What To Expect
Students take turns with the instruments, and we add layers of appropriate difficulty as they progress. When it is a young baby's turn with an instrument, we play more quietly for his sensitive ears. Each child is different, and we guide them where they are that day. Always offering an instrument, but never pushing- they gain confidence when they are allowed to progress at their own pace. At the beginning, a young baby may or may not be ready to play a particular instrument- if not, mom or dad gets the "turn" and plays near baby to show her how. Then when baby is ready to try on her own, we praise her effort. This helps all children become confident at trying new things, and "performing" in front of others.
One special aspect of the Suzuki program is that we have two teachers who work together in the class. While one leads an activity, the other prepares the next activity and helps watch the students' reactions as they learn, helping parents celebrate their child's small learning steps each week. At the end of the class period, parents have the opportunity to journal their observations of their child's participation and celebrate their successes that day.
The home environment is very important in Suzuki talent education, so we include a CD and booklet with first-semester registration. We encourage parents to play it at home every day so that the children will learn the music more deeply, and the family will learn the words to the class songs and rhymes and enjoy bonding through musical interaction! It also includes several lullabies that are perfect for calming fussy babies or relaxing at bedtime.
Wondering what to expect when you visit a Suzuki early childhood music class?
Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, everyone is welcome! Each student requires a separate accompanying adult to participate in class. We meet once a week for an hour, and the class is designed to have babies and toddlers of mixed ages (newborn up to four years old). Having little ones of different ages is wonderful- we get to see young babies learn from the older children as they watch them intently. The older toddlers learn to treat babies gently, and often take the initiative to go over to read to them at story time, taking great pride in "teaching" them.
We sing circle songs & nursery rhymes, bouncing and tapping to the beat, we play instruments including the xylophone, glockenspiel (like a xylophone but sounds like tinkling bells), triangle, drums, rain stick, wood block, egg shakers etc., we make up our own songs based on what the children like, learn about high/low, loud/soft, fast/slow, dance with scarves to music and have a brief story time. There is a child-appropriate structure that alternates sitting/standing/dancing & moving so that the children quickly learn to focus for the whole hour! Since many class activities are quite active, we recommend that you wear clothing that is comfortable, cool and easy to move in. We also participate in sock feet (or bare feet!) to create the safest possible environment for our young students.