Duets with students


Karen said: May 14, 2013
Karen Walls
Suzuki Association Member
Indianapolis, IN
16 posts

Good morning all,
I am wanting to change up my summer lessons a bit and teach my students (I have 11) duets with one another. Has anyone done this? Do you overlap lesson times (they are each 30 minutes…haven’t sold anyone on 45 minute or hour lessons) or do you plan for both to come at the same time? Do you do one week like this, then the next is a true private lesson?


Karen Walls
Indianapolis Suzuki Academy
Instructor of Violin

Laura said: May 14, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Palm City, FL
105 posts

I have had the best luck with back to back students. I save the last 10 min. of the first students lesson and also use the first 10 min. of the next students lesson so that they can have a total of 20 min. with me for duets and we even sometime do sight-reading together. It works best if the students are the same age as well as level and I suggest making 100% sure that the parent is on board with your plan before mentioning to the child.

Laura Mozena

Barb said: May 14, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
678 posts

I have done this like Laura. It was very convenient to have suitable students back-to-back for overlapping. If it didn’t work out like that, I would try to get one to come to the other’s lesson time maybe every other week as you suggest, or find another open time on my calendar suitable for both students. I would also encourage them (depending on age) to arrange practice times together.

What a great idea for the summer!

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Eleanor Bennett said: May 15, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Villa Rica, GA
62 posts

Duets Yes! I have some Christmas music arranged in 3 and 4 parts by Martha Yasuda. Used them last Christmas and everybody loved them. The melody is usually the easiest part. Then there is a second and third part, each one more advanced than the others. Keeps everyone challenged.

I also have used a Telemann Concerto for Four Violins in D Major that has worked out very well. We played the first two movements at the Christmas recital and the last two at the spring recital. I taught the music to each student during their lesson, then scheduled extra rehearsals for them together closer to the performance time. For home practice, I wrote the music out in Finale, played the music from my computer during the lesson where they recorded it on their smart phones. That way I was able to play it at a slower tempo for them to practice with at home. The many You Tube versions are all Very Fast. I am not very tech savvy, so if anyone has a better idea for this I would love to hear it

Sometimes I was able to get overlapping lesson times, but I also had to schedule special rehearsal times. I got feedback from parents about the best time to do this, and then worked it into my schedule. As yet I don’t charge extra for these rehearsals, just schedule them when necessary. No problems getting parents to bring them.

Eleanor Bennett

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