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Suzuki Mamas Tribe - Page 9

post #161 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
Hi- I have a question. I'd really love to get my 4.5 year old DD into Suzuki, but the nearest teacher I can find is 140 miles away. Is there a way to do it just parent instructed? I can play piano, but I wasn't Suzuki trained.
TIA!
It's certainly possible. I started my eldest alone as a parent, before we had a Suzuki program here. However, I did do two teacher-training courses before starting her off, and I had grown up steeped in the Suzuki philosophy and approach. It was very tough going for the first couple of years until we developed a Suzuki community to support her learning (and my Suzuki parenting).

Unless you're willing to go and get that training I'd say no. The Suzuki approach isn't a "method" as much as it's an approach that's rooted in developmental and educational philosophy and applied flexibly using a pedagogy that's individualized and passed on to new teachers by master teachers. There's no instruction book or manual.

Unless you're going to do the teacher training, I'd look for something more like a traditional primer series where the learning steps are all mapped out for you as a parent.

Miranda
post #162 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
It's certainly possible. I started my eldest alone as a parent, before we had a Suzuki program here. However, I did do two teacher-training courses before starting her off, and I had grown up steeped in the Suzuki philosophy and approach. It was very tough going for the first couple of years until we developed a Suzuki community to support her learning (and my Suzuki parenting).

Unless you're willing to go and get that training I'd say no. The Suzuki approach isn't a "method" as much as it's an approach that's rooted in developmental and educational philosophy and applied flexibly using a pedagogy that's individualized and passed on to new teachers by master teachers. There's no instruction book or manual.

Unless you're going to do the teacher training, I'd look for something more like a traditional primer series where the learning steps are all mapped out for you as a parent.

Miranda
That answered my question completely, although now I'm bummed. Thanks!
post #163 of 459
Q for the suzuki teachers on here:

I was a suzuki kid (played for 14 years as a kid - age 4 to 18) then I stopped for 20 years, now I'm picking it up again.

I think I'm interested in doing the steps to becoming a suzuki teacher - but I was wondering if there have been any big differences I need to know about (I'm getting used to the "americanisms" like missisippi hot dog instead of taka!).

How difficult is it to get through the audition? I'm not a professional musician but I did go through all 10 books (and then some) and have been playing Celtic fiddle for the last year and a half. I'm boning up on the classical stuff but do you think it will be hard for me to pass the audition/do the trainings if I was not a music major in college or not a professional performer?

I've also been toying with just going back to get a degree but I'm not really interested in being a professional performer necessarily - just a fiddler and eventually a teacher. I really believe in the method though and think it's the best kind of preparation for whatever kind of playing you want to do later....

so what do you think??? any advice?
tia
peace,
robyn
post #164 of 459
Hi Robyn! I know that SAA has tightened their audition standards. But it sounds like your playing levels would certainly meet those standards. The first movement of either Mozart Concerto from the Books is the comprehensive audition piece. If your comprehensive audition is accepted, then you can take any level training without reauditioning. But you don't have to send in the comprehensive piece for the early book auditions.

In the teacher training courses that I've taken, there has been a broad spectrum of playing and teaching levels.

Have you checked the SAA website? I haven't looked at the early level requirements lately. I've been focusing on the comprehesive levels for viola and violin. The scholarship application deadline is coming up on February 15.

Is there a University in your area that offers long term training? There are a few schools that offer degrees in Suzuki Pedagogy, and quite a few that offer Suzuki coursework.
post #165 of 459
Thanks for the response so quickly!

Yes I've checked out the website and it seems pretty straightforward. Because I've just started back and have not really been focusing on classical stuff, I'm not ready to do a comprehensive (one of the mozart pieces)...the piece for book 1-8 is the main piece I workshoped back in the day with Bill Starr and Hiroko (ack forgot her last name! my dad used to run a suzuki institute for 10 years - so I was just a kid when I had her) - a bach concerto. But I think I just want to dip my toe in at first and just do the basic 1-4 audition for the moment (which is a seitz and the vivaldi 3rd movement). I'm still trying to get things like my vibrato and bowing technique up to snuff/to my satisfaction - I might need a little more time before the March deadline for auditioning if I did the Bach piece.

We're getting ready to move and I've checked out programs in the two possible areas we are moving to - there is a degree program with suzuki training in eastern north carolina but nothing closeby to Austin. I've been a little frustrated because it seems like most music programs are geared to the new college student (you have to take a bunch of liberal arts courses) and the masters programs mostly (not all) assume you have a music undergrad degree. And of course they are ALL focused on becoming a CLASSICAL player so my fiddling would have to be a side thing

I'm also kind of wondering about how to you "break in" - do you substitute teach at a suzuki school? Do you just jump right in and start signing up students (doesn't it take a while to get all 4 first books done? I think I could do book 1 and 2 this summer but not sure about getting the rest done before the summer is over). Did anyone try the apprentice route to becoming a suzuki teacher (there is one guy in Austin who is registered as a trainer I could apprentice with).

sorry I have so many questions but any help you can point me to is great!
peace,
robyn
post #166 of 459
I live about an 1 1/2 hours from Hiroko Driver. She's teaching Suzuki teacher training courses at U of L again. I wish I could take some, but it's not that season of life for me. It's just impossible to fit in observations, take the course, homeschool my kids, teach 28 other kids how to play the violin, and play in two orchestras. (Sorry for the mini rant! I really would like to take some courses, and I'm feeling a tiny bit deprived.)

I've only done short term training. Wait, I take that back. I took two levels for Master's credit. But I found the content . . . lacking. So I didn't register those with SAA.

If I had it all to do over, I would do my training through a long term degree program. Taking the short term courses in the summer can sometimes be a piecemeal experience. I haven't done any apprenticeship work, mostly because life interferes. Both long term training and apprenticeships have the advantage of real life time. You get to see lessons progress in a more realistic way. Institutes are great, but the condensed, warp-speed lessons are much different than weekly lessons.

I don't know of many situations that would call for substitute teaching. The only time I've had another teacher step in was for my first maternity leave. Once you have your Book 1 training, you can open up shop. I know plenty of teachers that stay one step ahead of their students with training. (And quite a few who wing it without training.) With your background as a Suzuki kid, you'll have plenty of resources.
post #167 of 459
thanks that is so helpful! lots of good feedback and things to think about!
peace,
robyn
post #168 of 459
robyn--

If you want to pursue a degree in music education so that you can teach in a public school, you may find that the audition requirements are not as rigorous as in a conservatory or performance oriented program. While you would probably still need to pursue Suzuki training elsewhere, with a degree in music education, you will probably always be able to get a job
post #169 of 459
thanks - good tip!

are music teachers really in that much demand? what about the suzuki in the schools program? anyone know about that?
peace,
robyn

eta: I've been a bit intimidated by the music education programs because many of them seem to assume that you know piano/and or have voice training...and the stuff about conducting seems kind of foreign to me - but maybe I just need to find the right program?
thx
post #170 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
are music teachers really in that much demand? what about the suzuki in the schools program? anyone know about that?
peace,
robyn

eta: I've been a bit intimidated by the music education programs because many of them seem to assume that you know piano/and or have voice training...and the stuff about conducting seems kind of foreign to me - but maybe I just need to find the right program?
thx
Robyn--

Just to let you know, I am not a music teacher, nor did I major in music! I only took about 2 years of piano, so I am certainly no expert.

That said, my husband is a principal in an elementary school and did have a hand in hiring a music teacher this year, so I saw from the sidelines some issues that were raised. One book that I read during the process was Inside the Music Classroom: Teaching the Art with Heart by Patricia Bourne; she raised an issue that you brought up--what if your primary instrument is not piano? Most music degrees, whether in music education or not, insist on the graduate having "competency" in piano. Some schools want more that just basic competancy for their music teachers.

Also many schools, in anticipation that you may conduct a choir or band, will insist that you get major competancy in all forms of instruments used in an orchestra as well as voice training. So a music education degree is very credit intense--you will not have many electives because you will use most of your credits trying to fulfill your music degree requirements.

You will probably want to check out www.menc.org (The National Association for Music Education). They have forums discussing music education in all its forms.
post #171 of 459
thanks helpful tip!
peace,
robyn
post #172 of 459
Thread Starter 
Anyone have a favorite studio music stand? I've been thinking of passing along our black Manhasset to our wonderful teacher. She now uses a folding stand - takes two hands so not easy to adjust. What I like about Manhasset (orchestra) style stands is that they are typically easy to adjust with one hand. What I don't like is that they feel cold. Wood ones I've found are very spendy, though, and they also seem to be two-handed. (Knob tightener?)

So are the orchestra types still the best out there?
post #173 of 459
Hi, just found this tribe and am happily throwing in my lot!

My DD, age 4 is a Suzuki beginner, DH and I both have music degrees from a University but were not Suzuki-trained as children, unfortunately. We both wish we'd started younger.

DD loves her violin. We started her young, probably too young, but I had studied so much about brain development and young children that I was excited to get her going. We haven't pushed her though, let her take her own pace. Even now she is slipping into review mode and we're going along with that.

Her teacher is doing something non-Suzuki and that is starting her reading music already. She has her clap rhythms and read pitches and look at the music when she is doing her songs. Part of me is for that and part of me wonders if it is too soon. The thing is, DD LOVES the reading! More than playing her violin, actually. She'll vocalize the most difficult rhythms accurately the first time. It totally blows us away. But now at her practice times she wants to do rhythm reading and NOT play her violin! Any thoughts from other moms and teachers?
post #174 of 459
So who all is doing institutes this summer? I just registered for ISSI in SLC Ut for the third year in a row. Its going to be a trick getting ready for it, because her teacher wanted us to push her a little bit and enroll her in a book 4 class, even though she's not yet finished with book 3. I'm ok with it because her teacher is the institute director, but I'm feeling the Seitz concerto pressure! Where's everyone going this year?

Insahmniak, I really like my manhasset stand in my studio. Its easy to use and doesn't take up too much room. I actually really, really dislike my wooden stand. We've had to repair it so many times that I'm afraid to really use it. The metal parts tend to get really stuck realy easily too.

Whistler, have you tried leaving the rhythm games/motereading things until the end to be a "reward?" My dd's favorit thing is the new piece so I often leave that till the end so that she's motivated to finish practicing. You could also write all the little thigns that she needs to do during a practice session on pieces of paper and let her draw them out of a hat as she practices, or you choose what she does, then she chooses. Anything to make her feel like she has some bit of control over what she's doing during practice time. HTH.
post #175 of 459
Thread Starter 
Stacymom - we just registered for SLC too! Just got it in under the March 1 early deadline. T's in the middle of Gavotte (Mignon) and it's been interesting. The tune seemed familiar to me but when I went to play it none of the bowings felt comfortable. I finally got suspicious and dug through my old Suzuki books and sure enough, I skipped it for some reason. Anyhow T and I are learning it together and she's at the key change.

Super super excited about SLC. We signed up for the chorus enrichment again - but it incorporates movement, too. Last year it was pretty fast-paced and a good workout for the noggin.

I did end up passing along the Manhasset stand to our teacher and she loves it! So glad I didn't bother with a wood stand. Sounds like it wouldn't work well for a busy studio.

Can't wait for the SLC play-in!
post #176 of 459
I'd love to learn more about institute, particularly for young players. DS is 5 and starting Oh Come Little Children. There is an institute in Pittsburgh that is convenient to my in-laws so it would be pretty easy to. I'm just not sure he's ready for 3 hours of classes a day with a strange teacher and kids. He's very motivated by seeing other players, which we don't get enough of, so in that way it could be very good. I guess I just don't know enough about it.
post #177 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacymom View Post
So who all is doing institutes this summer? I just registered for ISSI in SLC Ut for the third year in a row. Its going to be a trick getting ready for it, because her teacher wanted us to push her a little bit and enroll her in a book 4 class, even though she's not yet finished with book 3. I'm ok with it because her teacher is the institute director, but I'm feeling the Seitz concerto pressure! Where's everyone going this year?

Insahmniak, I really like my manhasset stand in my studio. Its easy to use and doesn't take up too much room. I actually really, really dislike my wooden stand. We've had to repair it so many times that I'm afraid to really use it. The metal parts tend to get really stuck realy easily too.

Whistler, have you tried leaving the rhythm games/motereading things until the end to be a "reward?" My dd's favorit thing is the new piece so I often leave that till the end so that she's motivated to finish practicing. You could also write all the little thigns that she needs to do during a practice session on pieces of paper and let her draw them out of a hat as she practices, or you choose what she does, then she chooses. Anything to make her feel like she has some bit of control over what she's doing during practice time. HTH.
We are going to Ogontz Suzuki Institute in NH this summer. First session. We LOVED it last year when DS was just 5. To speak to a 5yo beginner's enjoyment, being immersed in music from many different perspectives was really great for him. It actually pushed him past a rut (he was really struggling with Long Long Ago) and he's been flying since. So I think it can be great for the little ones/beginners.

We'd love to meet some folks at Ogontz this year!
post #178 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanaT View Post
I'd love to learn more about institute, particularly for young players. DS is 5 and starting Oh Come Little Children. There is an institute in Pittsburgh that is convenient to my in-laws so it would be pretty easy to. I'm just not sure he's ready for 3 hours of classes a day with a strange teacher and kids. He's very motivated by seeing other players, which we don't get enough of, so in that way it could be very good. I guess I just don't know enough about it.
Go go go! I can't say enough good about it, really. The teachers are excellent, and will work really hard to make the classes fun. It won't be three solid hours of playing- there will be lots of breaks, lots of activities, etc. It will change both of you.
post #179 of 459
Hi,

I hope you don't mind me popping in to ask a quick question to you Suzuki pros.

We are considering starting DS when he is three. However, we were planning to do piano, assuming we can find a suzuki teacher. Is there a reason to do violin rather than piano? It seems that that is the more standard/popular instrument, but it is "wrong" to do piano instead?

Thanks!
post #180 of 459
I have a related Q: how did you pick the instrument? where we want DD to take Suzuki lessons when she is 4, they offer violin, cello, and flute, but flute only if you have had prior formal training on piano and voice. There is no one in my area (to my knowledge) who offers piano/keyboard lessons to a 3yo, and i don't really see the point of voice lessons, so flute is out. my instinct is to let dd choose btwn violin and cello. my brother finally succeeded (relatively) with his 3rd instrument once he chose it. personally, i lean toward the cello because squeaky beginners violin sounds awful -- believe me, i was the squeaker! dh leans toward the violin for ease of transit. (we could get piano or flute lessons by suzuki method elsewhere but it would be farther away and i am not interested in wasting time on travel.)
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