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In a new commitment to providing excellent guitar instruction for students ages 4 through 8 the Preparatory has launched a Suzuki guitar program. Suzuki music education is a time-tested, highly successful method of teaching young children in a developmentally appropriate and fun way! A few facts about the program:

  • Children initially learn by ear. The Suzuki method capitalizes on the natural inclination of young children to process a skill like learning an instrument in the same way that they learn spoken language. Learn more about the Mother-Tongue Approach here.
  • Parents are involved in the process of learning along with their children, and are provided with adult-only instruction along with strategies to support music learning at home and help create good practice habits.
  • In addition to a weekly private lesson, Suzuki music learning has a group component that children participate in regularly as well. This is a way for children of the same age to practice making music together, play theory games, and enjoy being with peers learning as a team.
  • By design, instruction is tailored to the needs and learning style of the individual child. Suzuki teachers have extensive training in strategies to teach young children even the most complicated techniques in a way that is achievable for them. A positive, joyful learning environment is emphasized to help every child to reach their full potential.

Required Materials for Pre-Twinkle class and Suzuki lessons

Appropriately-sized guitar: Children must obtain a classical guitar with nylon strings of an appropriate quality. A good general sizing guideline is that when standing next to the instrument, the guitar should come up to the student’s waist. You can obtain guitars at the following online or brick and mortar stores:

  • Kirkpatrick Guitars. (Local shop.) Carries some used instruments, and all accessories needed. By appointment
  • Meantime Guitar Studio – order recommended Strunal guitars online.
  • Strings By Mail. Carries all accessories as well as highly rated Cordoba and LaMancha guitars
  • Right-Size Guitars. Carries Kremonas, which are excellent quality, consistency and affordability.

Students without the appropriate instrument may not be able participate in the program. Please reach out to department co-chair Zoë Stewart if you have any questions before purchasing an instrument. 

Note: smaller (aka “fractional”) guitars are generally sized on string length. Assuming an average percentile of height for their age, young kids (4 – 6) will do best with a ~ 44cm string length; 7 – 10ish with a 51-55 string length; ages 9 – 12 a 55 – 58 string length. Often around age 12 or 13 students can manage a full size guitar.

Appropriately-sized portable chair/stool: Parents will have to bring their child’s seat to lessons and group classes. Seats should have no arms, and allow the student’s legs to be at an approximately 90 degree angle (very flat lap) when are flat on the floor. Kids’-size drum stools  are comfortable, break down well and adjustable; however collapsible step stools or even small armless chairs can work well also.

Guitarist’s footstool: This is essential for proper seating position.

Guitar Foot Rest, Height Adjustable Guitar Footstools/Folding Footstool,Pedal (Black)

Recording: students must listen to the recording of the book 1 repertoire very regularly.

MP3 version
CD version
Suzuki Guitar Book 1

Tuner: There are many smartphone apps that work well to tune your child’s guitar. I also recommend the snark tuner that is quite accurate and easy to use.