Our teachers offer private lessons in violin, viola, and cello. We accept students for individual lessons beginning as early as 3 ½. Private lessons focus on personal development and proficiency on a specific instrument. Private lessons are taken in conjunction with group classes at STEW.
An integral part of our Suzuki learning includes group class. In group class, children observe the progress of their peers which enables them to look up to the more advanced students, and aspire to move through the materials. Students in our program age 18 and under participate in group appropriate to their age, developmental stage and playing level. Students regularly play the Suzuki repertoire with other students, often in unison, to improve listening skills and to reinforce the individual practice. Group class material is based on the common Suzuki repertoire and some supplementary repertoire as decided by the faculty. At the end of each term, group classes perform together. At STEW group classes are taken in conjunction with private classes.
Pre Pre Twinkle (PPT)
This course is a weekly course taught in 10-week group class sessions. The teacher carefully prepares each class and every game or song has a purpose or a goal. This class introduces students and their parents to folk songs, rhythmic patterns, movement to music, vocalization, the musical alphabet, midline development and the beginning of finger independence. Parents/guardians participate in this class alongside the child to begin to develop a long term musical relationship. P.P.T is for ages 2.5 years of age to 4 years of age. We have a low teacher to student ratio in this class. P.P.T. classes take place at the same time and location as our group classes to assist scheduling for parents who already have students involved in group. P.P.T. will help to develop the gross and fine motor skills, routine, concentration and focus required to begin instrument specific lessons. This class is perfect for siblings of students already taking lessons, or incoming students who have not yet decided what instrument is right for them! We use a common repertoire for each class and have at home daily listening and practise assignments. This helps develop a practise routine at home before beginning on a specific instrument. P.P.T. is an excellent course to take to determine instrument readiness as they build the skills necessary to begin private and group lessons. The P.P.T’s will have group performance opportunities at our spring concert.
*This class may be taken in lieu of group class (at the teachers discretion) for a child who has started lessons but an appropriate instrumental group does not currently exist.*
Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE)
Suzuki Early Childhood Education (or SECE) is a class where a child will discovery their joy for life through music. This music class, designed for babies and children from birth to age three uses a common repertoire and the mother tongue approach similar to our instrumental program. Parents are able to discover their child’s aptitude at a young age as the class leads the children to mastery. Children and their parents use the folk songs to work on musical pulse, taking turns, early literacy skills, midline development and vocalization. We nurture growth as ability develops early. Parents learn to recognize, observe and promote their child’s intellectual, and emotional capacity through their reflective observation and participation in the class alongside their child. This provides the foundation for a relationship of trust and nurture for the rest of the child’s life.
Clapping Class (Musical movement class)
Clapping class is a musical movement class to develop active listening of the child and parent. Each week the teacher will put on a different book 1 Suzuki recording each week (alternating between the instruments offered in our program). The teacher, with limited speaking or direction will lead activities with clapping or physical motion to the recording. The child is encouraged improvise using their body as their instrument in this class. Through active listening we are developing our understanding of pitch, developing a kinesthetic relationship with pulse and beat, an understanding of different articulation, understanding meter and rhythmic patterns.
This class is for students who have begun instrumental instruction and will soon be ready, or have started to read music while playing their instruments. Rhythmic Reading includes rhythm reading (note and rest denomination) , rhythmic composition, recognizing and demonstrate pulse, beat and becoming more familiar with musical symbols through games and activities.
Orchestra Prep Class
This class is an introduction to reading multi-part that is conducted in a group setting. Students are placed in reading classes once they begin note reading in their private instruction and have completed our rhythmic reading program. This class is on your instrument. Reading classes will work on supplementary repertoire pieces outside the Suzuki repertoire including fiddle tunes, folk songs, etc. Students are also learning basic conducting patterns, and proper etiquette for playing in an orchestra.
Our junior ensemble is a mixed age ensemble. This ensemble is suitable for students who have completed our rhythmic reading and music reading program and are at a book 2 level or above. This class will expand on playing pieces with two to four part harmony. Additional rehearsals and performances may take place as part of this class.Students not taking lessons privately from a STEW teacher are welcome in this group but will have an audition to make sure they are placed appropriately in the right ensemble.
Our ensemble is for students ages 12 and older who play at a minimum of book 4 and have previously played in Junior Ensemble. (Student under age 12 may be placed in Senior Ensemble if they exceed the book 5 level). The ensemble gives students the opportunity to play with the instruction of a conductor, play with other instruments, and further develop ensemble skills. This group may include additional rehearsals and performances. Students not taking lessons privately from a STEW teacher are welcome in this group but will have an audition to make sure they are placed appropriately in the right ensemble.
Adult Group Classes
Adult only group classes are run in the summer in 6 to 8 week session. The level of playing required is dependent on interest of participants. Registration in private lessons is not required to participate in Adult group class. This is a great way to meet other adults interested in learning how to play violin, viola, and cello. A syllabus will be built according to the students in the class.
Theory classes may be available in group or individual instruction by request. Theory classes when offered will be advertised on our schedule of events page.
A PDF of a Sample Group Class and Special Events Calendar can be sent upon request. Email STEWaterloo@gmail.com.
**Please note that courses offered are subject to change or cancellation. Offering of courses is dependent on registration, teacher availability and location availability. **