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.

Regular participation in all group classes, lessons & concerts are required to hold your place in the program.

  • Weekly Wednesday Group Class (required)
  • Weekly Individual Lesson (required)
  • Graduation Concerts (October & April-required)
  • Formal Solo Recitals (optional)
    • Organized & funded by students family
    • Or, through SAGWA

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). Regular participation in group classes, lessons & concerts are required to hold your place in the program.
  • The adult who attends lessons with the child will need the availability to practice at home with the child, if under age 10.
  • Tuition is collected during this process as families are placed on the schedule—participating in group classes & individual lessons.

Orientation Process

Our orientation process is to ensure that families are ready to begin formal lessons. The process 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.

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.

The orientation process takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months, depending on the family needs and ability to dedicate time outside of lessons for study.
Do not get a violin before you enroll. Unless your child is a transfer student, they will begin on a box violin.


Materials

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

  • Do not get a violin before you enroll. Unless your child is a transfer student with 6 months of lessons, they will begin on a box violin.
  • Sensei determines the size violin your child needs.
  • Violin rentals run from $10-$40 per month through local and online music stores. Rentals not included in your tuition.
  • Families may purchase or rent an instrument. All instruments purchased outside of a Music store must be approved by Sensei (Amazon, ebay, Facebook etc). Many of the violins for sale under $300 are toys—they are not real instruments and are not suitable for lessons.

Practice Expectations

Practice means to make easy.

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

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.

4-6 days per week

Group class and the lesson 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

Every child can, also means breaking down socio-economic barriers.

  • All children should have access to high quality education regardless of income and social status. Therefore, I aim to make tuition fees affordable and equitable. This is why tuition fees are not listed on the website– let’s have a conversation that can lead us to making sure lessons are affordable for your family.
  • Tuition Fees are discussed at our in-person prospective family meetings.
  • If you are not able to afford tuition as quoted, or if your circumstances change, please reach out to complete an application for reduced tuition fees. Household income and number of family members considered. Credit score is not a factor.
  • Visit the policies page to learn when payment is due and what forms of payment are accepted.
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