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Dear Future Suzuki Moms and Dads, 

I’m thrilled that you are considering the Suzuki Approach to lessons for your child. Deciding to start a Suzuki journey is exciting and is a very big deal! Suzuki really is a way of life, and not just about lessons. I am here to tell you more about it and to answer any questions that arise as you learn. 

Just so you know that I know what I’m talking about, let me tell you a bit about me. I started teaching Suzuki Piano in 1993, before the internet! I have 3 Suzuki kids (violin, cello and guitar). My daughters started lessons at 3 and my son at 5. They are now 19,17, and 13. So, I know what it takes to make this happen. It is a huge commitment! However, anything worth doing well takes time and dedication and the rewards are immeasurable. 

Because I’ve been involved in this for so many years, I’ve learned literally the hard way what works and what doesn’t. I’ve made so many mistakes with my kids and with my own teaching, but figuring things out has made me a better parent and a better teacher. My most successful students have many things in common - things that I’ve found that ‘work.’ In fact, they work so well that I’ve made them my requirements for my students and parents. 

Music lessons are expensive! Believe me, I’ve been paying for them for my own children since 2004. So, because I do not want to waste any of your time or money, here’s my upfront list of what I expect from my Suzuki families as well as what you can expect from me. 

Before Your Child Starts Lessons

  • Listen to Suzuki Piano Book 1 (purchased on iTunes)

    • Like learning a language, Suzuki is an immersion method, so the more the child hears the music, the quicker he/she will learn

    • Listening means that the music is playing in the background throughout the day: in the car, at bedtime/naptime, during breakfast, during play, etc.

  • Helpful Reading: Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki

  • More Helpful Reading: Beyond the Music Lesson by Christine Goodner 

  • Purchase Suzuki Piano Book 1 (the music book)

Expectations When Lessons Begin

  • Parent/Guardian attends all lessons, takes notes and observes silently

  • Daily listening is essential. A student simply will not progress without it. Remember, this is an immersion method.

  • Daily practice is essential. (Like brushing your teeth.) For pre-twinkers, this means 5 minutes at a time, several times a day. By the end of Book 1, students should be practicing 30 minutes per day. When they reach book 2 and 3, daily  practice time will gradually increase.

What You Can Expect from Kristen

  • I will teach your child with love and respect. 

  • I use a very positive teaching style.

  • I tailor lessons to the needs of the child.

  • I communicate clearly with parents and am available to answer questions between lessons.

  • I “practice what I preach” by continuing my growth as a concert pianist by giving performances many times per year in many different avenues (Bach Festival, Chamber Music Festival, recitals, San Juan Symphony, etc.).

  • I continue to grow as a teacher by my involvement (president) in the Four Corners Music Teachers Association of Colorado.

This is a lot of information! If you are interested in taking the next step, please  feel free to contact me with questions. I am happy to help!

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