Welcome to The School for Strings!
A pioneer in the Suzuki education in the United States, The School for Strings encourages and challenges students, parents and faculty to achieve beyond their own expectations: Each expectation becomes the gateway for the next one, a continuous reach for improvement.
There is nothing commonplace about Suzuki education. Its goal is to build in each child a foundation for learning through the study of music, and to do so with nurture and love, with strength of character and unwavering commitment. Dr. Suzuki’s belief in each child’s tremendous ability to learn and to achieve is infectious.
As very young children progress by climbing a brilliantly designed curriculum ladder, taking small steps, perfecting them and, in the process, building a solid foundation, they overcome obstacles, discover confidence and rewards of hard work. Each individual brings his or her own set of strengths and weaknesses to the process. Louise Behrend, the legendary violin teacher and the Founder of The School for Strings, believed that children’s strengths take care of themselves in time. The School’s goal was to resolve children’s weaknesses. A fragile stalk of a budding tree would need to become a strong trunk before being able to support what is most visible and beautiful.
If not for a community of parents who enthusiastically agree to take on a central role, that of surrogate at-home teachers, The School’s efforts would fall flat. The number one priority of the School is to create a community of dedicated parents. Continuing parent education is the key to the School’s success. In truth, The School for Strings is first a school for parents, and then for children. Dr. Suzuki wisely said, “Children never fail, only parents do.”
Classical music education of quality is never convenient. It is not an afterschool activity. It is a lifestyle. Especially so, when it engages very young children and sets far-reaching goals. Classical music becomes the guiding light in the child’s life. It clashes with many current trends of child rearing. It requires substantial adjustment to family life. In the words of Louise Behrend, “The School for Strings offers a respite from the modern world.”
Dr. Suzuki’s own inspiration for creating a system of music education came from studying how children acquire their native language. Constant exposure to music, and specifically to the music children were about to study, became a crucial, non-negotiable ingredient in Suzuki education. Why would you expect a three-year-old child to learn a language without ever hearing it?
Dr. Suzuki’s principles form most, but not all of the core of The School for Strings. Miss Behrend brought an added dimension to his system, both subtle and significant. Dr. Suzuki saw music as a vehicle for child’s development. Miss Behrend saw music as divine inspiration. Striving for understanding and realizing composers’ intentions and bringing out the inner beauty of their music is her School for Strings legacy.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to our community and to the magical and transformative world of music.
Alexander Yudkovsky (Sasha)