About Sensei & The Program


About Sensei/ Ms. Glenda Walsh Crouse

I began Westminster Suzuki Strings in 2003 to provide high quality violin instruction that’s actually fun!

As of June 2022 I have entered my 19th year of educating young artists. I began my own violin journey as a suzuki kid in the early 1990’s! I currently reside in Westminster, MD with my husband Greg and our cats. I have studied Violin Performance, Suzuki violin pedagogy, Music Education, Therapeutic Music as well as hospice and palliative care at Carroll Community College, Towson University, The Greater Washington Suzuki Institute and the Larner College of Medicine (University of Vermont). In addition to teaching music, I also work as a Clinical Musician (therapeutic music) and Death Doula (End of Life care, Hospice/Palliative care). I provide care in the ICU, NICU, PICU and other medical settings.

How do families address you?

We use a lot of Japanese customs and etiquette in the studio. We use the international bow as a greeting and Japanese honorifics. Dr. Suzuki was from Japan and asked his teachers to instruct students with these customs. Much of the Suzuki philosophy stems from Japanese culture and is the basis for how/what/what we do. Parents may address me by first name or the same manner as their child. Students will address me as:

  • Sensei (pronounced “sen-say”, Japanese)
    • Sensei (先生) meaning “teacher” or literally translated, “born first” or “one who has gone before”. A Sensei is a person who has knowledge and is willing to give that knowledge to another. This honorific is not gender specific, it’s applied to people of all genders and identities.
  • My Pronouns: She/her/hers

The Program

Children ages 2.5 + accepted.

  • Weekly Wednesday Group Classes (rotational schedule)
    • Multi-level, whole studio group class
    • Note Reading Club
    • Violin Story time
    • Pre-Twinkle Level group
  • Weekly Individual Lesson
  • Performance opportunities:
    • Fun Group concerts
    • Relaxed Home Concerts
    • Formal Solo Recitals (optional)
      • Organized & funded by students family
      • Or, through SAGWA

Classes Open to the Public:

  • Public classes offered that don’t require studio enrollment:
    • Clapping Class
    • Multi-level, full studio Group class
    • Violin Story Time
    • Note Reading Club
    • Pre-Twinkle Violin Demo (try a violin at the library)
    • Ready, Set, VIOLIN! library program
    • Observation of repertoire group class and individual lessons.
    • Attending Graduation Concerts

Materials

Materials required for lessons are included in tuition fees, except violin purchase/rental.

  • Violin rentals run from $25-$40 per month through local and online music stores.
  • Do not get a violin before lessons begin.
  • Practice space app (free). Invite sent upon enrollment.
  • My Music Staff account (free). Invite sent upon enrollment.

Practice Expectations

Practice means to make easy.

Practice materials, recordings and videos are provided to aid in home practice.

Adult will practice WITH child to ensure good habits are forming until age 9-10. Adult who will practice with the child is the adult that will attend the lessons.

Families are never dismissed from the program due to lack of practice. However, rate of progress is directly related to the effort put in.

  • 4-6 days per week. Group class and lessons count towards practice days. Outside of classes with me, you’ll need 2-4 days per week to practice at home.

Total time per day:

  • Pre-Twinkle: 5 minutes working up to 15.
  • Twinkles: 15-30 minutes.
  • Books 1-3: 30-45 minutes.
  • Books 4+: 1-2 hours.
  • Auditioning for Music major program: 3 hours.


Tuition


Program Acceptance

Everyone is encouraged to enroll in our program! Families begin with our orientation process. After successful completion of this process, families are invited to officially enroll in the program.

Requirements:

  • Child is aged 2.5+
  • Family schedule allows for full program participation (attend group class, individual lessons and Concerts).

Orientation Process

Our orientation process is to ensure that children are fully ready to begin formal lessons. It also helps to grow trust between family and Sensei, an essential component to a nurturing environment.

Orientation ensures that adults are well informed in program expectations and the Suzuki Philosophy of Education before making a commitment. 

The orientation process sets up a regular practice and attendance routine, instructs adults ahead of children and builds motivation.

You will not fully grasp how the program works until you immerse your family fully. Orientation provides the environment and opportunity to explore before committing to the Suzuki Violin Community.


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