Suzuki Talent Education
of Waterloo

Violin | Viola | Cello
STEW | About the Suzuki Method | About Dr. Suzuki | Expectations | Board of Directors | FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the lesson structured?
All students in the school participate in a group class and private lessons. Once students reach a certain level of playing they will also attend music reading and or ensemble courses in addition to their group class. We offer a PPT class for students who are not yet ready to take a specific instrument (ages 2 ½ to 6 years of age). Group classes take place on designated Wednesdays after school. Private lessons are to be scheduled with your individual teacher at a mutually convenient time.
Can I observe a lesson before I register?
Observation of lessons is free and encouraged! If you are not sure that you are able to make a commitment, and/or would like to see how a teacher teaches, please contact us about the observation of lessons. Parents are encouraged to bring their child with them to both private and group lessons. You may arrange as many as you wish with a teacher. We do not offer trial packages in lessons.
What are my responsibilities as a Suzuki Parent?
Parents are responsible for helping their child to practise daily. The parent is also responsible for ensuring that the child is listening to their Suzuki recordings daily. Parents are required to take lessons on the instrument along with their child for the first year of instruction. This is an important aspect of your child’s learning as you will be the practise partner at home. The parent as a practise partner ensures the development of good practise habits, strong technical ability and a consistent musical environment. Many parents chose to continue to play after this year. We welcome parents to participate in our ensemble program and offer an adult group class option in the summer months.
As a parent, do I need to be a musician?
No. Parents work with the teacher in order to learn how to play the instrument and develop good practise habits.
Can Suzuki students take RCM Examinations?
Yes, it is possible for Suzuki students to take RCM examinations. However, it is not mandatory for students in our school to take RCM examinations.
Are there courses available for parents?
Throughout the year we will be offering opportunities for parents to attend discussions, lectures, and seminars. Parents are encouraged to attend Every Child Can, a one day course that introduces you to the Suzuki method and will help determine if the approach is right for you and your family. You may ask for details from the teachers at STEW for a course available near you. Summer adult group classes are strongly recommended for parents who have never studied violin, viola or cello.
How do I decide on a private lesson time?
In Ontario, children are permitted one half-day per week off of school to receive music education. Day time lessons are highly recommended by all teachers at S.T.E.W , as children are more alert and more receptive to their learning earlier in the day. Please ask your teacher about the benefits of day time lessons. After school lessons times are in high demand and registration priority goes to existing students, especially high school students already registered in our school. Waitlists often exist for these lessons for these after school lesson times.
Group Class Lessons
All Group class lessons are currently held Wednesdays after school at Waterloo Christian Reform Church. It is mandatory that all students participate in group classes. Students will have 14 group classes per year plus special events such as dress rehearsals, recitals, concerts and workshops. The schedule is mostly based on by-weekly group classes, though it is more likely that you will have more in a month with a special event (group concert, ensemble performance, etc) and fewer on a month with more holidays (ex. winter break, March break). Group classes run from September through April.
Where are private lessons held?
This is to be discussed with your individual teacher. Some of our teachers teach at their in-home studios while others teach on group class days at our group location. Who you study with will be dependent on the instrument you are interested in, scheduling possibilities, and playing level. Where accessibility is an issue, accommodations will be made at our group class location.
Should I purchase an instrument before lessons begin?
NO! Many instrument faults are not detectable by non-professional players. This may include wolf tones, faulty bows, displaced sound posts, or the wrong size! If an instrument has any or all of these problems it will negatively impact the playing of the musician. It can also be expensive for your family in terms of repair or replacement of this instrument. Your teacher will guide you through this process and help you and your family purchase an instrument at an appropriate price and quality for the student. Your teacher is familiar with the buyback policies from instrument dealers when you need to move to the next size. This means having your teacher help in purchasing an instrument not only ensures the quality but will be the most economical for you and your family.
Do you offer lessons for adults?
Absolutely! The structure for adult lessons may be different than that of younger students. We feel that a student is never too old to begin lessons. We offer adult group class lessons in the summer months and private lessons year round. The cost of lessons may differ depending on the options that you choose. Adult students are welcome to participate in recitals or concerts. You do not need to have children in our program in order to take lessons.