Every Suzuki program should offer group lessons each week as a supplement to their weekly lesson. All students taking a full 30 min. weekly private lesson at TEC is encouraged to participate in the group so that they can continue mastering and reviewing the violin skills that they are acquiring in from their personal instruction.
TEC Group lessons are on Saturdays at OCCTAC and share with the SASS program where we have more classroom space for children to move around in. It is wise to check the schedule on the www.got2twinkle.com as there are sometimes adjustments in the schedule. We have it linked on our Google Calendar on the the TEC ED Center pages at the top.
Group lessons are an opportunity for all of the Suzuki Violin children to meet and play together. In order to stay motivated about practicing at home young violinist need to be making friends and relationships with other musicians. It is an opportunity to review pieces and skills everyone knows and it is an opportunity to hear more advanced students who play pieces that younger students aspire to play in the future.
All Suzuki Students in our program from Pretwinkler to Advanced students are encouraged to participate. New students and shy students are encouraged to come and observe. Younger children are invited to watch more advanced group students for short periods at a time depending on their attention span. Parents can learn more about the breadth of the program by observing students at different levels and skills.
The PreTwinkle group is an opportunity for our youngest children to bond and become comfortable with the teacher and new Suzuki friends they will be studying with in the future. Through games and play they prepare their ears and their bodies for holding and playing the violin. In a social group setting we can build up their endurance to hold thier instruments with good posture for longer periods at a time
In the Fall older students are busy reviewing the pieces that they will need for Festival and auditioning for orchestra. We would also like to have informal recitals at this time, at least 4 times a year where the children have the opportunity to play their pieces for others. Please watch for these in the Calendar.
Most importantly group lessons is a place where children can experience more of the fun of playing with friends and develop confidence in themselves. Children who have ample opportunities to review pieces they know and can play them easily begin to relax and enjoy their playing more. See advice from thie award winning Suzuki student.
Ray Chen: I started playing the violin at the age of four. I’m not quite sure where I got the idea; however, I do know that it was my idea, as I picked up the toy guitar, put it under my chin and played it with a chopstick… the lessons then followed. I started with Suzuki Method, which was fun and made me want to play. Every Saturday there would be a “group lesson” where all of my teacher’s students would gather and have a lot of fun. At the time, there were two things that were important to me about those group lessons: the part where I played in front of everybody, and the break where we would snack on cookies and cordial.
My teachers back in Australia have included the Hawkins Family. I studied with them for five years. They were very involved with Suzuki and emphasized the “having fun” part of playing music. It seems like a lot of players these days are forgetting this important aspect, especially as they get older and become more self-conscious.
–1st prize winner Ray Chen about group lessons in his Australian Suzuki childhood.