Frequently Asked Questions

Who was Suzuki?

Young Shinichi Suzuki
photo credit: SuzukiAssociation.org

Shinichi Suzuki was a Japanese musician, philosopher, and educator and the founder of the international Suzuki method of music education and developed a philosophy for educating people of all ages and abilities.
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Regarding SFTE…

Is my 3-year-old too young to start?

Often 3-year-olds are ready to begin. We can schedule a very short assessment, which will tell us if they are ready:

Can they interact comfortably with the teacher and follow simple directions (like ‘Can you pick up the stuffed cow?’)?

Can they mimic simple motions (like putting hands on top of their head or stepping their feet in place)?

How old is too old to start?

While the optimal age to start is usually between 3 and 6, it’s possible for all children (and adults!) to be candidates for Suzuki style learning.

My child is extremely shy. What if he doesn’t want to participate?

Since the parent participates in the lesson, a very shy child can watch the parent’s part of the lesson for as long as it takes them to feel comfortable. Then when they are ready, they can engage on their own. Some extremely shy children will take several weeks to feel comfortable, but since they’ve been observing all along, they’ve already absorbed all the skills taught to the parent.

How do I know if my child really likes violin enough to do this? What if they prefer another instrument?

The ear training in the Suzuki approach will make learning another instrument that much easier. However, when a young child expresses a preference for another instrument, it’s usually a wish to be doing anything that seems easier than practicing the violin at that precise moment.

Suzuki teachers work with practice parents to create an environment and a practice style that gives students the motivation and skills necessary to weather common practice frustration.

How long should we continue lessons if it turns out my child doesn’t like to practice?

It is a good idea to make a commitment to continue lessons for at least a year before lessons start. This can help in weathering the dips in motivation that are common.

Suzuki teachers aid practice parents, giving them clear goals, tips on managing exactly how much to practice, and concrete examples of what language to use when working in the practice, to minimize frustration. Your teacher will only give an assignment that they know your child will accomplish successfully.

In the private lessons, you will see the teacher model practice games that help the student externalize the practice goals and incorporate a sense of fun into the practice.

Am I always going to need to be with my child at her lesson?

At the beginning, the parent is essential to lessons and practice. In time, the student learns skills that promote learning independence. The process is gradual, with the student taking on additional responsibility each year.

How much will we need to practice at home?

When starting, the emphasis is on daily practice, not the amount of practice. A daily 10 minute-practice is much more effective than occasional practice. The number of minutes grows gradually as your child’s attention span and endurance develop.

I can’t read music. Will that handicap my child?

Not at all. Since we start learning by ear, you will learn the sounds of the violin first, along with your child. Step-by-step learning makes it easy to learn the names of notes, then notes on the music staff and then note reading.

“Santa Fe Talent Education is an excellent Suzuki program and a great asset to Santa Fe. It is a privilege for our family to work with such experienced, professional, creative and caring teachers. Highly recommended!”

Heather, parent

Questions? Feel free to Contact Us.