Suzuki Method Early childhood music classes. Suitable for children ages 3-5.

Currently enrolling for spring quarter. March 7th to May 30th. Thursday at 10:30 or 11 am. $66   

Goals

The objective of the Sprouts program is to create an environment, free from pressure in which children can develop skills, a sense of purpose in life, an understanding of discipline and an appreciation of beauty.  Based on the Suzuki concept Mother Tongue Approach, in which children develop skills in the same manner that they acquire their native language. Read more about Dr. Suzuki’s Mother Tongue Approach here.

Class Structure

Our program is diveded into 4 units. Each unit is made of 11 classes. Classes meet weekly for 30 minutes. See the calendar

Maximum class size is 10 children. No materials required.

Units 1-3 cover general music concepts and skills that transfer to study of any instrument. Unit 4 prepares students for violin instruction (pre-twinkle class).

Classes are age mixed (3-5 years). With a larger age range the natural outcome is of socialization that focus on the learning needs of the individual child. Older children gain confidence and sensitivity by becoming good role models and teachers for younger children. Younger children are inspired and motivated by the work or older children.

Curriculum

Beginning with music and the ear, children establish confidence and approaches to learning that will last a lifetime. A strong bond between parent and child is the center of the approach and provides the platform on which widening skills can be practiced. Increased concentration time rewards both the child with new learning and the parent with cooperative behaviour.

We begin by introducing one small skill at a time. After a skill is mastered, a new skill is layered on top. We continue in this new and review pattern, never dropping concepts just a child doesn’t drop words form thier vocabulary as they are mastered.

Using stories about nature, music, and child life children learn about their world in an integrated way at their own pace. Concepts reinforced by activities at home with parents. We believe that a child’s first and more important teacher is their parent.

Music concepts focus on maintaining a steady beat, rhythms, melody, vocal development, ear training, musical movement. We also focus on physical skills necessary for instrumental play such as balance, coordination, large motor skillls and fine motor skills.

Life and social skills form another area for focus. Children gain familiarity with the teacher and studio, become acquainted with other students and parents. Children learn to work in a group. Everyone learns to cooperate in the parent/teacher/child triangle. Children also learn to listen, to follow instructions and gain responsibility through clean-up from our activities.

Suzuki Concepts

Every child can learn

Suzuki educators, know that ability is firmly and gradually developed at one level before introducing the next level. An important facet of Suzuki teaching is the “education of Momma”. This does not refer to the “Mother Tongue Approach” but was used by Suzuki to point out the importance of the parents in the process. The thorough mastery of one skill will ensure success as the next skill is introduced. Parents must not hurry the child but allow for confidence before proceeding. Parents and teachers must not “give up”. Just as every parent knows that their child will learn and speak their native language fluently, other abilities can be developed.

Ability develops early

Success in one task will lead to more success. The earlier a child learns the satisfaction that comes with success, the earlier that child can move on to new skill development in any of the domains. (cognitive, affective kinesthetic)

Environment nurtures growth

When parents, teachers and adults around the child are supportive and helpful, when they reward the child with positive feedback for efforts they make and when they show acceptance of the small successes that children have, the environment is nurturing and helpful for growth

Children learn from one another

Children who play with other children learn from them. All children use their senses for learning and their senses will motivate them to imitate their peers(especially if it looks like fun). They identify readily with children who are a little older and represent a “working” model. They often look to children just a little younger to practice the social skills that they have learned from older children.

Success breeds success

Success in any task has some implicit rewards but when the environment provides some social or physical rewards like approval or a hug, the child quickly learns to repeat the effort.

Parental involvement is critical

When parents are supportive and actively help children, their accurate feedback helps the process of learning to focus and learning becomes thoroughly mastered. Although a child learns by experience to avoid a hot stove after touching it, the feedback for much learning is more often muted and needs to be supported by an adult.

Encouragement is essential

The social reward of a supportive parent or adult (or other child) will speed the learning and remove doubt about what constitutes success in a child’s learning experience. No encouragement negates the fundamental reward of success in any learning experience. It is possible for the physical environment to provide the reward necessary but if there is no encouragement from any aspect, the learning is not complete.