Parent Information

Talent Education Gathering

Sunday, August 24, 2014, 3:00 p.m.

The Talent Education Gathering is an opportunity to learn about the philosophy of Suzuki Talent Education as it is applied to teaching music to children and their families.  Students from our program will be performing and their parent/practice partners will be on hand to give some insight into their experiences.

Burke Hall of Performing Arts

Denison University

Granville, Ohio


Checklist for Enrollment in the Denison University Suzuki Program:

  • Attend the Talent Education Gathering.
  • Fill out and leave Contact Sheet with Jim Van Reeth or Brian Flynn.
  • Register for Practice Partner Training Sessions I, II, and Tune Up with Maryfrances Kirsh,
  • Register your student for Group Class Prep with Kristen Wright,
  • Purchase materials for Practice Partner Training.
  • Read Nurtured by Love.
  • Play the reference recording daily.
  • Contact teachers to arrange for observations of lessons.  (five observations are recommended)
  • Attend Practice Partner Training Sessions I and II
  • Contact teacher to arrange for a lesson time.
  • Register for lessons at the first private lesson.  (You will receive a bill from the University in approximately 6 weeks.)
  • Enjoy the journey!

Practice Partner Training

Session I:  

Sat., Sept. 6:  1-3 p.m. —OR— Sun. Sept. 7:  1-3 p.m.

Session II:

Sat., Sept. 13:  1-3 p.m.—OR—Sun., Sept. 14:  5-7 p.m. 


Sat., Nov 1:  1-3 p.m.—OR—Sun., Nov. 2:  1-3 p.m.

Parents and practice partners who are new to the Denison University Suzuki Program are required to attend the first two sessions before their students begin lessons.  

All parents and practice partners in the Denison University Suzuki Program are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend this workshop.

Discussion Topics:

  • The philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki
  • The Suzuki Learning Process
  • Listening
  • Review
  • Music Reading
  • What to expect at lessons
  • Home Practice
  • Motivation

This is a class for parents and practice partners only.  Please arrange child care for your children.

Please register for this course by calling or emailing:

Maryfrances Kirsh

(614) 580-5220

Supplies to be purchased by the practice partner prior to the workshop:

( or

  • Nurtured by Love, by Shinichi Suzuki
  • Helping Parents Practice by Edmund Sprunger
  • Book 1 and CD for the instrument to be studied
  • Blank CD’s and 4 different ways/places where the CD may be heard


Please listen to the CD daily and read Nurtured by Love prior to the workshop.


Suzuki families listen daily to the recording of the book they are currently studying.

Daily listening:

  • develops our ears for note sequences
  • helps us recognize patterns in the music
  • aids in memorizing the music
  • helps us recognize and reproduce beautiful tone, dynamics, and phrasing
  • makes learning the pieces easier
  • helps us identify wrong notes

We encourage two types of listening:

  • playing the recording in the background during other activities
  • concentrated or intentional listening


  • Make copies of the CD so you can listen in different places (bedroom, car, living room).
  • Record both the current and next piece for concentrated listening.
  • Listen to the next book level for variety.
  • Identify the titles and composers.
  • Sing the melodies.
  • Listen for the week’s practice focus from your lesson (loud/soft, staccato/legato, etc.).


Practice Every Day You Eat

Daily practice should include:

  • Review pieces
  • The latest polished piece
  • New skill or small parts of the newest piece
  • Reading pieces (if applicable)
  • Other assignments given by your teacher

Practice Idea

Violinist Katie S. and her practice partner mom, Kathy, have this idea to share:

Student and Parent/Practice Partner select a candle and put it in a safe place in or near the practice area.  Light the candle only during practicing.  When the candle has burned all the way down, celebrate with a predetermined outing or treat.  This candle can be large or small, depending on the practice goal.

Why Review?

Review forms a solid foundation of musical skills.

The Suzuki philosophy is based on the premise that children learn their language from listening to their parents.  When a child learns to say a word, usually parents are quick to encourage him to say it again and again (although he never seems to say it on que!).  When a student learns a musical concept, he is encouraged to do it over and over again.

Review helps the student reach a higher level of musicianship.

Adding a new skill to review pieces is more effective than adding it to a new one.  The student can focus on the new skill because he already knows the piece well.  Once the skill is mastered in a review piece, it can then be incorporated into the newer pieces.

Review increases stamina.

Playing an instrument involves physical activity.  Playing comfortable, polished pieces consistently over time is like an exercise program.  It increases muscle tone, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.

Review builds a musical vocabulary.

Music consists of pitches and patterns that, over time, the student will learn to recognize and anticipate through consistent review.

Review can be a positive experience.

Learning a piece well enough to add it to the review list represents a great accomplishment.  Reviewing these polished pieces increases confidence and self assurance.

Review encourages community.

Suzuki students all learn the same pieces of music and can share their musical journey with others.  They can also share their polished repertoire with family and friends.

What are some different ways to review?

Review with a focus.

Check your notes for a technical or musical point that was important to a particular piece when you were first learning it.  There may be more, but only focus on one at a time.

Review for fun.

Make a list of the review pieces that you and your student especially like.  Play these on days when you both need a lift or a boost.

Review in a different place.

Choose another room for review or go outside.  Pianists can play their pieces in a different octave.

Review pieces that are similar.

Find a common theme for your review:  Play all the pieces with the same titles.  (Piano Book 3!! Sonatina, Sonatina, Sonatina …) Play all the pieces with staccato/legato or fast/slow.  Play all the pieces that are in the same key.

Review with a chart.

List review pieces under the days of the week or have an “A” and “B” list.  Use a chart to keep track of the number of repetitions.

Review the same time each day.

Check your schedule to find a time you can set aside just for review.  Keep this up for about a month and it will be a habit (or your schedule will change and then you’ll have to find another time!!)

Review with a goal.

Choose the number of review pieces or the amount of time to spend on review each day.  Mark on your calendar when you have completed the goal for the day.

Review for a special occasion.

Call your local retirement home or go visit your favorite relative and give them a concert.  Offer to play for a school class.

Review with a friend.

Invite another Suzuki family over for an afternoon of music-making.

Review in the form of a story.

Tell a story about what is happening in the piece (aides in memory)

Suggested Reading

  • Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki
  • To Learn With Love – A Companion for Parents by William and Constance Starr
  • They Are Rarely Too Young…  and Rarely Too Old to Twinkle by Kay Collier Stone
  • Helping Parents Practice:  Ideas for Making It Easier by Edmund Sprunger

For more information about the Suzuki Method, visit The Suzuki Association of the Americas.

For more information about the Denison University Suzuki Program, contact the Program Director, Jim Van Reeth, at