The Suzuki Violin Method

Music Classes for Kids

As the director of an early childhood music school that lays the foundations for playing an instrument, I am often asked about the Suzuki violin method for kids. I am also a mother of a 5-year-old who studies violin at a local Suzuki school and I previously taught Suzuki violin so I have a pretty good handle on it and am happy to share my insights here!

What Age Can My Kiddo Start Suzuki Violin?

The Suzuki violin method can be started as early as 3 or 4 years old.

What Exactly is The Suzuki Method?

The method was created by Japanese teacher Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) when he realized that every child can learn to speak their mother tongue with ease. He decided to apply the same principle to teaching violin.  Every child can learn music, he reasoned, if they are given the same tools as when they learn a language: constant repetition, parental involvement, a musical community, patient encouragement, and a lot of listening.

The Suzuki Method involves a weekly private lesson as well as a weekly group lesson with other learners who are at the same level/age.

How Will I Get My Child to Practice Violin?

First off, practice might not look exactly like you think it does. A violin practice, especially with very young learners can be as short as 5 minutes a day and can encompass many different small activities that look more like games than practice. The biggest thing you’ll need to get your child’s practice going is an open mind, patience and a nimble game plan.

My Child Can’t Sit Still/Focus - Can They Still Learn an Instrument?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is, not all music teachers are created equal. If you know your child is working on developing focus, you’ll want to make sure you find a teacher that knows their stuff when it comes to young kids. Sometimes a teacher will give your child a 15 minute lesson in the beginning, sometimes they’ll break up a longer lesson with singing and rhythm games, and sometimes you might be amazed at what a teacher can accomplish when rapport and routine have been established over a period of time.

How Do I Find A Suzuki Violin Teacher in Toronto?

Get in touch with your local Suzuki school and request an opportunity to observe some of their teachers in action. It is common practice in the Suzuki Method to observe a few private and group lessons before starting so don’t be shy. Upper Beaches Music School (east end) and the JCC Suzuki program (mid-town) are both great local options.

My Child Is Too Young To Start Violin - How Can I Prepare?

Enrol in a group music class like Lovenotes School of Music. Our Suzuki based classes for 0-5 year olds in east-end and mid-town Toronto offer your child solid musical foundations as well as opportunities to work towards developing focus and self-control.

Do you have more questions? Leave them in the comments!


Music For Kids - The Trucks Edition

Music for Kids - Trucks Edition

This is the third installment of "Music for Kids" in which we get to know different families and their go-to music. This week we feature Lovenotes kiddo Isaac and his family and get the skinny on all the best truck songs to add to your playlist and repertoire! 

The Child: Isaac - age 2.5 with a sibling on the way!

The mom: Krista Fogel is an east-end Toronto mom and photographer* and Lovenotes parent.

Why is music or music making important to your family?

It's the best way to raise your voice.  

What kind of music did you listen to before being a mom?

Somewhat of a variety ~ Joel Plaskett, Johnny Cash, U2, Regina Spektor, Joanna Newsom, GnR, and all the stuff that independent coffee shops were made of at the time:  Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Mumford & Sons, Florence and the Machine, Phoenix, and a throwing in of Beyonce and Madonna. 

What was your favourite music as a small child?

My favourite song was Baby Beluga by Raffi. Other faves:  Sharon, Lois and Bram, Fred Penner, Marcy (Sunday School songs), Heino (some old time German singer), and other eclectic findings when you grow up with older parents :)

Did you or do you sing your kids lullabies or songs to calm them down? 

The Mockingbird Song, with new made-up verses, makes its way into every nighttime routine.  "... if that diamond ring don't shine, mama's gonna buy you a big combine..."( I grew up in Saskatchewan.) 

My son is big on vehicles too so almost every song has to incorporate them... We love singing "You are my sunshine," but more like "You are my snowplow."  Or "Backhoe."  Or "Drilling rig," etc.  Really some beautifully inspired lyrics.

What are your kids favourite songs to dance to?

"If You're Happy and You Know It"  and songs from the Lovenotes classes like "Ring around the Rosie."  

What is your child's favourite songs to sing?

"Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key" by the Small Glories, "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash, and all the songs about different trucks from "Twenty Trucks" by Rob Gardner (this guy is brilliant... if you have a kid into trucks and don't know about this yet, you're welcome!)

Any other favourite music videos?

My son loves "Baa Baa Black Sheep" on YouTube by Tiny School.  It's a must-watch!  I might like it even more...

Does your little one love singing and dancing too? Why not try out a free trial class with Lovenotes School of Music. In our parent/child music classes our expertise lies in building solid musical foundations for 0-5 year olds in a fun and nurturing environment.

*Krista is the lead photographer at Krista Fogel Photography.  Her work focuses on fun, fresh and bright family and small business photography. She is so in love with both of her jobs.