It's been an incredible year here at the South Pasadena Suzuki Piano Studio. We welcomed many new students in September, and watched those children excel and develop as young pianists. We observed continuing students as they expanded their skill sets. We participated in rigorous programs like Certificate of Merit, practiced hard, listened a lot, and performed on numerous occasions, whether at school, Suzuki Graduations, private home recitals, studio recitals, or simply for family and friends.
Since its inception 3 years ago, this studio has reached its full capacity. I am proud to announce that going into September, nearly all 40 students will participate in our theory program, which is completely unique to this studio. Yes, an extra drive to my house once a week, but one that leads to a tremendous amount of musical growth outside the piano specifically. This year, I watched a 6 year old build the "Circle of 5ths" and name the order of sharps and flats with amazing speed and comprehension. These concepts may not be familiar to you because they are often taught at the college level, not to young children in the context of games. However, I have discovered that young musicians have a remarkable ability to absorb theoretical concepts as well as learn to play the instrument physically. Thus, intellect meets dexterity, dexterity meets intellect.
A few students performed the entirety of Suzuki Book One for family and friends this year, a very special treat for a teacher. This means that the child plays all 17 pieces, completely memorized, consecutively, note-perfectly, and musically. Not only did the families throw very fun parties that their children will remember as cornerstones of their childhood, but an incredible amount of hard work was on display. Watching as the children dove into the arms of their parents following the performances with tears and smiles, I couldn't help but think about the profound bond being formed here.
Thanks to you all who make this studio such a special place. Cheers to a great year, and many more to come!
-Samantha, June 2015