Why is there a picture of Candyland on this Suzuki piano blog? Well, if I told you that for $20-30, this little game has joyfully produced thousands of repetitions with as much precision and detail I have requested, would you go out and try it? These are a little pricier than the standard versions, but you need one that opens up vertically in the middle. I always keep a roll of clear contact paper in my studio for parents that are taking the challenge and buying a Chutes n' Ladders or Candyland game. Using a piece of doubled sticky tape and a colorful piece of paper, I move the game pieces around the board every when we complete four repetitions. Do I have more musically relevant games as well? Yes, I do, but this is a favorite and I ask for lots of thinking and perfection during repetitions, so why make the game anything but mindless fun? Suzuki piano focuses on the nurturing of the whole child including his sense of fun!
My four children and I all attended Music Together classes when they were first born before I found out more about the Suzuki Early Childhood Education program this year. It is a wonderful music experience for ages zero to five. Even though my cute guys were probably the "busiest bees" in the class, they all now sing with wonderful rhythm and pitch and are picking up Suzuki piano easily. Starting them as babies got music into their ears and bodies and now they both gravitate to music and dancing as well as assimilate Suzuki piano pieces with ease. Basic rhythmic and melodic compentency are the joyful goals of Music Together classes. The forward step to private Suzuki piano lessons is much the same in a structured environment for ages three and up and is a perfect complement to any Music Together experience.
Many Suzuki teachers begin private lessons around age 3 or 4, however the very best time to begin music classes is actually at birth. Dorothy Jones was given the commission by Dr. Suzuki to develop a program that would provide a musically rich environment from age zero for parents and their children. She took this challenge to heart and over several decades began what is now known as SECE--Suzuki Early Childhood Education. Although some would say that even age three is too young, Dr. Suzuki would say three is three year too late:)
We are soon opening our first classes in the area in Orangevale, CA. If you would like to become a part of our maiden voyage, you will have an enjoyable experience and bring the power of beautiful music into your child's ears and heart. You will end up taking away from the experience much more than you could imagine.
Everyone child can be trained to hear the incredible differences between tones, phrases, rhythms and melodies. We want to develop a high level of skill through joyful nurture and teaching.
(Heather Williams is the owner of the Suzuki Piano Academy and has been teaching group classes for age zero to five for over 12 years. She has been teaching private Suzuki piano lessons for 28 years.)
Our Suzuki Piano Academy will be performing at Eskaton of Fair Oaks on November 16th at 10:00 a.m. We would like 15 to 20 Suzuki pianists to share their music with the center and for families to consider donating a few dollars to a gift certificate for Marie Callendar pies. We are gifting the pies towards the staff and resident's Thanksgiving dinner raffle. If you would like to participate or donate, please contact Heather Williams at 916-397-1404 by text. We will be making sweet little notes or pictures on Yellow stars to hand out to give to the center's bulletin board. Formal attire please.
The Suzuki Piano Academy is proud to add a very accomplished pianist and teacher to its ranks. April Lane holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Accompanying from the University of Northern Colorado, and also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Texas Austin and the University of Illinois. April was a member of the music faculty at the University of Northern Colorado and at Aims Community College in Colorado where she developed and taught the piano program.
April moved to Montana in 2003, where she joined the faculty of North Valley Music School, the only non-profit community music school in the state. She quickly built a studio the of 50+ students ranging in age and ability, and had a full schedule of students early morning before school, after school, and on weekends.
Ms. Lane maintains an active concert schedule as soloist and collaborative pianist. She has been featured as soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Greeley Chamber Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Symphony. She served as one of the staff accompanists for the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra Young Artists International Competition, and sat as pianist with the Glacier Symphony Orchestra in Kalispell, Montana. She is an annual featured artist at Festival Amadeus in Whitefish, Montana.
Performances include collaborations with internationally acclaimed artists Ricardo Herrera (University of Illinois), American cellist Stephen Framil(Philadelphia), David Halen (University of Michigan), cellist Scott Kluksdahl (University of Florida),violinist Jennifer Frautschi (New York) and clarinetist Oskar Espina-Ruiz (Spain).
In addition to many years teaching the traditional classical repertoire, April is certified as a Suzuki instructor for those families who are interested in the method. Her students in Montana have gone on to win top honors at district and state music festivals, and several are now pursuing degrees in music at top universities. April's philosophy of teaching is that learning music should be enjoyable, active, driven by curiosity with an emphasis on self-expression. Ms. April is focusing on building her teaching schedule in the Roseville and Rocklin areas. Please recommend her with enthusiasm if you are acquainted with families in the Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn or Loomis areas.
Yesterday, fourteen of our Suzuki piano students shared their music with residents of Aegis Assisted Living of Carmichael. Dressed in costume, we had two four-year old students, several five-year olds, all the way up to a 15 year old student who now accompanies for her high school choir. The Suzuki Piano Academy will continue to create performing opportunities for students whenever possible. Performance is a key component for Suzuki piano students. It not only is an experience in performing, but in learning how to practice with a purpose. Practice suddenly becomes much more purposeful when the next performance is in 4 weeks. Suzuki piano students are relaxed performers because not only do they play by memory, but every lesson is like a performance. Together as teacher and student, we jump in and out of pieces, wherever we need to, by memory. Suzuki piano develops fluency and confidence in the repertoire and performance experience.
Tomorrow is our Spooky Suzuki Piano Party, so please come in costume and ready to play musical games! All ages are welcome. This is not only for members of our piano academy but also for those interested in seeing the joy and fun of the Suzuki method in action.
If you would like to bring a little side dish of something savory or sweet, that would be extra nice. I have the basics covered, but would appreciate any veggies/appetizers you would care to bring.
See you tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. sharp inside the chapel gym adjacent to the Sacramento Temple at 2100 California Circle.