Third Street's Strings Department welcomes students of all ages and levels in violin, viola, cello and string bass. New students ages five or under, or students with prior playing experience, will have the opportunity to meet with the Department Chairperson for placement.
A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?" - Albert Einstein
Students may opt for Suzuki approach-based lessons which pair individual instruction with a weekly Repertoire Class that immerses the student in the world of music with a group of their peers, or a traditionally taught class for those over 5, who have begun to read words.
Instruction for string instruments is available in focused, one-on-one individual lessons; in shared partner lessons where two students of a similar level learn from the same teacher; and in larger group lessons that place 3-5 students in front of electronic keyboards.
Class Types: Traditional & Suzuki Instruction Methods
There are many methods for teaching music; furthermore, all instruments and voice can be taught traditionally. The most effective teachers bring the best of what they have learned through their own training and experience and develop an approach that enables them to respond to the needs of each individual student. In general, the traditional approach to music study integrates note reading and playing with a customized repertoire based on the student’s needs and interests.
The traditional approach is best suited to adults and children over the age of five who have already begun to read words. Parent/guardian participation in a child’s lesson, though desirable, is optional with the traditional method of instruction.
The Suzuki Method of instruction is available for piano, violin, viola, cello, string bass and flute. As much a life philosophy as it is a method, The Suzuki Method of instruction was developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan after the end of World War II . Dr. Suzuki believed that all children are innately musical, that they can excel musically and that a “beautiful heart,” sensitivity and discipline can be achieved through hearing and playing music when started early in life. The Suzuki Method is most effective when started with very young children.
Here are some hallmarks of the Suzuki Method:
- The method is based on the way children learn their native language—by listening and imitating. Pieces are learned by ear (without reading music) and played from memory. Note reading is incorporated later on in the child’s training, when the child is beginning to read words.
- Parent, teacher and child are all active participants in the learning process. Parents must be willing to learn the instruction method and make a commitment to attend lessons, group classes and performances. Parents are also required to participate in at-home practice.
- The curriculum uses a common repertoire which is organized by books of advancing levels, starting with Book 1. The common repertoire enables students to play with each other and creates an international community of Suzuki learners.
- In addition to individual, partner or group lessons, young Suzuki students are required to attend a weekly repertoire class. The purpose of this class is to review and reinforce pieces learned in lessons while developing musicality and ensemble playing skills, often using games to highlight important technical points and encourage music reading. Repertoire classes also promote development of musical rapport among students.
Jazz Theory & Improvisation
One key element common to almost all jazz styles is improvisastion. A strong base in jazz theory, performance and improv can also provide an excellent background for other popular styles of music. Third Street offers an a class in Jazz Theory & Improvisation which complements participation in band and jazz ensembles for students of any instrument.
Third Street offers many performance opportunities to its students, including Music Hours, Studio Recitals, Department Recitals and more. Click here for details on these fun and fulfilling opportunities.
Students are encouraged to join and play in one of the School's many ensembles. Ensembles available to string students include four different Orchestras, Chamber Ensembles, Jazz Bands and Rock Bands. Click any of these links to learn more about each ensemble.
The Music Development Program
Initiated by the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada), The Music Development Program is in an effort to establish a standardized course of music study throughout the United States. Periodic, non-competitive assessments (examinations) are a core component and help to measure each student’s progress. Third Street is a Founding School and Assessment Center for the Music Development Program. Click here for more details about the program and to register for an assessment.
String ’Stravaganza is a department-wide event for all string students, held twice a year. Students of all ages and levels play together, performing pieces they have learned in Suzuki Repertoire Class while gaining experience in ensemble playing and public performance.