Suzuki Violin School of Santa Barbara

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The Suzuki Violin School of Santa Barbara provides the highest level of violin, viola, cello, and classical guitar instruction, for the beginning to advanced player. Director Valerie Malvinni has been teaching violin and viola since 1996, and is a professional violinist and violist who performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Currently she also teaches violin, viola and ensembles at local colleges.

The School is committed to excellence in both teaching and performing. We believe in fostering a nurturing and positive environment to enable students to achieve their full musical potential. Unlocking an individual’s talent through the development of proper technique leads to a lifetime of enjoyment of music, and also paves the way for powerful musical expression.

We incorporate in our teaching Dr. Suzuki’s mother-tongue approach, the idea that music acquisition can be modeled on how children acquire language. At its core the Suzuki approach has a curriculum and set of common pieces that all students learn by memory. The Suzuki approach uses Baroque dances through the Mozart violin concertos to develop a young student’s artistic sensibility. By focusing on a common repertoire, students from around the world are able to play with each other, as they all speak the same language of pieces. This has created a powerful worldwide community of players who share a similar background.

Yet a common misconception is that Suzuki students only play from the Suzuki books; Dr. Suzuki himself taught other pieces to his own students. Many of the supplementary pieces have now been gathered and are sanctioned by the Suzuki Association board, such as Fritz Kreisler’s “Preludium and Allegro.” Beyond the Mozart concertos (books 9 and 10), students continue to learn the standard violin repertoire, as for example the Bach sonatas and partitas, the Brahms’s violin sonatas, and the Bruch/Mendelssohn/ Tchaikovsky violin concertos. At the Suzuki Violin School of Santa Barbara, students who have finished with the Suzuki books in either violin or viola can work with Valerie on furthering their artistic training. Valerie has much experience with pre-college training and she began her teaching at the college level.

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