The STEP Program

  1. Students are expected to practice with the Home Teacher 6 or 7 days a week. “Only practice on the days that you eat,” says Dr. Suzuki.
  2. The Home Teacher – the family member who is going to practice daily with the child – attends four to six sessions of Home Teacher Training before the child starts on the instrument. This includes 4 sessions with other parents and two lessons learning the basics of your child’s instrument for parents of children aged 8 and younger.  The Home Teacher works together with the teacher so that lessons are tailored to the individual student’s learning style, personal gifts and interests.
  3. Just as we listen daily to learn our native language, so we listen daily to the Suzuki recordings in order to learn the music by ear before we ever play it.  The first pieces are learned by ear.  When the student can play Twinkle with eyes closed in tune with a beautiful tone, this means the ear/auditory center is able to guide the right and left hands.  The eyes can then be used to learn to read music.
  4. The Home teacher attends weekly lessons and biweekly Suzuki group classes with the child. We don’t learn to speak by talking to ourselves; in the same way, the interactive nature of Suzuki group classes are a vital part of the Suzuki education. We use games and interactive activities to learn how to make music together. We like to have fun learning!
  5. We celebrate our learning through concerts, where family and friends can applaud our achievements. Students perform in a minimum of three concerts a year: the December Interfaith Holiday concert, the Solo and Chamber concert in February or March, and the year-end Suzuki String Serenade benefit concert.
  6. We ask families to think in terms of a two-year commitment to the program. Your child probably did not speak in perfect sentences after one year; in the same way, it takes at least two years to reveal the true progress your child is capable of on an instrument.
  7. STEP’s parent/teacher organization, the Springfield Suzuki Partnership (SSP), helps with concerts, fund-raising, social/fun activities and parent education.