Suzuki music education, a holistic and inclusive method, encourages and enables the parent to spend time with their child, communicating and thinking with creativity, clarity and precision while having fun during the learning process.
The Teacher-Parent-Child triangle is the key to this mother-tongue approach. It teaches the child to develop empathy for others and build relationships with their music friends.
Suzuki enriches your child’s life with the art of music performance. The child learns to persist and persevere, to react with flexibility, and to listen with understanding and imagination. While developing excellence and mastering instrumental skills, the child gains self-esteem through achieving goals.
Every student has three classes per week:
- one private lesson
- one group class
- one theory class
Group classes are organized by instrument, age and level. These classes enhance the learning process, reinforce the individual lesson and broaden the student’s musical expression.
String orchestras, chamber music and various other instrumental combinations create a learning environment for the development of ensemble skills and provide the opportunity for practicing, understanding and integrating established routines.
The violin is the highest-pitched of the string family instruments and dates its origins to the 16th century. A violin player can produce sound by drawing a bow across one or more of its four strings (which may be stopped by the fingers of the left hand to produce a full range of pitches), by plucking the strings, or by a variety of other techniques. The violin is played by musicians in a wide variety of musical genres and ensembles. The violin makes up the largest instrument section in the symphony orchestra, making up to two main sections (first and second violins).
The violin curriculum in the Suzuki Method comprises ten volumes, beginning with Suzuki’s Variations on “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and ending with two Mozart concertos. The first 3 books are mostly graded arrangements of music from composers such as Bach, Telemann, Dvorák, Beethoven, Schubert, Handel, Paganini, Boccherini and Brahms. Books 4–10 continue the graded selection by incorporating ‘standard’ or ‘traditional’ student violin solos by Seitz, Vivaldi, Bach, Veracini, Corelli, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Rameau, Handel, Mozart, Fiocco, and others. Completing the 10 volumes is not the end of the Suzuki journey, as many Suzuki teachers traditionally continue with the Bruch and Mendelssohn concertos, along with pieces from other composers such as Paradis, Mozart, and Kreisler.
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello. The casual observer may mistake the viola for the violin because of their similarity in size, closeness in pitch range (the viola is a perfect fifth below the violin), and nearly identical playing position. However, the viola’s timbre sets it apart: its rich, dark-toned sonority is more full-bodied than the violin’s. Violas are seen in symphony orchestra and occasionally in popular group string sections. In experienced hands, the viola can perform beautiful solo melodies as well as the more typical harmony parts with the violin.
Like the violin repertoire, much of the viola repertoire in the Suzuki Method is drawn from the Baroque period. In eight volumes, the first 3 have been arranged (or transposed) almost directly from the first 3 violin volumes, and the rest differ significantly as they delve into standard viola literature. These volumes include works by Telemann, Casadesus, Bach, and others. Volume eight, released in 2005, contains works by Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Cassado, Leclair, Telemann, Hummel, and Bruch.
The cello is said to be the instrument with the closest resemblance to the human voice. Cellos are heard in classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk and rock genres. The first cellos were made in Italy in the 16th century. The “violoncello”, its official name, part of the string family, is the big brother to the violin and viola. It is known for its deep resonant tone. The first cellists sat down to play and held the cello between their legs because there was no endpin! Soon, cellists began using wooden sticks, stacks of books or anything else they could find to prop up their cellos.
The Cello lessons in the Suzuki Method comprise ten volumes, with some early pieces arranged from the early violin volumes. Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi performs volumes 1 through 4. Volumes 4–10 contain works by: Vivaldi, Saint-Saëns, Popper, Breval, Goltermann, Squire, Bach, Paradis, Eccles, Fauré, von Goens, Sammartini, Haydn, and Boccherini.
The double bass, or upright bass, also called the string bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instruments in the modern symphony orchestra. The double bass is a standard member of the orchestra, and smaller string ensembles in Western Classical Music. The bass is used in a range of genres, such as jazz, 1950s-style blues and rock and roll, traditional country music bluegrass and tango and many types of folk music.
A person who plays the double bass is usually referred to as a bassist or bass player. The double bass is a transposing instrument and sounds one octave lower than notated to avoid excessive ledger lines. Like violins and cellos, basses come in several sizes, so small children can play the bass.
Prior to the construction of the piano, the harpsichord was the primary keyboard instrument from about 1600. Although harpsichords were popular for centuries and used by many of the great early composers like Bach, they possessed a major disadvantage-they were unable to make changes in expression with changes in the player’s touch. In about 1709, the Italian Harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori built the world’s first piano called the piano et forte (or soft and loud). It was in about 1850 that the “fortepiano” word was replaced with the “piano” word.
The piano curriculum using the Suzuki Method is composed of seven volumes. The first book starts out with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (as with the violin books) and goes on with many folk songs & contemporary songs. As one progresses, there are pieces written by classical and baroque composers, such as Mozart, Bergmuller, Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Daquin, Grieg, Grandados, Villa-Lobos, Scarlatti, Handel, Bartok, and Debussy.
The harp is the oldest known stringed instrument. The word “harpa” or “harp” comes from Anglo-Saxon, Old German, and Old Norse words meaning “to pluck”. Bow harps (harps with only one side) date back to 3000 B.C.! The modern double-action, or concert harp, with seven pedals was invented in 1810. Since then the harp has undergone few changes, and is now a regular member of the symphony and opera orchestras.
The harp curriculum using the Suzuki Method comprises four volumes. Most of the music is arrangements of either folk music or classical music. This series ultimately leads to more in-depth study of the pedal harp and its repertoire and teaches more of a classical style technique.
Because of the beautiful sound and simplicity of technique, students achieve encouraging results early with the harp, giving them a sense of accomplishment and inspiring them to continue on the instrument.
The school year consists of:
- 38 weeks of individual instruction (which includes one “Achievement week”)
- 33 weeks of Group and Theory classes
The Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas is a nurturing, family centered environment, welcoming little musicians from 18 months to 18 years old and beyond.