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PIANO

 
 
 

Gia Antolini, Suzuki Newtown Student performing Sonatina in C Major Op.36 No.3, Spiritoso by Muzio Clementi, won the BMS Chopin Piano Competition 2011 thru 2014.

 
 

PIANO LESSONS

Studying the piano at STES is a wonderful way to help foster in a child the joy of learning. The satisfaction that each child experiences when they successfully take on a challenge and reach their goals is one of the many reasons this program is so valuable.

 
 

EARLY MUSIC EDUCATION

Here at STES, we prefer to start all pre-school aged children in our early music education classes to give them a good musical foundation before they move on to an instrument. Once they have this foundation, which includes listening to the music they will first learn to play on the piano, they are prepared to move on to the instrument. Children who begin in our infant or pre-school music programs can start playing the piano as early as 4 years old. Children who have not been in our pre-school music program and are six years and older can begin lessons on the piano.

About the Suzuki Method | Suzuki Association of the Americas

 
 

HOME TEACHER

One of the core principles in the Suzuki method is the participation of one parent during the lessons. This parent becomes the 'Home Teacher'. The home teacher is responsible for:

  • Taking notes
  • Encouraging and motivating the student
  • Providing the proper environment for successful practice at home.
  • Learning the beginning steps on the instrument.
  • Commitment to learning about the Suzuki philosophy

One does not need a musical background to be the home teacher. All that is required is the desire to provide your child with the support and encouragement to succeed. If the parent is interested, they are welcome to study the instrument along with their child. A basic introduction to the instrument will be provided to each home teacher.

 
 

LESSONS

Beginning students start with a thirty minute lesson. The school offers forty five and sixty minute lessons for more advanced students. The first lessons are for the parent so that they may learn the beginning steps and be able to help their child when they begin lessons.

 
 

OBSERVATIONS

We invite you to come and observe our lessons and classes. This will give you the opportunity to see how we teach and answer any questions you may have about the school. Contact us from our contact page and request to schedule an observation time. Please tell us which instrument you are interested in and an appropriate observation will be scheduled for you.

 
 

WILL MY CHILD LEARN TO READ MUSIC?

All students at STES learn to read music. It is a fundamental skill that is necessary for all musicians. Music theory is introduced to three and four year olds in our pre-school music programs. We delay reading at the instrument until the student has established a basic technique and good posture at the instrument. Once the student does begin reading, it will become a part of their daily practice.

 
 

HOW LONG DO WE NEED TO PRACTICE?

The length of practice time is different for every student. For pre-school children, it can be as short as two or three minutes daily. We never force a child to practice longer than their ability to stay focused. For the very young, it is preferable to have several short practice sessions each day. As the students grow and mature, practice sessions will lengthen. Your teacher will guide you in determining the proper amount of time your practice sessions should be.

 
 

WHY DO WE NEED TO LISTEN TO RECORDINGS?

Listening is crucial to the Suzuki student and to all musicians in general. As the children will first learn to play by ear (before reading is introduced), they will need to internalize the music they are going to learn. The amount of listening differs for each child. When the child is able to hum the tune, they will be able to play it on the instrument. It is important to establish the habit of listening at the very beginning of you Suzuki experience. Students who listen daily, learn their pieces more quickly.

 
 

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MY CHILD TO FINISH A BOOK?

Parents quite naturally want their children to succeed and progress at a good pace. One of the fundamental principles of Suzuki method is that all children will move at their own pace. If we follow through on the assignments given each week and make sure to listen to our recordings, the student will move forward at a steady pace. Some children need more time in certain sections while others move quickly. The actual amount of time it takes a student to finish one of the books is directly related to the amount of effort that is put forth.

 
 

DO WE NEED A PIANO OR CAN WE USE AN ELECTRIC KEYBOARD?

It is best to use a piano. With the advent of digital technology, electric keyboards have come a long way and they can sound just like a piano. The keyboards are designed to even have 'piano action', which simulates the touch of an acoustic piano. The issue is that when you play a keyboard, you are triggering sampled sounds. These are literally recorded sounds that the keyboard replicates when you press a key. It is important for the students to learn to produce good tone on an acoustic piano. Please discuss this with us before you decide on an instrument.

 
 

WHO DO WE NEED AN ADJUSTABLE BENCH AND FOOT STOOL?

Proper posture at the piano is necessary so that we can eliminate any unnecessary tension and allow the fingers and arms to move as naturally as possible. In order to make this possible, the student need to be able to have their feet firmly on the ground and they must be seated at the height which allows their hands and arms to extend over the keys in as natural a way as possible. An adjustable bench will allow you to position your child at the proper height and a footstool can be raised so that your child's feet are not dangling in the air, but on a firm surface. Proper playing posture can be cultivated this way.

 
 

RECOMMENDED READING


  • Nurtured By Love, Sinichi Suzuki
  • Ability Development from Age Zero, Sinichi Suzuki
  • To Learn With Love, William and Constance Starr

These books are available at: www.young-musicians.com