Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can my child begin lessons?
"Ability development from age zero"
The learning process of the children starts at birth - if not before. At the Suzuki School Lucerne / Zurich / Basel we offer a "Baby Music Class" for children from birth up to three years of age. In this class the parent and child are introduced to the world of music and prepared for the instrumental lessons to come.
The instrumental lessons usually start between three and four years of age.
I am not sure which instrument is right for my child. How should I proceed?
Contact us to discuss this and make a time to observe and listen at another student’s individual lesson. Additionally, we also have frequent group lessons and several annual concerts you can attend. (More information you can find under "Anlässe") These are good occasions to bring the children and parents closer to the different instruments.
Certainly, listening to appropriate music and attending other concerts will also help guide this decision.
I would like my child to start Suzuki violin lessons: How should I do this?
Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will arrange for you and your child to first come and observe an individual lesson as well as at least one group lesson. The schedule for our group lessons can be found on our website under “Atelierplan.”
It is important to look at the Saturday group lesson schedule and be certain that this as well as daily practice will fit into your family life.
Can my child start lessons during the school year?
Yes, this is fine as long as there is an available lesson time.
(Note: The teaching timetable is rescheduled annually.)
Can we prepare for the first violin lesson?
Yes. Start by listening to the Violin Book 1 Suzuki CD daily. Make a plan as to how you will integrate this into your daily routine. In addition to daily practice, listening to the Suzuki CD daily is essential.
You could listen to the CD in the car, during breakfast, during playtime, at bed time…
Am I correct in understanding that a parent also rents a violin for the beginning lessons?
It is not only very helpful but also very encouraging to the child when the parent/caregiver has a violin and learns along with them in the beginning. The parent brings the violin to each lesson and a small amount of time is allotted to them to show them what the child has learned and will practice.
However, parents do not participate in concerts or group lessons.
If a parent finds they enjoy learning the violin and would like to eventually take their own lesson, this can also be arranged.
What do we need to bring to the first violin lesson?
You do not need to bring a violin to the first lesson. The teacher will first help you determine the correct size instrument and accessories (i.e. should rest) for your child and then you can rent one from a local shop for the following lesson.
A notebook. It is good to get into the habit of making note of what the child will practice each week.
The Suzuki Violin Book 1. In the beginning the child will not use the book. They learn by ear. But it is helpful for the parents to read the content and information in the book and follow along with the pieces and exercises the child is working on.
How important are the group lessons?
The group lessons are just as important as the one-to-one lessons and daily practice. These components combined – weekly individual lesson, daily practice and group lesson – in addition to various size concerts, solo performances, workshops and other events – together form the basis of the Suzuki approach.
Do parents participate in the group lessons?
Parents passively participate in the group lessons. They do not play their violins in the group lessons, but should be present and attentive. Observe what the various teachers do, take notes, get to know other parents, observe other children…
Do students have to practice daily?
"Just practice on the days you eat". (S. Suzuki)
From the start it is important that you consider and plan when and where your child’s daily practice will be. Regularity and the quality of practice are more important than the duration of practice.
Additionally, listening to the CD should be done on a daily basis. This can be combined with other activities (i.e. during mealtime, playtime, reading, painting, etc…
It is important that you discuss with your teacher, from the start, any uncertainties with regard to practice.
Are siblings permitted to attend and listen to the individual and group lessons?
Yes, siblings are always welcome. It is important though that the parent can devote their full attention to the student, and that the siblings can occupy themselves independently and quietly (reading, drawing, doing a puzzle, etc…)