Lauderdale Suzuki Group offers group classes that complement the individual lessons a child has in the Suzuki method. We considers group learning to be essential, because children joyfully learn from their peers.
Group classes develop different skills than you will learn with your individual teacher and in home practice. The social skills learned through group work are valuable tools your child will draw on for the rest of their lives. In groups, ensemble skills are developed through a focus on review repertoire. Teachers reinforce the technical concepts taught in indivdual lessons. Our Repertoire groups typically learn one non Suzuki repertoire piece each term to supplement the techniques of the Suzuki repertoire and to introduce different styles.
We offer 30 group lessons a year, across 3 terms. Each child participates in an Repertoire Group and a Musicianship Class or Orchestra/Ensemble. Theory is offered as an add on to children aged 8 and older.
Children must always be supervised during classes by a parent, or another adult appointed by the parent where this is not possible. Parents are expected to be active observers of group lessons, just as they are in individual lessons, and to follow up on group class work at home.
Violin Repertoire Groups
Repertoire groups reinforce the skills and pieces you learn in your invidiual lessons, and also introduce supplementary repertoire. Your child will be placed in a group where they can continue refining skills they've learned with their teacher while being exposed to more advanced repertoire and techniques.
Beginners start in the Pink group, where children sing songs and play instrument related games, progressing to being able to play rhythms on their open strings. The next group for violinists has children who can all play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and usually quite a few other pieces from the Suzuki repertoire. They play their repertoire, violin related games to develop their skills and also learn new pieces.
The children move through the groups as they progress in ability. Groups of children tend to be the same from year to year, as the children progress together. Children in the top groups are typically studying Concertos by Vivaldi etc. Our most advanced group, Amber group, includes repertoire from the higher Suzuki books as well as other styles, advanced techniques and music in many voices.
Suzuki Stars is a Suzuki early childhood education class offered for 0-3 year-olds. It can help to prepare you and your child for Suzuki instrumental lessons and many children do continue with us as Suzuki violinists. In this class parents are asked to teach their children by example, mimicking the teachers, and practising with their child at home. The class is largely non verbal, with a quiet space for children who may need a break. The class runs eight weeks per term at 2 pm in the Upper Gallery. Please visit suzukistarslondon.com for more information.
Music and Movement
Music and Movement is the musicianship class for beginning children in Pink group and registered observers in our programme. This class focuses on building general musicianship skills including singing together on pitch, rhythm and pulse, high and low, and fast and slow. Movement is incorporated through the use of scarves, sticks, and action songs, which help children to internalise what they are hearing, leading to more effective and joyful learning. Parents will be actively involved so please wear comfortable clothing.
Music Mind Games
Music Mind Games classes are game-based sessions that help children develop musical awareness and music reading skills away from their instrument. Our teachers use the Music Mind Games curriculum, which teaches solfa, reading rhythms, introduces the stave, and builds basic musicanship and theory skills. Children typically take two years of MMG before entering an early sight reading group. These groups are vital to children's musical education and development and they are a lot of fun. Parents are asked to actively participate in these groups. Please be prepared to sit on the floor and join in.
Once some reading skills have developed the children join Ensemble classes. Ensembles focus on sight reading skills, as well as playing in harmony. Repertoire for ensembles focuses on developing rhythm, playing in different key areas, and group playing skills. These classes help to prepare for the sight reading component of grade exams, in concurrence with your home sight reading practice. The most advanced players work together playing four-part music. In Ensemble 7 reading alto clef is introduced.
Orchestra is our most advanced ensemble. The orchestra performs twice a year, at the Amadeus concert in December and in the end of the year Ensembles Concert. Led by Clare Clements, the orchestra does a great deal of sight reading but also studies pieces in depth with the goal of polishing repertoire as a group and also developing professional orchestra skills. Players in their first year of orchestra enter as violists, and may continue to play viola or switch to violin in their second year.
Theory classes are available to children aged 8 or older. These classes cultivate a deeper understand of how music works, providing children with more tools to analyse their pieces, and elevating their personal interpretation of music as they mature. Theory classes prepare children for the ABRSM and Trinity exams as well. Theory classes are offered as an additional class for those interested and take place at nearby Highgate Society Hall. Please email our administrator Mallory at firstname.lastname@example.org if your child would like to join the classes.
In addition to group performances planned throughout the year, children perform as soloists each term in their repertoire class. These performances are often "Lucky Dip", where children prepare several pieces for performance and play one of these prepared pieces, chosen at random, on the day.
All solos are required to be review repertoire, with no child performing a piece that they have learned recently. This ensures that children are developing performance skills, and that they have successful and comfortable performances, as they are playing repertoire that they have fully internalised. Our policy of only performing well polished repertoire means that your child's performance experiences will help them to grow as performers.
Likewise, group concerts are held throughout the year, and participation in them is an important component of learning with us. Performing as a group is very motivating for children of all levels and parents. We encourage you to attend concerts regularly, even those your children may not be involved in. Please visit the performance page for the most up to date information about concerts this year.
Friends, family and observers are welcome to attend our group concerts. The cost of producing and attending concerts produced by Lauderdale Suzuki Group is included in your yearly fees and London Suzuki Group membership, and there is no additional cost to attend. Please note however that there may be fees for concerts put on by other groups.