At a Suzuki Institute every student will have a Masterclass. A Masterclass is a 1 hour semi private lesson. Students will be placed in a Masterclass with other students at the same or similar level. Masterclasses for students who are in twinkles-Book 2 will typically have 4 students in their class. Masterclasses for students in Book 3 and up will usually have 3 students in their class.
In each Masterclass a teacher will commonly have each student play their polished piece at the first class to get to know them. After that the teacher will pick one small practice project for each student to practice before the next masterclass. This will generally be something to help improve a specific skill (like Tone!) during the week.
Hard to believe that we are already in our third year! Early bird registration is now open for SDSI's 2019 session. This will be our biggest year yet with lots of new class options.
Here is a sneak preview for 2019 offerings:
+Every Child Can (ECC)
-introduction to Suzuki philosophy, prerequisite for all training
+Violin Unit 1 with Cathy Lee
-amazing chance to work with a world-class violin pedagogue
+Cello Unit 2 with Alice Ann O’Neill*
-one of the best in the cello biz
*Cello Unit 1 is being offered at LA Institute this year; timing is such that you can do both!
+Supplemental Viola repertoire for intermediate students with Elizabeth (Betsy) Steuen-Walker
-Betsy specializes in the rare field of viola pedagogy
+Teaching Alternative Styles—from improvisation to rock n’ roll—to Suzuki students with Avi Friedlander
-Avi is a highly sought-after clinician who integrates jazz/pop/rock into his classical Suzuki teaching
+Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Stage 1 with Danette Schuch*
-a rare opportunity to learn non-instrument specific teaching strategies for the very youngest students
*children 4 and under may also be registered for this training as a class
5. There are many paths in music
At a Suzuki Institute the teacher may show you a different way of learning then your home teacher. Please do not assume that one or the other is wrong as there are many paths to the same goal in music. Make sure to trust both your home teacher, Suzuki Institute teacher and yourself. That way you can gain as much as possible from a Suzuki Institute. Assist both teachers by being open to trying new things. Remember that the ultimate goal is to help your child grow and develop through the study of music.
4. Trust the Teacher’s Judgement
Please do not be discouraged if the time distribution is not exactly equal in a masterclass at the Suzuki Institute. The Institute teacher will use their own judgement to divide the class in a way that is most helpful for all of the students. Sometimes if one child is a good example of a certain point the teacher will use that student to show that point to everyone else (parents included). If a student is not able to be productive one day the teacher may choose to ease the burden on the child by releasing him or her earlier. Some young children learn best by watching until they are ready to try it themselves. It is best not to try to push or embarrass your child if they are having a tough day as gentle exposure and care will always lead to good results at a Suzuki Institute.
The San Diego Suzuki Institute is continuing to expand its teacher training offerings this year with three different classes:
10:00am - 5:00pm
Every Child Can!
Taught by Elizabeth Stuen-Walker
Every Child Can! is an introductory course on the Suzuki philosophy and its application to education. For parents, teachers, prospective teachers and others, this course provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the Suzuki approach to teaching and learning. For teachers, ECC serves as the first course in the Suzuki Association of the Americas Teacher Development Program.
July 30 - August 3
9:00am - 4:00pm
Overview of Viola Units 1-3 for Violin Teachers
Taught by Elizabeth Stuen-Walker
A survey of viola books 1-3. Teachers attending the course need to have completed an SAA audition and have violin or viola units 1-3 already registered in order to attend.
This overview course is 15 hours total with 8 hours of observation time. Both violin and viola teachers are invited to attend.
July 28 - August 4
Starts at 10am July 28. Ends 1pm August 4. Daily schedule will vary.
Cello Unit 1
Taught by Alice Ann O'Neill
28 hours of instruction and 15 hours of observation. 100% participation is required in order to register the class.
All participants must adhere to the Teacher Audition Guide. This means that Ever Child Can and video audition must be completed before attending the course.
3. Preparing for each Suzuki Institute Masterclass
Individual practice for the masterclass is very vital during a Suzuki Institute. It should first on your practice list. Orchestra, ensemble music, fiddling, and reading take second place to that but should also be practiced as well. The most helpful things parents can do at the masterclass is to take very careful notes during the lessons. This is so that you know exactly what to work on for the next masterclass and so you can report back to the home teacher about what you worked on during the week. Your home teacher will benefit from knowing exactly what you worked on during your week at a Suzuki Institute. Remember to have an open mind. Most likely students will be asked to play things differently with a Suzuki Institute teacher then with your home teacher. You will want to be open to new suggestions and trying things in new ways.
2. Ask your home teacher what to work on with the Suzuki Institute Teacher.
When you decide to go to a Suzuki Institute make sure to ask your currently teacher what they would like you to work on with the Institute teacher. Most Suzuki Institutes will offer a masterclass with one of the teachers at the Suzuki Institute. This will give you the opportunity to suggest to the Suzuki Institute teacher what your home teacher would like reinforced. If your child has trouble holding their violin properly make sure to mention this to the Suzuki Institute teacher as an area that you would like them to address. The teacher will most likely spend part of each masterclass stressing posture and coming up with new ways to do this during the Suzuki Institute week. The end result of this could be that your child will no longer have trouble holding the violin properly after a week at the Suzuki Institute.
1. Performance Opportunities
Many Suzuki Institutes will provide opportunities or solo performances. Some of these will be performances that anyone can sign up for while others will require an audition process. Some institutes will have an audition process before it begins or on the first day of the institute. If you plan on auditioning it is best to choose a piece that is at a high performance level. Usually it is best if it is a piece that your child has already performed before in front of an audience. That way the student is very comfortable with the piece and will enjoy the experience. If playing at an institute is new for your child then we want to make this as positive an experience as possible. Performing a piece your child knows extremely well is one way to help. Please note that at some Suzuki Institutes only a small number of students will be selected to play after the audition process. It should not be the main focus of your institute experience.
There are several important things to bring to a Suzuki institute to improve the experience. You should bring a cd player or have some way of listening to the recordings each day. Make sure to bring all the your Suzuki repertoire books to the Institute. If you are playing any non Suzuki solo piece make sure to bring the music and piano accompaniment as well. This is so your master class teacher will be able to see what you and your home teacher have worked on in your music. Also if you plan on performing in a solo recital it is a good idea to have a copy of the accompaniment part for the pianist. This is in case they do not have the music or are unable to get it in time or the recital. A music stand is the next must have item at an institute. This is so you have a way of practicing either in your room or anywhere in case a practice room or music stand is unavailable. Other important items include a pencil and eraser for orchestra/ensemble classes, metronome for more advanced students, a way of taking notes at each lesson, and a bag to carry everything in. the last and most important thing to bring is your smile and a good measure of patience!