Suzuki Violin Group Classes

In addition to private lessons, Suzuki students attend a group class. The group class serves many pedagogical purposes, some of which are:

  1. solidifying the memorization of the common repertory;
  2. learning to watch, listen, and follow the teacher (preparation for orchestra);
  3. reviewing of difficult spots of the pieces.

During a typical group class, students play through a few pieces together. In some instances, The teacher will often pick out a hard passage or two that the students will then go over in a number of different ways, breaking it down to its components. Students develop the ability to react quickly to changing circumstance, as the teacher will often introduce new bowing or bowing techniques, or different fingerings, or new rhythms applied to the music.

The other main benefit of group class is that students get an opportunity to play with their peers. They often make new friends, and they feel part of a larger community of fellow string players. The group experience can often be an inspiring catalyst to practice more and harder at home, as students can begin to see how they stack up against other students. As such, the Suzuki environment provides for healthy competition—students are never put down because of where they are on the path to playing, but are constantly encouraged to try their best to increase their potential. By playing with others, a student can more quickly grasp where they might need improvement, which leads to a deeper understanding and commitment to the instrument.

The Suzuki group class thus augments and enhances a student’s private lessons. In no way does a group class substitute for the benefit of a private lesson, where a student receives one-on-one instruction. And in the ways outlined above, a Suzuki group class is usually at a much higher and productive level than group string classes that are commonly taught in public or private schools. Suzuki group classes already assume that a student can play, and are a time to refine pieces and skills already learned.