Before Lessons can Begin
Learning the piano takes time and commitment. The following must be completed before enrolling in the Suzuki program.
- Observe a lesson
- Listen to music of Book 1 for at least a month.
Listening to this music is an integral part of the Suzuki Method. Students will learn music by ear in the beginning. The more a student listens, the more progress that student will see. The music does not have to be blaring. Play it softly during dinnertime, playtime, in the car, or while getting ready for the day. Find what works for you and your family, as long as you play as much as possible. 5 to 6 hours of listening will help the student learn the pieces fast! Unfortunately, the Suzuki Piano recordings are not available digitally just yet. Please let me know if you will have trouble acquiring the CD.
- Read important materials
Sensibility and Education by Haruko Kataoka
About Suzuki: Go here for a quick overview of the Suzuki Method
- Acquire a quality acoustic piano
When I began piano lessons I lived in southeast Los Angeles in a small back house that shared a lot with two other homes. One was another small back house and the other was the main house, my Great-grandmother's house. Our dwelling, though appearing spacious to my 3-5 year old perspective, was small. There was a kitchen, a main room with a space for a small dining room table, and a small bedroom I shared with one of my sisters, my parents' room and a bathroom. To get to the bathroom or my parents' room you had to walk through my room. My other sister had a room in my great-grandmother's house, which was also quite small. So, if you cant even fit all of your siblings in your house, where is there room for a piano? Here was our solution to that puzzle: It sat squeezed behind our dining table against the wall right next to my dad's "chair" (does every dad have "The Chair"?)
Here is a current family's story:
My house does not have an extra room that we could use as a music room or piano room, yet we wanted a piano for our daughter. I had the thought of getting an
electric piano that could be set up and stored when not in use but decided that it would not sound any where near as nice as a real piano. After looking at the different styles of pianos online, it became clear that the piano that would take up the least amount of space would be the Spinet. Once I had decided on the style of piano there was still the big issue of what room it would go in. We had two options, the family room or the living room. I didn't like either option because both rooms have a lot of furniture in them. Then one day as I was walking down the hall thru our alcove that leads to the bedroom And I had a thought that if the dimensions of the Spinet did not exceed 5x8, we could fit it in the alcove! We measured the piano and decided it would fit with just enough room to walk past it. We painted the alcove a muted beige tone with a fresh white trim. Next we put up an accordion door to close it off from the hallway and added some family pictures to warm it up. After we bought our piano I put a matching table runner along the top of the piano in an effort to blend the piano into the small space. It's not a big room but I feel the small size actually enhances the sound quality. We love our little piano room and so does our little pianist!
- Acquire an adjustable bench and footstool.