For the parent or for the child …

Many parents have enjoyed music and have passed this enjoyment onto their children. Music lessons are a logical step towards building that enjoyment.
Some people want to give their child piano lessons because they regret not having accomplished it themselves. Maybe they started as a child and were discouraged and didn’t like the lessons. Possibly they were not given the opportunity for a musical education. Now they want their child to have something they didn’t receive. Many families feel that it is an important part of their life, their traditions and want their children to carry these traditions forward. I, myself, felt it was as important to my own children’s education as the curriculum they were receiving at school. Music is a development in the humanization of the soul, a door to inner self-discipline, and a joy to the heart and mind.
I really never gave my children a choice. It was never up for discussion. It was a integral part of their lives at a very young age. Everyone around them was involved in music in some fashion, whether it was playing an instrument or singing in the church choir.

But it wasn’t easy…

Finding ways to keep children involved in music and still loving it is not an easy task. I’ve watched many parents through the years. Watched them searching for this idea or that in an effort to keep their child practicing. Heard angry voices, looked at unsmiling faces; high expectations, low results. Is this what it’s suppose to be about? Not really, but sometimes it does happen. Probably the most difficult part is remembering that children are learning how to master what you already expect them to know. They are learning how to practice. They are learning the art of self-discipline. They are learning the love of music. They don’t already know these things. They are still children…and will be for a long time. So through trial and error, we parents learn many lessons about children. I went through my own “parent training” the same way many parents do. I never gave up no matter how bad things looked at times because I knew to give in would be to forfeit the greatest gift I could give to my children. My oldest daughter followed music as a profession and my youngest still picks up that violin once in a while.

This takes a lot of time…

It sure does. But taking care of your children will always take time, much more time then you expect.   However, in this busy day and age, when parents don’t seem to spend enough time with their children, you will have that problem solved. Watching their lessons, helping them practice and supervising their listening skills, is an optimum way to develop the close relationship you desire with your children. Giving your time in this important pursuit will them know how much you care about their musical growth and how you feel about the importance of what they are doing.

Starting at the age of 4…

The Suzuki approach was developed for very young children. They start by playing an instrument first and learning to read music later. I also start them in what I call a “duo” lesson. They share their lesson time with a partner. There are a couple reasons for this. Since a young child’s attention span is rather short they need sit still for less time. Also, because both parents watch the lesson twice, they are not distracted by their child’s performance at the lesson and they gain a better understanding and clarification of the lesson by watching the other student. The children also watch each other’s lesson. I have started 3 ½ year old girls with success. I limit the starting age for beginning Suzuki students to no older then 6.


Adults and older students

Adults and students over the age of six are given the more traditional approach. However, since I’m a great advocate of separating keyboard skills from music reading skills, my approach is not strictly traditional. Music should be fun and an expression of your musical passion. Each lesson is individualized to suit the age and passion of the student. This is usually effective in encouraging students to seek that which they need to become more proficient at what they love to do.

Location

Los Angeles, California. A neighborhood in the north central part of the city, between Glendale and Pasadena. Five minutes from three major freeways; the 134 on the north, the 5 on the south and the 2 at the bottom of the hill. Overlooking Eagle Rock.

Lessons Rates

30 minute private:  $30
45 minutes:            $45
One hour:              $60

Getting Started: An interview with parent and child lets us get to know each other.  Watching a lesson is also the best way to get acquainted. You will need to purchase materials for notetaking, the Suzuki Piano Volume 1 cd and the Suzuki Piano Volume book.  I will also request that you join International Suzuk Association and SMAC/LA.