The children will perform during holiday celebrations and each semester ends with a recital, date and time, TBA. There is a monthly payment option available upon request.
About our Teacher (Mrs. Leigh Sypawka)
Mrs. Sypawka studied violin under Mrs. Joanne Bath from 1968 until 1978. During college, she placed her emphasis on a performance degree in Classical Ballet and taught dance/ movement classes to children of all ages. In 2001, she enrolled in East Carolina University School of Music to begin working on her certification of The Suzuki Pedagogy Program. In 2003 she completed Books 1–10 Certification and has been teaching Suzuki violin for 11 years in her home studio, St. Peter’s Catholic School and here at St. James Pre-School. She is an active member of the Sinfonia strings group at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Mrs. Sypawka recently created a Suzuki Twinkle-Movement Class for young children and has been teaching this class for the North Carolina Suzuki Institute at East Carolina University School of Music since 2008. She also started a Suzuki Program at the Children of Destiny Orphanage in Jinotega, Nicaragua in 2008. Mrs. Sypawka loves teaching young children and her passion is bringing children and their parents into the beauty of classical music through Suzuki violin. If you have any questions, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.sypawkaviolin.weebly.com.