Strings

The Colburn Strings Department offers violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, and harp lessons as well as violin, cello, and guitar instruction in the Suzuki method. With both instructional approaches, our renowned faculty members provide exceptional guidance tailored to the individual needs of each student.

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Suzuki Method Instruction
Suzuki Strings
Suzuki Guitar
Private Traditional Instruction
Group Classes
Group Guitar
Violin Sight Reading and Musicianship 2021–22
Ensembles
Performances


Suzuki Method Instruction

Suzuki Strings

The Suzuki method, founded by Japanese violinist Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, rests on the philosophy that every child is born with musical ability that can be nurtured and developed to a high level. This teaching method involves parent participation both in lessons and daily practices at home, and requires a major commitment of time.

Violinist Victoria Chun
My favorite part of the Suzuki Violin program was learning from different instructors as I moved up in different groups and meeting new people. Learning from many teachers really helped me see things in a new way every time. Violinist Victoria Chun

Children ages four through six may begin study when they display a readiness to accept instruction. For frequently asked questions about the Suzuki Strings Program for violin and cello, visit this page.

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Suzuki Guitar

The Suzuki Guitar Program is directed by Dr. Connie Sheu, a classical guitarist with over 10 years of experience teaching Suzuki guitar. A weekly private lesson ensures that students are progressing at their own pace and has targeted practice goals at home. In addition to lessons, group instruction provides weekly opportunities to develop ensemble skills and reinforce proper technique on the instrument.

Suzuki guitar is open to students ages five and older. Interested students should submit an inquiry form.
 

Private Traditional Instruction

Private lessons are 30, 45, or 60 minutes, depending on what the instructor determines. These sessions enable teachers to develop individualized lesson plans based on a student’s needs.

If you’re interested in enrolling in private lessons, please fill out our online inquiry form.
 

Group Classes

Students develop the three essential techniques for a comprehensive mastery of the guitar – strumming, arpeggiation and single-line – through repertoire that ranges from classical, jazz, pop and ethnic music.  Kenton Youngstrom, one of the world’s most versatile guitarists with over 45 years of teaching experience, has compiled a unique collection of pieces that develops technical fluency using three forms of music notation: standard, tablature and chord symbols.  In addition, students in group guitar classes learn about improvisation, practical music theory and get inside knowledge about how to play in various ensembles. 

Students develop the three essential techniques for a comprehensive mastery of the guitar – strumming, arpeggiation and single-line – through repertoire that ranges from classical, jazz, pop and ethnic music.  Kenton Youngstrom, one of the world’s most versatile guitarists with over 45 years of teaching experience, has compiled a unique collection of pieces that develops technical fluency using three forms of music notation: standard, tablature and chord symbols.  In addition, students in group guitar classes learn about improvisation, practical music theory and get inside knowledge about how to play in various ensembles. 

Prior lessons or prior enrollment in CSPA Group Guitar – Beginning II highly recommended.  Online accommodations can be made for intermediate students with teacher pre-approval, please email kyoungstrom@colburnschool.edu if you would like to take this class virtually. 

Prior lessons or group class enrollment in CSPA Guitar II or Guitar III is highly recommended. Online accommodations can be made for Advanced students with teacher pre-approval, please email kyoungstrom@colburnschool.edu if you would like to take this class virtually. 

Adult group classes are semester based, running 6 weeks during the summer, and 16 weeks in the fall from August – December or spring from January – May. 

Adult group classes are semester based running 6 weeks in the summer and 16 weeks during the fall from August – December or spring from January – May. 

Designed for both Suzuki and traditional violin students, this course will give an introduction into the early stages of sight reading, violin theory, and musicianship as well as a general overview of the basics of orchestra skills (learning proper violin posture when seated with a music stand and how to read and mark a music score). There will be several small group projects in addition to basic composition exercises.

All new and returning students must audition for placement.

Duration
Alternate Wednesdays, 5:00 – 5:40 pm
Additional meetings will be scheduled as needed; a detailed calendar of meeting dates will be provided at the first class

Prerequisites
Participants must study privately and are required to have finished Joanne Martin, I Can Read Music, Volume 1. No previous orchestra experience is necessary.

Minimum Age Requirement
3rd grade; must be eight years old by September 1, 2021

Recommended Minimum Level of Playing
Dvořák Humoresque (Suzuki Vol. 3)

Audition Information

Auditions for the 2021-2022 academic year will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021 via Zoom. Upon completion of the application form, a link will be provided to schedule an audition time.

Audition Requirements
Please be prepared to demonstrate:

  1. Any 2 or 3 octave scale of your choice. The scale should be memorized and played slurred, 2 quarter notes per bow at a moderate tempo. (Quarter note = 72)
  2. A polished solo piece. Choose 2 to 3 minutes that represent your technical skill and musicianship. Please do not use piano accompaniment. Recommended minimum level of playing is Dvořák Humoresque (Suzuki Vol. 3)
  3. Sight Reading. A series of sight reading examples may be presented at your audition.

Audition results will be sent via email by midnight on August 15.

 

Ensembles

As skills advance, students can supplement private lessons with group instruction through different classes and ensemble experiences. Visit our ensembles page for more information.
 

Performances

Aspiring musicians can enhance their music education by observing others perform, including watching technical skills and proper performance etiquette. We always welcome students to attend any of our free performances at the Colburn School. Performance opportunities include Studio Recitals, Friday Night Recitals, School Recitals, and Honors Recitals. For more information, visit Performance Opportunities.