Philosophies

At West County Strings, music has always been an integral part of our lives, and we strive to share our love of music and the joy that music has brought us with all of our students. While we enjoy and appreciate listening to all different types of music, being able to actually express ourselves with our own instruments is something rather unique. Seeing our students develop their own appreciation and ability in music as we work together over weeks, months, and years is truly a privilege for us.

 

Basic Principles

We strongly believe that building a firm foundation of technique is the key to a successful experience with any instrument.  With the proper building blocks of good technique there is much room to expand and grow.

We also feel very strongly about the aspect of community and group learning.  Group learning provides motivation both from the perspective of the watching child and that of the child who has grown into a position of leadership.

 

The Suzuki Method

For many students who have not had previous playing experience, we believe that the Suzuki Method is an absolutely fabulous way to start. The sequence of repertoire introduces technique in an accessible way that is enjoyable for the student.  Listening and internalizing music is another aspect that is crucial to the foundation of any student’s musical development. The repertoire learned through daily practice and review is both challenging and enjoyable.  The importance of community and bonds formed within group activities cannot be overstated.  In many cases, students have the potential and often do form life-long friendships with fellow musicians. We believe that there are endless possibilities when a home environment is enriched through music that is cherished and shared.

 

Additional Repertoire

When appropriate, we teach with a varied approach and love diversifying my curriculum.  We think it is important to introduce students to different styles, genres, and time periods of music. This is mostly done through varied repertoire, sight-reading, and music theory. We enjoy nurturing special interests, and exploring new ideas and techniques with students. We think it is necessary to introduce violin and viola as a part of the whole for a huge musical world, and when possible we encourage students and families to explore this world together.

We believe that music is an absolutely integral part of education and life for children as well as adults.  Overcoming the challenges that we meet while learning to play an instrument equips us with problem-solving skills that carry over to many other aspects of life.  It creates discipline in a fun and nurturing learning environment and helps develop creativity.

 

Beyond Suzuki

We know that the life of a musician has the potential to go far beyond the Suzuki Repertoire.  It is our desire to help foster a diverse and complete understanding of music at all stages.  In order to do this it is absolutely crucial to understand where each child is at in their development, and facilitate challenges that are uniquely appropriate for them.