not enough beginners for group

said: Aug 19, 2008
 55 posts

Two years ago I started a young group of beginners together in a class and it worked out wonderful—my ideal way to begin! Last year I only had one beginner and because she was a bit older she learned more quickly and fit right in with the class that had started the year before. This year however, I do not know what to do with my beginners. Presently, I only have one, maybe two. This is not enough to have their own group, however, being just beginnners I do not feel it is appropriate to put them in the group of kids that began two years ago even though they are mostly just twinklers. I do not want to wait until I have more beginners—that doesn’t seem to happen in my area—and the times I have told parents I would be starting a new class in the fall and they should wait they found something else or another teacher. Does anyone have any suggestions how to include group experience with my beginners?
Thanks in advance.

Elizabeth Ortiz said: Aug 20, 2008
Elizabeth Ortiz
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Cary, IL
14 posts

Are there any other Suzuki teachers in your area whom you could combine beginers with to give them a group experience?

said: Aug 21, 2008
 55 posts

There is only one other Suzuki violin teacher here. He has only been here two years and has fewer students that me. I had not considered asking him to colaborate on group classes because I don’t really know him and he teaches at a music school that is dealing with some rather bad politics right now. You are right though. I should at least talk to him about it. Thanks.

Sara said: Sep 25, 2008
191 posts

I am in a similar situation. I moved to new area and started a fresh studio. My first group all began within three months of each other. Much later I had two more join of a much younger age. I started a group of two. I figure it is better than no group at all.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Lynn said: Sep 26, 2008
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

I rarely have enough students to do a pure beginner class, so I never worry about it. I start students when I start them, and they attend the early Book 1 group class. It means that they spend substantial amounts of time observing at first, but I do find ways to involve them in what the more advanced students are doing, even if it’s bowing along with a song with their bow on their shoulder. I’ll alternate between group-level work and focus on basic, foundational skills, which serves as both a review for the older students, and something that addresses the level of the beginner. It’s always interesting to see who the new-comer picks out to try and copy.

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