Our music therapy colleagues tell us that we work like therapists, and parents agree. Our specialty is the mother tongue approach of the Suzuki Method. Parents, students, and teacher work closely together to get the right practice assignments each week to keep building ability.
We love building relationships with families and supporting each student's innate ability to learn.
Made class fun and engaging for my beginners (under age 5) while also setting clear expectations.
I love that she "gets" my gifted kids and tailors her approach to each child. She will try different things until she finds what works for them. It's been a very positive experience for both of them!
We start with an opportunity for families to observe the teacher in a lesson, followed by an interview. At the first several weeks of lessons, we establish practice techniques and expectations that match the family's lifestyle and skill goals. The exact process depends on the student'sage and prior experience.
Parent and student feedback each week is critical to the process of tailoring the work appropriately. The goal is always to maintain sufficient quality and quantity of home practice to build ability.
Our director and main teacher Janet Killmer has been trained in the Suzuki Method for both piano and violin, including three months of intensive training with the co-founder of the piano method in Matsumoto, Japan. She has been teaching music for over 20 years.
Most of our students are enrolled in our year-long program, which includes 36 private lessons over twelve months as well as all recitals and studio group events. Tuition is a flat fee of $90 per month for 30-minute lessons*, regardless of how many of the 36 lessons fall in a given month.
A few students opt for a punch-card system and pay for 4-6 lessons at a time at the rate of $60 per hour.
*$120 for 45-minute lessons, $180 for 60-minute lessons
Mrs. Killmer started teaching and writing curriculum for children's classes at the age of 11, and was teaching music classes and private lessons with her family by the age of 16. She has been teaching every since and cannot imagine life without learning and supporting the learning of others.
We have worked with preschoolers, school age children, teenagers, and adults. Our students often have unique needs such as sensory sensitivity, learning challenges, and high IQ with low practice tolerance. All of our students have families willing to partner with them to support the need for regular practice.
Early this summer, our three most advanced violin students met with local performing violinist and Suzuki master teacher Janis Upshall for a masterclass. It was exciting to hear all three teenagers play their showstoppers back to back and get praise and tips on their musicality and technical proficiency.
We recommend asking for an observation opportunity as well as an interview. It can be difficult for teachers to accommodate observation requests if they have any students, but it is so helpful to see and hear a teacher in action, rather than just asking them to describe their personality and teaching style.
When looking for a teacher, ask yourself:
1. What amount and type of work do I want to put in?
2. How much time do I have on a daily basis to invest in this skill?
3. Am I more interested in blazing through material and catching the deeper skills later, or in layering foundational skills first and being able to love quickly through material down the road?