Group Class formation

Trish said: Oct 16, 2014
Trish Clair (Horrocks)
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Nanaimo, BC
25 posts

I usually begin each group class with the students in two rows. But this year I have some extra ….. excitable(!) young students in my Pre-Twinkle group class, and I’m thinking that I need to reconsider having children out of my reach.

I have always tried to mix up the formation I use for students in group class: rows, circle, and “blobs”. Last week I tried operating within a circle and found that the children were far more distracted than usual, which I suppose comes from the greater peer awareness they have when they can see everyone else’s face.

Do any of you start from a circle in group class? Or does anyone have a suggestion for a better positioning that ensures that the teacher has easy access to offer hands-on guidance when needed?

Christiane said: Oct 17, 2014
Christiane Pors-Sadoff
Suzuki Association Member
New York, NY
47 posts

I love the circle formation if there is enough space as it feels more unifying overall. With young (3&4) Pre T’s I ask the parents to sit right behind the child. This way they are totally engaged in helping the child with technical or emotional difficulties. I don’t find that it’s possible to ask children this young to function as if they are school aged. I don’t know how young yours are, but you might try shifting the emphasis this way. It is a lot less stressful for the teacher, too.

Christiane Pors
Mikomi Violin Studio
Kaufman Music Center
NYU Steinhardt

Heather Figi said: Oct 17, 2014
Heather FigiViolin
Eugene, OR
97 posts

Greetings, I personally love a circle formation too if the teaching space allows for it. Perhaps putting a sticker where each student stands to keep proximity appropriate may be helpful.

Sometimes it is necessary to try something a few times to see if it works. For example, if the students were more animated or distracted than usual it could just be a full moon.

Please let us know how this works. I would love to hear. Thanks and best wishes, Heather

Mary Price said: Oct 20, 2014
Mary Price
Suzuki Association Member
1 posts

Hi Trish,

I, too, like the circle formation and have parents sit behind their children. This makes it easy when I want them to do an activity with their parents because they can simply turn around to engage together. I have also found that having a small rug for each individual child helped them stay in place. You can usually get carpet samples for very little money. Also, I would do lots of activities that involve movement and making sound. :)

Good luck!


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