Instrument Lessons
The curriculum is based on the Suzuki philosophy of "Talent Education."

Lessons:
Offerings include violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, harp, flute and voice, and students ages five and older, including adults, may enroll in individual weekly lessons. Students ages three and four, known as pre-twinklers, come twice a week and are paired with a partner.

Classes:
Weekly instrument group classes, including performing orchestras, chamber groups, and other group ensembles, are a companion to lessons.

Special events:
Opportunities to participate in outreach events, master classes, and annual piano or string events are always offered. Events are planned throughout the year to encourage performance; students are given the opportunity to play in one recital per year.

Violin

alt text In the early years of the Suzuki Method, violins were the only instruments available in very small sizes. Suzuki himself was a violinist and he first evolved his method on the violin. The violin is the soprano voice of the string family and is chosen by large numbers of students. It is available in sizes to fit every age. Most three year old children begin on a 1/10 or 1/16 size. The Preucil School offers violin lessons from age three to adult.

Viola

alt text Beginners are encouraged to consider studying the viola. It is the alto voice of the string family and its strings are tuned five pitches lower than those of the violin. Many children find the rich tones of the viola especially appealing. While full-sized violas are larger than violins, smaller sizes are fitted the same as violins for younger students. Violists provide an essential voice in string quartets and orchestras and often are in great demand.

The School has a limited number of violas available on loan for older violin students who wish to add viola skills by playing viola in orchestra or quartets. Occasionally, violin students decide to transfer to the viola; this is an easy adjustment which provides many new opportunities.

The viola program at the Preucil School is highly regarded internationally. Doris Preucil is the author of the "Suzuki Viola School" with William Preucil and Michael Isaac Strauss performing on the accompanying recordings.

Cello

alt text The cello is the tenor voice of the string family, with the largest range from low to high of all the stringed instruments. Advanced students derive great pleasure from performing in cello choir, in which the cellos can encompass all four parts. Cellos come in sizes small enough for three year olds

Bass

alt text In recent years, the string bass has come into its own as a solo instrument, while maintaining its traditional importance as the foundation of the orchestra, concert band, or jazz group. Children who have not started a stringed instrument by fourth or fifth grade, or pianists who want to join the orchestra program are encouraged to consider the string bass. Because of the limited number of bass students, it is not possible to offer group classes, but orchestra participation is encouraged as soon as the basics are learned.
Click for a note from Jeanette.

Piano

alt text The adoption of Suzuki's "mother language" philosophy to piano teaching has resulted in musically mature playing from very young students. Learning without printed notes at first allows students to internalize the music and concentrate on correct touch and beautiful tone. Note reading is usually pursued around the Book Two level, but depends on the student's age.

Most piano benches are not high enough for young students. Being relaxed, comfortable, and balanced at the beginning stages is a priority. At lessons, an adjustable bench is used to place students at the proper height. When a child is sitting at the correct height, the forearms will be parallel with the floor. Footstools are placed under the feet for balance. This procedure should be followed at home to provide consistency of position while at the piano. Adjustable benches may be purchased at music stores or by mail order. Sturdy cushions or large books can also be used.

In order to provide the most positive environment, the home piano is of extreme importance. A piano may change pitch with temperature changes and usually should be tuned twice a year. Much effort is placed in developing the student's ear; an out-of-tune piano will subvert that effort!

Flute

alt text The Suzuki Flute method was founded by Toshio Takahashi in 1969 in Japan. After studying flute with Marcel Moyse (one of the master pedagogues of the French flute method), pedagogy and philosophy with Shinichi Suzuki, Takahashi created a method of flute study combining the French flute tradition and Suzuki approach to music education. The Preucil School is delighted to once again offer the flute as part of its curriculum to students ranging in ages from 5 – adult.


Harp

alt text In recent years, a generation of harpists has evolved using the Suzuki method. These harpists are playing at higher levels at younger ages. There are harps of all sizes for every age, from the pre-school to adult. This allows for early involvement with the instrument and leads to life-long enjoyment of music.

Voice

alt text Suzuki voice gives children the opportunity to enjoy the one instrument given to them at birth. Traditional voice study and Suzuki voice study share the common goal of developing a natural and free singing technique. Voice instructor Gloria Galask has a Masters degree from the University of Iowa and has been an active soloist and vocal teacher in the Iowa City community for the past 28 years.