About the Suzuki School of Santa Barbara
The Suzuki Violin and School of Santa Barbara provides the highest level of guitar, viola, cello, and classical violin lessons, for the beginning to advanced player. We believe that musical expression also forms character, and that playing a string instrument can help a student develop as a responsible person.
Director Valerie Malvinni has been teaching violin and viola lessons in Santa Barbara since 1996, and is a professional violinist and violist who perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her husband, David, specializes in classical guitar, cello, and beginner piano. In addition to kid's music lessons, they currently perform in local schools on violin, viola and guitar.
The School is committed to excellence in both teaching and performing. We also sponsor summer music camp or programs that include recreational activities to help make better string players. We foster 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 from J.S. Bach 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 dynamic worldwide community of string players who share a background and purpose.
Yet a common misconception is that Suzuki students only play from the Suzuki books and do not know how to sight read. Yet Dr. Suzuki himself taught other pieces to his own students, and now most Suzuki teachers will incorporate reading as early as book two (book one if the student is older). 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.