Mrs. Myriam Harvey
Violin, Viola, Cello Teacher
I have been teaching music for 35 years, the last ten as a certified Suzuki instructor of violin/viola. I take beginning cello and double bass students, as well, although I am not certified in those instruments.
What’s not to love about the Suzuki method? As a child taking instrumental lessons, I heard, “You’re doing it wrong.” Played again, heard, “You’re still doing it wrong.” After observing the Suzuki method as taught to my young daughters, I thought, “I could do that!”
I bought the Suzuki books and began teaching. I made a LOT of mistakes. I first had the opportunity to attend an Institute in 2005, at the age of 50, after we sold our house in California. I was mightily impressed by the teacher training, Master Classes, and recitals at Northern Arizona University. The basic message of Every Child Can filled me with enthusiasm and hope that I, too, could be a better teacher. We moved to Oregon, and I began my true career as a Suzuki teacher.
I always tell people, “I have the best job in the world.” And I do! I learn so much from my students. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take the teacher training (Books 1-3) that I have. I was a Performance major in music school (Mannes School of Music, NY), and I didn’t learn a thing about teaching. I know lots of musicians who teach to support themselves, but they’d rather be performing. I do perform, but I’d rather be teaching. I LOVE seeing my students discover the joy of music. I feel like a proud parent when I listen to a student perform as well as they can, no matter the level. And what a thrill to see a student perform at a level better than I can play!
I advise parents looking for a Suzuki teacher to research the method first (read books by Shinichi Suzuki, talk to other “Suzuki parents”). It will require a commitment of time, effort, and money. This is not your parents’ music lesson (drop the kid off, pick the kid up). You will need to attend lessons, taking notes—or filming the lesson—and follow through at home with “home teaching” and review sessions. The student needs to attend lessons regularly and practice EVERY DAY for one minute for each year of age per practice session (five minutes per session for a five year old, etc.) There will be recitals and other opportunities to perform, and parents will have to drive their student to these, as well as private lessons and Group lessons.
I do teach adult students, but they can use any genre they like for their lessons (classical or fiddling).
As a child, I was entered into annual competitions and played in regional orchestras. As a teenager, I played in community theater pit orchestra; formed a quartet with fellow students; performed in area rest homes; sat as first chair in my high school orchestra; and played in a local symphony orchestra. I received a music scholarship from my high school. I studied under Professor Vladimir Graffman at Mannes School of Music in New York (possibly the last year of his life) for a year, before leaving school to marry my husband, who was hired by Walt Disney Studios —necessitating a move to Burbank, California. I continued studying music on my own while raising four daughters, beginning my teaching life with them. (They are not violinists, but they all have a tremendous appreciation for music and art, and their careers reflect that.) I am enjoying teaching a new generation of students, and will never retire.