Frazelle Music Studio
About the Studio
Students enrolled in the studio recieve weekly private lessons, bi-montly group classes and participate in 3 recitals each year. Students are expected to practice regulary to ensure progress.
Teaching Locations and Days
Lessons are taught at the instructor's home in Alexandria, VA.
Group classes occur bi-monthly on Saturday mornings/early afternoons. The group portion is part of a comprehensive program, which includes a parent class for beginning families, a violin class grouped by age and level, eurythmics classes for students ages 4-10, and a performance half hour. Classes are done in collaboration with Washington Suzuki Strings.
Potential families wishing to join the studio must observe at least one lesson or group class. This is encouraged over requesting a trial lesson, as you will get a better sense of the curriculum and studio. In addition, it's free. After the observation, the instructor is happy to meet for a trial lesson at her normal rate.
Tuition and Fees
The studio charges monthly tuition, based off a 36 week calendar school year (Sept-June). Please contact the instructor for a full fee schedule.
What is Suzuki violin?
The Suzuki method was founded by Japanese violinist Dr. Shinichi Suzuki (b.1898-1998). His parents owned a violin factory in Japan, and at age 17 he taught himself how to play after being inspired from a recording of the great Mischa Elman.
He loved children and had a special interest in their education. He founded a comprehensive teaching philosophy for young children, known as Talent Education. The underlying concept
of this method is twofold; one, that parental involvement is key, and two, that all children can
learn to a high level using an educational system called the Mother-Tongue method.
Suzuki believed children should be taught music in the same way they naturally learn language.
For example, when children are born, they don’t speak right away, but listen to the language
of their parents for many months. Only after extensive listening does the child learn to speak
fluently. When the child is developmentally ready, they start to read books. In the same way,
Suzuki education requires children to listen daily to music, then have them play on the
instrument. After this, reading is introduced to correspond to the development of the child.
Components of Suzuki Education
Some of the key components of Talent Education include:
Beginning early (age 4), Listening to music daily, Creating a positive environment, Emphasis on
step-by-step skill development, Emphasis on tone and posture, Continual review of previous
pieces, Delayed note reading, Private and group lessons, Having children work on the same repertoire, and Emphasis on the parent-teacher-student relationship.
What is Traditional violin?
Traditional violin does not refer to one particular approach and is therefore more difficult to
define. There is no unifying curriculum, and each teacher teaches from their experience and
training. In general, here are some differences between Suzuki and Traditional study:
1. The Suzuki violin method starts children early (age 4). Traditional teachers usually don't start children until they are older (approximately 8-10 years old). Some components of early Suzuki education, such as delayed note reading, don't apply or are accelerated when starting an older student.
2. In traditional study, there is usually not an emphasis on daily listening, especially at the beginning stages.
3. Parents often take a passive approach, perhaps dropping their children off at lessons, but not sitting in the lessons. Children function as independent learners, and parents do not oversee practice at home or have as much communication with the teacher.
4. Traditional students usually only take weekly private lessons, but do not play in a group setting with others from their studio. Groups experiences for the traditional student usually encompass school orchestra or youth orchestra.
Who do you teach and what is your approach?
Young beginners age 4-7: I use the Suzuki method, and more specifically, the ideas developed at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Indiana University's early childhood programs.
Older beginners, age 8-12: I didn't start violin until age 10, so appreciate the older beginner. I use a hybrid of the Suzuki method ideas and traditional teaching. For example, I accelerate note reading due to the child needing to read music for school orchestra. I incorporate supplemental materials (i.e. scales, etudes, etc) sooner than I would for a young beginner. I do emphazie Suzuki ideas, such as daily listening and parental involvement.
Middle and High School Students: I teach intermediate and advanced students who wish to transfer into the studio (usually because of a move, switching teachers, etc). I can also provide coaching or extra lessons before an audition or competition. There is an advanced violin ensemble on Saturdays for these students.
Adults: Although my studio is geared towards children, I sometimes have room for one adult student. Currently, this spot is taken, so I am not accepting others at this time. If you are an adult who wants lessons in the summer, please let me know as I may be able to find room during this season.
Right: Photo courtesy of Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Ohio