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Music Lessons in Manhattan, NYC

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The School for Strings, New York:
Located in Manhattan, New York, The School for Strings has been New York’s premiere Suzuki-based music school since 1970, providing outstanding instrumental instruction in violin, cello, piano and fiddle to thousands of children. In agreement with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s ideas, the School’s philosophy is that through the study of music, all children can achieve beyond their expectations. Dr. Suzuki's educational precepts are based on his conviction that every child can be educated and the corollary assumption that every child will be educated. Success is built into his approach, both in the manner of teaching and in the choice of repertoire contained in the volumes of the Suzuki Violin, Cello and Piano Schools.

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Suzuki Programs:
Photo of Music Lessons in Manhattan, NYCHaving started originally as a Suzuki teacher-training program, the school is committed to the ideas, ideals, and educational practices of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Instruction from the elementary through the intermediate levels is conducted according to Suzuki's precepts, and the benefits of the Suzuki philosophy and attitude persist as students move into the mainstream of advanced study along traditional lines.

Suzuki's educational precepts are based on his conviction that every “child can be educated,” and the corollary assumption that every child will be educated. Success is built into his approach, both in the manner of teaching and in the choice of repertoire contained in the volumes of the Suzuki Violin, Cello and Piano Schools. Suzuki contends that, since all children learn to speak a language by imitating what they hear around them, so can they learn the language of music in the same fashion. His approach to teaching music might be termed a linguistic one, or, as he puts it, a Mother Tongue approach.

In Suzuki study therefore, children learn to play their instrument at first by ear, learning the music they are to play by extensive listening to recordings of each piece. At The School for Strings, note-reading is introduced early in the musicianship/theory classes, but the two skills -- playing the instrument and reading music while doing so -- are not combined until the child has achieved enough technical control of the instrument to ensure comfortable success in reading and playing simultaneously.

Early Childhood Program:

The School for Strings, which has been a national leader in Suzuki-based instrumental instruction for more than 35 years, would like to invite you and your child to join our Early Childhood Music Program. The School’s Early Childhood Music Program is designed to introduce children to the fundamentals of classical music: rhythm, melody, harmony, tempo, dynamics and articulation. In class, children explore instruments, play rhythmic games and learn to move to music. They also play finger strengthening, physical coordination and fine motor development games in preparation for future instrumental study.

Much of the music presented in class is centered on the Tonic-Dominant harmony, which is the basis of Suzuki Book 1 in all instruments. Children will also benefit from exposure to Suzuki’s “Twinkle Rhythms,” one of which is presented creativly in each class. Helping children to experiment with these elements at a pre-instrumental stage can only help to pave the way for a smoother transition into instrumental study.

The Early Childhood Music Program is open to children 1 to 4 years of age. Each EC class is composed of five to ten children with a professionally-trained musician faculty member and live piano accompaniment. In the Suzuki approach to musical instruction, parental involvement is crucial to the musical development of the child. Therefore we encourage parents and caregivers to participate and enjoy this exciting class along with their child.

First Year Program

The weekly program for beginners consists of:
* An Individual Lesson
* A Group Playing Class
* A Musicianship Class
* The Parents' Class

The Individual Lesson is attended by both the student and the parent. At first, most of the time will be devoted to instrumental instruction for the parent. Gradually, as the child matures, gains in physical strength and coordination, and develops greater concentration and a longer attention span, he or she will absorb more and more of the lesson time. Ultimately, the parent relinquishes all but a few minutes at the end of the leImage of Music Lessons in Manhattan, NYCsson. This time is saved for consultation with the teacher on practice suggestions and goals for the at-home work.

The Group Playing Class prepares the children, at first on pre-instruments, both physically and musically for playing the instrument. Only when all the children in the group have, on the advice of their private teachers, moved on to real instruments, do they begin playing together. The class reinforces the work done in the private lesson and provides incentive and stimulus important for very young children.

The Musicianship Class provides general music instruction and an introduction to the rudiments of note reading. First-year piano students have a three-part program in which the group-playing class and the musicianship class are combined.

For the first six weeks of the school year the children do not attend their regularly scheduled lessons and classes. The parents take all of their children's lessons and classes as well as Parents' Classes in order to gain as much expertise as possible on the instrument and to become more comfortable with the idea of being a surrogate teacher at home practice sessions. The children, meanwhile, come to the School for assigned observation of other children's lessons and classes, to prepare them for their own soon-to-begin study. After the six week period the children start their own instrumental instruction and the parents continue in the Parents' Class for the remainder of the school year.

It is important that the parent who is working with the child at home is the one who attends the lessons and the Parents' Classes.

Early Level Program

The Early Level weekly program consists of:
* An Individual Lesson
* A Group Playing Lesson
* A Theory Class

In the Group Playing Class children observe the progress of their peers which enables them to look up to the more advanced students, and aspire to move through the materials. The Theory Class provides traditional theory instruction where music reading techniques are continued and more advanced theoretical concepts are introduced.

Intermediate Level Program:

The Intermediate Level weekly program consists of:
* An Individual Lesson
* A Group Playing Class
* A Theory Class

Orchestra and Piano Ensembles at The School for Strings are the natural extension of the groupPhotos of The School for Strings, New York- playing class experience. When violinists and cellists reach the appropriate level, they are assigned, as a required activity, to the String Ensemble, the School's elementary orchestra. Pianists are assigned to four-hand ensembles where two students work together sharing the keyboard and playing piano four-hands.

Upper Intermediate Level Program

The Upper Intermediate Level weekly program consists of:

* An Individual Lesson
* A Group Playing Class
* A Theory Class
* An Orchestra Class (string students)
* A Chamber Music Class

Chamber music is an important component of The School for Strings' program. Students bond musically with their peers as they explore the great literature of the chamber music repertoire, one of the richest in classical music. The social aspect of chamber music plays a key role in maintaining the student's interest in music studies through the pre-teen and teenage years. As members of a strong musical community SFS students do not feel the isolation often associated with the study of serious music.

Fiddle Workshop:

The Parents’ Association has arranged for three very talented performers to teach a few tunes and introduce our students to fiddling. If the classes go well we will have more sessions in the future. Each of these fiddlers also have a strong commitment to teaching and are experienced at working with young students. Mari Black is an award winning Celtic and competition fiddler who found time to complete a masters degree at Yale and is finishing a doctorate in music education at Columbia. Mari performs around the country and will be teaching at Mark O'Connor's fiddle camp in Tennessee this summer.

Matt Brown is primarily an Appalachian style or old-time fiddler from Pennsylvania but is also versed in several other styles. He started violin with the Suzuki method at the age of four and has been thoroughly steeped in several fiddle styles by world famous mentors as well as his father in addition to his classical studies. He'll be teaching at the Colorado Suzuki Institute this summer as well as performing all over the place. Sean Grissom on cello has performed all around the world, written books for cello pedagogy, taught in schools in New York City, busked in the subways, hosted holiday shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C and even completed his teacher training at School for Strings!

Outreach Program:
The School for Strings’ commitment to community service is expressed through its Start Up program in which the School offers the opportunity for introductory instruction on violin and cello to families who could not otherwise afford private instrumental study for their child. The program includes one private lesson and one ensemble lesson weekly as well as instruction for the parent in order to help their child along.

Additionally, members of the Start Up Program become part of the greater School for Strings community, which affords them performance opportunities, as well as the chance to attend concerts. The Start Up Program is a three-year introductory course, at the end of which students who have shown commitment to their instrumental study will be invited to join the School’s Suzuki Program, with guaranteed scholarship assistance. Start-up students meet once a week for two hours in the late afternoon on a designated weekday.

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Address: 419 West 54th Street , Manhattan, New York , USA
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