Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is the Suzuki method - what does that really mean in your studio?

A: The Suzuki method is a flexible pedagogy that encourages immersion in a rich musical environment to become not just a great musician but a great human being.  It emphasizes developing a beautiful heart through the pursuit of music.  As a Suzuki teacher, I recognize the necessary triangle of parent-student-teacher support for success.  Dr. Suzuki believed - and I believe - that ANYONE can play the violin beautifully with proper environment, good, regular lessons and ensemble opportunities, proper support from parents and teachers, and focused daily practice!  Part of this rich environment includes lots of opportunities for children to listen to the music they are learning.

I say I teach an “integrated Suzuki method” because I use supplemental materials (apart from the Suzuki repertoire) to assist with note-reading skills and musicianship skills, as appropriate.  


Q: What’s the right age to start my child on violin?

A: There is no one “right” age -- the youngest students I accept in my studio are 3 years old who demonstrate an ability to follow direct instructions in a private lesson setting.  However, I have beginners of all ages, from age 3 - 67 -- it is never too late to start lessons!  If you are trying to assess if your young child is ready to take violin lessons, consider the following: The expectations we set as parents strongly mold the child’s response to the routine and setting of lessons and practicing.  Dr. Suzuki famously believed that every child can learn violin -- I do believe that as well!  It’s important to realize that, as parents, we play a large role in that success.  

The family must commit to learning violin - not just the child! That means we have to prioritize daily practice, listen to our music, and clearly communicate expectations to the child about practicing and behavior during violin lessons.  You will be a partner in your child’s musical journey during each and every moment for the first several years of study (and beyond!).  


Q: Do you have recitals or group classes in your studio?

A: Yes!  I strongly believe in having studio gatherings - it is highly motivational to see other musicians working hard and growing alongside you!  We also build community and make new friends and strengthen old friendships and musical partnerships.

I hold five Violin Studio Classes each year where the children each perform a solo for the group, and we also join in group songs and activities.  I highly encourage attendance at all five studio classes, as they are included in your weekly lesson tuition and are fabulous opportunities for all the students and families in the studio.  It is part of the Suzuki model to hold group classes as they are very motivational.

There are two formal recitals each year: the Fall and Spring Solo Recitals.  These recitals are for singers and violinists. The Solo Recitals are a wonderful opportunity for students to work hard towards a performance goal.  We dress up in our best clothes and perform onstage - it's a lot of fun!

In the Winter we have a Violin Chamber Party where we get together and play duets, trios, and quartets that we have been rehearsing all year with our peer ensemble partners.

We love our special events, too! We have our annual Halloween Farmer's Market Fiddling Fest where we get to fiddle for the public and raise money for a great cause. All the money we raise is donated to the Suzuki Association Latin America Scholarship Fund. We also perform twice a year at a Senior Residence where we connect with elders in our community and share our music with them. It is very gratifying and so important to make those cross-generational connections!

I also have an annual Suzuki Parent Education Night in the fall for each studio location (SF and Palo Alto).

All of the events described above, apart from the formal recitals, are included in your weekly lesson tuition.