Author and Suzuki violin teacher Katrin St. Clair has just published her first book in a series she is planning about family life in the Suzuki method. Violin Lessons!! is written as a twenty-one-page illustrated booklet following Jim and his mom as they begin their journey into the world of music and Suzuki violin lessons.
With her imaginative approach, St. Clair has managed to capture the experience of starting a new instrument, with text and illustrations that guide the reader through the steps necessary to a successful beginning for the student and parent in the Suzuki approach. The language in the book is always purposeful and informative without sounding unnecessarily instructive. The illustrations (by her father, Cy St. Clair) are colorful and capture the mood of the text with a positive attitude. They show the wonder and fun of discovering each new aspect of learning along the way.
The book is written for parents and their children to share. Most importantly, it emphasizes the essential elements we ourselves as teachers would explain to a parent inquiring about lessons for their child: from listening, to observation, parent participation, step-by-step mastery, repetition of skills in the home practice and group lessons. This book is an appropriate length for children at the youngest level while remaining a clear, concise source of information for the parents as well.
While the book describes in particular the experiences of a new violin student, the messages delineated are universal for any instrumental study in the Suzuki method. It is a handy read to have around any teacher’s studio. We can all look forward to Katrin’s further publications titled Solo Recital and Suzuki Institute.