Our Educational Base on the Suzuki Method and Philosophy
SSA’s main offering of classes is based on the educational philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, who founded the Talent Education Method in Japan in the late 1940s. It is a general basis for learning, applicable for everyone. The purpose besides developing skills and aptitude for music is to cultivate happiness, strength, and self-confidence. By growing up with music, children can ultimately help in creating a better world, which is the heart of the Suzuki Philosophy.
The child learns by listening, reproducing, and progressing in small steps. The parents’ role is major. Listening to the music before playing helps children develop a sense of pitch, rhythm, sound, phrasing, and more. Note reading is very important and comes when the playing skills are fundamentally secured, similar to learning to read after speaking a language. Comparison with every child’s learning his/her mother tongue is no coincidence. The Suzuki approach is sometimes called “The Mother Tongue Method.”
SSA participates in alliances and partnerships with local and regional community organizations. We are charter members of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, LVPAC. SSA helps arrange and lead a summer youth symphony orchestra, LASYO, in partnership with the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association.—LAS is the local symphony. SSA also cooperates with the New World Music Academy (NWMA) in Pleasanton and Peace Lutheran Church in Danville. SSA is an approved vendor, providing music instruction to home-schooled students through Connecting Waters Charter School.
SSA runs a year-round instruction calendar. The Academy offers lessons on string instruments to children from three years old with the Suzuki Method, up through high-school age and adult. Throughout the school year, students perform at formal concerts and recitals. Performance is an integral part of the students’ education. The program includes chamber music and chamber orchestra classes for further performance experience.
The Sycamore Strings Academy program is the continuation of a long-established educational program in our area. It has existed since 1984 in Livermore and is currently a sole proprietary business owned by artistic director and violin teacher Göran Berg.