Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The End of the Suzuki Semester

It is hard to believe, but tomorrow marks the end of our first sixteen week Suzuki semester. In a mere four months, our "pre-twinklers" have progressed from struggling to hold a cardboard violin in the correct position without dropping it, to playing their first songs on the most beautiful little violins I have ever seen. They have also gained an understanding of rhythm, performed in three public concerts (including one individual solo performance), and they are beginning to learn violin finger positioning.

The children absolutely adore the program; even when they are not playing they can often be found practicing using sandbox implements, rhythm sticks, or "air bowing." One of their favorite playground games is to take turns pretending to be Erron (their teacher) while having their friends adopt the role of a student performing the very popular "Mississippi Hotdog."

In the next sixteen weeks, the children are going to continue working on perfecting the five Suzuki variations of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. They will also perform an individual solo recital and participate in the Annual Longmont Suzuki Strings Benefit Concert benefitting Operation Smile.

Participants in our integrated Suzuki program attend a weekly lesson, with their parents and our guides, taught by Erron Lacy of Longmont Suzuki Strings. The children practice daily with their parents (15 minutes or more a night). Additionally, the children regularly listen to Suzuki recordings during the school day (and other musical appreciation pieces) to assist them in learning to recognize beautiful tone quality by ear, play together during line time, and have the option of practicing their violins (with the assistance of our Montessori guides) during the independent work periods.

It is so much fun to practice with the children and it has been such a wonderful experience to watch them grow and develop. We absolutely cannot wait to see what the next sixteen weeks bring!

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