1) Listen to music.
Since music is a language and the best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it, it is important for all students to listen to a lot of music. In order to fully absorb the language of music, students must listen to the repertoire they will learn. Piano students must listen to the Suzuki Piano School Book 1 (International Edition) recording daily for at least one month before the start of lessons.
2) Learn about the Suzuki Philosophy.
The best way to learn about this child-centered approach to making is to read Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki. A quick read, this book outlines how a child can naturally and joyfully learn music with the loving support of parents and the gentle guidance of a teacher.
3) Observe four lessons.
The best way to determine whether the student is a good fit is to observe actual lessons. Observing lessons also allows the student and parent to understand what happens during lessons, understand the process of learning an instrument, and learn about the Suzuki philosophy. Students who observe lessons also tend to be more comfortable with the teacher and studio’s environment, usually gaining excitement for their upcoming lessons. The day after each observation, the parent will have a phone conversation with Barbie to debrief and ask questions.
4) Acquire a high-quality instrument.
Students must have an acoustic instrument. Please purchase or rent the highest quality instrument your family can afford. The better the instrument, the easier it will be to learn. An acoustic instrument sensitizes the student’s ears and fingers to create beautiful sounds from the very beginning.
5) Attend a Parent Education Class.
In this one-hour class, you will learn how to make music lessons and practicing at home successful. Once the 4 lessons are observed, arrange to have these classes with Barbie. Please inquire about the cost of the observations and parent education classes.
6) Be prepared to attend lessons with your child and make time to practice daily with your child.
Being present at the lesson allows the parent to fully understand how to help with practicing at home. One parent must attend the weekly lesson so that music-making will be successful.
7) Read the guidelines for current students and agree to abide by them.