The interaction between a single teacher and a single student is at the core of the Virtuoso Suzuki Academy philosophy of music education. Each student’s needs are identified right from the beginning and a process of matching with either a more structured or a more flexible teacher begins.
Depending on the student’s age and interests, the appropriate teaching method is chosen. With each person, we take the time to match up teachers and students based not only on schedules, but also on learning styles and preferences.
Our unique approach to teaching music involves communication and goal setting as well as designing a program that meets the unique needs of each student — adapting to his or her challenge level, assessing technical strengths and weaknesses, and creating an atmosphere tailored to the student’s own learning style.
Our faculty members are entrusted with the mission and core values of the school and their daily work represents the Virtuoso Suzuki Academy’s dedication to educational and artistic achievements.
The Beginner Piano Ensemble Program
The Beginner Piano Ensemble Program classes are an effective way to start learning a new instrument in a fun and engaging environment. This class is open to both Suzuki and non-Suzuki students with no prior knowledge of note reading skills.
Goals will include:
- playing solo for each other in an informal game rather than a strict concert setting
- playing solfege and rhythm games with activities such as: echo playing, improvising, composing a unique piece all based on the melody and/or rhythm taught and by using flash cards
- playing children’s unique compositions at the piano
- singing together using solfege.
- playing piano duets
- reviewing old songs for building a strong piano repertoire
The Advanced Piano Ensemble Program
The Advanced Piano Ensemble Program enhances each student’s piano skills and leads to more rapid development. Students are grouped by level and age. This program provides a fun and enriching experience for pianists by creating the opportunity to discover the joy of making music with others.
Enrollment in the Piano Ensemble Program is limited to students who have at least one year of instruction, basic knowledge of note reading and are looking to expand their sight reading and ensemble playing abilities.
Goals will include:
- playing solo for each other with students learning how to come up with encouraging comments on each other’s performance
- playing piano duets/trios/quartets
- playing out of chamber music repertoire with instruments other than the piano (violin, viola, cello, voice) in preparation for the Chamber Music Class
- developing the skills of an ensemble player in preparation for the future role of an accompanist
- learning the aural training skills by using the solfege method along with commonly-used public school systems, such as the ABC method in preparation for future chorus activity
- improving the knowledge of the treble and bass clefs and general sight-reading skills by using exercises in the form of games
Chamber Music Program
The importance of chamber music in students’ education cannot be overestimated. It teaches them how to hear themselves as others hear them, how to be objective, and how to hear the music all around them. It also teaches them how to adjust to their colleagues at all times. This is a very different experience from practicing or working alone.
The Chamber Music Program is a 6-week program culminating in a performance. The level, repertoire, and instructor will vary depending on the combination of instruments.
This program is open to all the students of the Virtuoso Suzuki Academy with prior knowledge of sight- reading skills.
This unique program offers students an opportunity to understand the interpretation of the pieces they are working on in a larger context of the music history and music theory. By being able to analyze the pieces theoretically, students will be able to choose an appropriate phrasing, and dynamic contour. By knowing the historical circumstances of the piece’s origin, students will be able to apply the right style and articulation.
One might think of a painter equipped with good quality paints, brushes, easel and a few basic painting techniques. Such a painter will not be able to recreate stylistically correctly a battle scene of Napoleon’s army, for example, without knowing the historical circumstances of the battle, without studying the soldiers’ uniforms and insignia of that era and without being exposed to other paintings which have been painted during those historic times.
Both the music theory and music history concepts are explained appropriately to the specific age group with necessary worksheets provided and hands-on activities involving practical use of the student’s specific instrument.
This class is open to all the students of all instruments of the Virtuoso Suzuki Academy.
Non-Virtuoso Suzuki Academy students will be accepted based on a placement interview.