Suzuki method crucial for local violin teacher 0
Coleman resident and violin teacher Shelly Groves remembers the Christmas when she received her very first violin.
Born and raised in the Crowsnest Pass, Groves' love of music started when she pulled the violin out from under the tree at age 10.
"From that age, I have been playing and in love with the violin sound and music in general," she said.
Having now completed her book one training for the famed Suzuki method, Groves has now come full circle as a certified Suzuki violin teacher.
Groves recalled being taught how to play the violin at a young by Cathy Amundsen-who taught many Crowsnest Pass students.
It would be later in life when she knew she wanted to teach others.
"I knew I wanted to teach when I was in college, in music school," she said, referring to her years at Mount Royal and the Glenn Gould conservatory.
The Suzuki method of playing an instrument has grown and become revered since it arrived in North America in the 1970s.
The method is patterned much like how babies learn language-in fact its known as the mother-tongue approach.
"Another crucial element is the idea of a triangle between the teacher, parent and student," Groves said. "(It's about) teaching the parent how to teach their kid at home."
Groves said all Suzuki kids learn shared repertoire. Regardless of language, Suzuki kids can play the same song.
The Suzuki method states that all young people are capable of learning music through their environment.
Groves said a key aspect of the method is the idea of parental involvement and early beginnings.
Instead of focusing on competition between students, an air of cooperation is admired.
Shinichi Suzuki was born in 1898 and lived a storied life until his death in 1998.
At a young age, he fell in love with the violin and found himself as a performer in Germany later in life-where he met the esteemed Albert Einstein.
"He became a professional performer and then he was asked to teach some very young children," Groves explained. "He thought 'How am I going to do this."
In North America, there was a fair amount of criticism pointed at the Suzuki method in the 1970s.
Criticism has since died down after the famed method proved itself in its creation of many professional musicians.
Over the past three years, Groves found herself enthralled with the method and finally had the opportunity to learn the method in Edmonton.
"It helped to instill the passion of being in this global community of Suzuki teachers," Groves said. "(It's about) doing their best to contribute something beautiful to this world."
Groves recommends that girls start learning the Suzuki method at 3 and boys are best to start at 4.
"Part of the early method for the really little kids is developing their co-ordination and ability to focus," she said.
Groves knows the joys and challenges of teaching music are interconnected.
"The things that are challenges that you work through turn into the joys of success," she said.
On Wednesday, September 5, Groves Music will be holding a Suzuki Parent Information session from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
For more information on learning how to play the violin through Suzuki method, please call Groves Music at 403-563-2003.