Amelia Seyssel Parks - Music Studio
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About  






    A Suzuki Voice Student Learns by:

  • Listening - A recording of the student's current pieces are listened to daily
  • Imitation - At each lesson the teacher chooses a section or phrase to work on and the child is taught by imitation how to sing it
  • Repetition - The phrase is mastered and then repeated in the lesson and, with the parent's help, is repeated further at home before the next lesson. Children are taught early: "How to practice and what to practice" and are empowered with practice tools, including games and activities

   
Solo Performances May 2013

The Suzuki Voice Program teaches children aged prenatal through school-age and through the teenage years into adulthood. It begins with the understanding that the voice is an instrument and is committed to addressing each student's unique and individual needs.

The Suzuki Voice Program recognizes that the voice is the primary human instrument for music making and instantly accessible regardless of age. Because of this, technical training can occur earlier than for any other instrument. Suzuki Voice for the very early ages is not a pre-instrumental class but one which focuses on learning voice as an instrument.

As with all Suzuki Method learning, the parent is heavily involved in the learning process. A parent attends each lesson, often singing with the child at the lesson as well. The parent is also responsible for: making sure that the child has plentiful opportunity to listen to the music being learned (a CD is provided); taking notes during the lesson in order to best facilitate home practice; and making sure that the at-home practice sessions both occur regularly and are joyfully engaged.

The aim of the program is to begin with simple folk songs and graduate to more challenging levels of classical songs. The student learns both musical and technical skills while being introduced to a wide range of classical vocal repertoire, cultures and languages.

Classical repertoire forms the foundation and core material since the technique required to sing that repertoire gives the student the most extensive technical base possible. Other graded repertoire, including Disney songs and musical theater, is widely prescribed depending on the motivation needs of the individual child.

    Features of the Suzuki Voice program are:

  • Everyday singing and special singing exercises
  • Development of the child's unique and natural voice
  • Development of listening skills and support of linguistic ability
  • Singing in different languages and from different countries, encouraging children to be curious about their world
  • Performing at an early age, both solo and group
  • Lessons from birth & prenatal, Individual Lessons possible from age three; Group Lesson interaction with the child's peers throughout
  • Family Lessons (2 or more children of one family) possible throughout
  • Parental involvement in the learning process throughout
  • Singing days, workshops, solo graduating recitals, staged productions
  • Internationally located "Song Sharing" workshops open exclusively to students of qualified Suzuki Voice teachers focusing on the idea of "peace through cultural understanding"
  • Teacher accreditation through an international exam system

More detailed information regarding the International Suzuki Voice program at:

SOME COMMON QUESTIONS:


Why Suzuki Voice?

The Suzuki Voice approach to technique is designed to awaken the unique sound of the individual voice. It does this in a manner appropriate to the individual's physical development potential, ensuring a 'safe' means of producing the singing voice from a very young age. Technical development as the child ages occurs seamlessly, safely negotiating the child through puberty and beyond.

Because the body itself is the instrument under study the Suzuki Voice program automatically includes a holistic experience of music and movement while teaching musicality and technique. The importance of musical phrasing, expression and the production of a beautiful tone is paramount from the very beginning.

The voice is the only instrument that combines words with the musical line. The Suzuki Voice program focuses on an understanding of what is being sung and how to communicate that to the listener, enlarging the child's vocabulary and poetic sensibilities. Additionally, it teaches singing in other languages from an early age, broadening the child's cultural outlook and expanding their horizons.


What age is best to begin the Method?

Volume One and Two repertoire has been specifically developed for ages prenatal to about 6 years old, but is applicable to all ages. Because the repertoire is designed in a sequential manner – each piece building technically on what came before – an older child, or even an adult, still gains by studying the Volume One and Two repertoire. Each student, regardless of age, moves through the material at whatever pace the technique and the repertoire is mastered. A strong foundation guarantees future success.

Because the Suzuki method trains the teacher to teach to the child's own unique pace of development, older age beginners simply move more quickly through the early repertoire — at their own technical pace. The teacher carefully considers all aspects of learning necessary for each child. Older age beginners need to achieve a healthy 'balance' between motivation and a good technical foundation.


What kind of songs does the child sing?

Volume One and Two repertoire is primarily folk songs from different countries sung in the child's native language. The child is accompanied by piano (or guitar or harp) which also doubles the melody, allowing the child to gradually gain confidence in performing. Volume Two additionally expands the singing range and introduces singing in foreign languages and singing in parts and in canon.

Volume Three core repertoire introduces short songs by well-known composers from different countries and in the original languages. These are predominantly accompanied by small chamber ensemble (or optional piano). The child learns about different musical periods while exploring foreign language and musical style more deeply.

Level Four core repertoire grows the child's multi-cultural exploration to an even deeper level, introducing some easier Italian Arias as well as Art Songs from a variety of different cultures and languages.

'Core repertoire' is that repertoire which is considered essential for the child to learn in order to actually build and grow the child's vocal instrument and musical understanding. The core repertoire included in the Suzuki Voice volumes is chosen with great care to both motivate the child as well as to grow the child's technical ability in a healthy and safe manner.

'Additional repertoire' may be assigned throughout the learning process (all levels) appropriate to the child's growing technical ability. This can include Disney songs and musical theater songs. Additional repertoire may also be assigned depending on the group activities of the Studio, including any staged presentations (singing while acting with sets and costumes) that the teacher organizes.


What happens in a Suzuki Voice lesson?

Each lesson includes:

  • Listening, concentration, and a variety of activities to enhance learning
  • Practical work: stretching, posture, breathing, tongue, jaw, lips
  • Vocalizations (tailored to the age of the student)
  • Singing (individual and in group)
  • Movement, dance, acting
  • Practicing performance

Group lessons additionally motivate the child by emphasizing group interaction including:

  • Sharing with the child's peers the results of their hard work
  • Including singing in round, canon and parts
  • Practicing performing skills in front of a student/parent audience
  • Learning and practicing stage and theater skills ('acting' with others while singing)

Is Reading Music addressed?

Reading the musical score is introduced as a separate skill when basic vocal skills and musical concepts are well grounded and depending on the age and readiness of the child. Singing first, reading second; you cannot read what you do not understand. The Suzuki Method recognizes that to be a well-rounded musician one must be 'literate' in the written musical score. Reading music is introduced in a step-by-step approach when the child has mastered the musical and technical fundamentals. A properly educated Suzuki Method student ultimately reads the musical score as well an any traditionally trained student, but may appear to lag behind in the beginning stages depending on the age of the child.


How did the Suzuki Voice program develop and how long has it been taught?

The Suzuki Voice repertoire and teaching techniques have been developed by Dr. Päivi Kukkamäki (in Finland) under the personal direction of Dr. and Mrs. Suzuki over a 17 year period (1986-2003) and additionally promoted and developed by an international association of dedicated Suzuki Voice teachers since that time. The original infants and toddlers that began the program are now over 20 years old and some of them have begun professional vocal studies with high caliber teachers and at prestigious conservatories.

The Suzuki Voice program has only one internationally accepted repertoire curriculum which is used everywhere in the world. It has been specifically designed to teach vocal technique and style in a progressive manner from birth. The Suzuki Voice program currently operates in 20 countries in Europe, in Japan, in Latin-America, in Australia and in North America (United States and Canada).


How is a Suzuki Voice Teacher trained and what qualifications must they have?

Suzuki Voice Teacher Training and Certification at the international level is appropriately intensive and requires, for each level of training, from 120-160 hours depending on the Level. There is a total of five training levels of increasing competency. The passing of an examination adjudicated by no less than three examiners is required at each level before training at the next level can begin.

Teachers-in-training are expected to have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in vocal performance or it's equivalent before beginning their training and must first pass an audition in order to be accepted into the program. During the training program they are additionally educated in the areas of child development, Suzuki philosophy, and vocal technique and pedagogy. The training program is progressive, each level building and requiring more and more expertise in all areas.






About the Method

Founded in the 1950s by Shinichi Suzuki, the Suzuki Method grew out of his observations that children were universally successful at learning their mother tongue. He recognized that such learning was successful because the child was totally immersed in the sounds and rhythms of the language, because the child was expected to learn only in steps appropriate to their age level, and because loving and caring parents reinforced and encouraged the learning process.

By applying these principles to musical instrument study, Suzuki developed a method of teaching that focuses on developing the whole child. With the active involvement of their parents, children are immersed in the music at home by listening to recordings of the repertoire to be learned. Children are motivated by the demonstrated interest and involvement of their parents, by seeing other students their age performing and having lessons, and by their individual experiences of success at learning, step by step, a creative and complex skill.

Teachers are trained to create a learning environment at the lesson that enables a child to learn at their own natural pace and that fosters an attitude of self-esteem that is based on real accomplishment. The learning environment centers itself around the belief that to become a fine artist or musician, one must first become a fine person. Student, parent and teacher work together in a 'triangle' of communication, supporting each other in their endeavors.




Highlights of the Suzuki Method:

  • fosters a concern for the whole child — physical, social, emotional and cognitive
  • emphasizes individual appropriateness while offering a challenging curriculum, allowing children to operate on the edge of their developing capacities
  • is child centered, rather than teacher centered
  • takes "one step at a time": consolidates what the child knows and is able to do, and encourages acquisition of new skills built on a strong foundation of positively experienced "success events"
  • tailors skills acquisition "steps" to match the individual learning pace of the child, thereby guaranteeing the experience of successful learning
  • develops a positive sense of the child's own self identity, while fostering respect for others
  • creates an environment where children feel safe and valued
  • actively involves the parent in the learning process, establishing a reciprocal relationship between teacher and parent

Additional information regarding the Suzuki Method, see Wikipedia article:







About Piano

The Suzuki Piano Method was one of the first instruments to be developed by Dr. Suzuki and, therefore, has a long history of experience in developing and refining the repertoire and teaching techniques.

The piano is an immediately accessible instrument — the child is able to play a simple melody, in tune, usually at the first lesson. As lessons develop and as the student develops the ability to play both hands at the same time, the music becomes naturally full and satisfying because it includes both melody and harmony — more than one pitch played at a time.

Keyboard study enhances eye to hand coordination, a skill that profoundly impacts all areas of brain development. The Suzuki Piano program is able to teach young children at an age when eye to hand coordination is in "primary acquisition mode," thus greatly enhancing brain development at a critical time in the child's learning process.

A Suzuki Piano Student Learns by:

  • Listening - A recording of the student's current pieces are listened to daily
  • Imitation - At each lesson the teacher chooses a section or phrase to work on and the child is taught by imitation how to play it
  • Repetition - The phrase is mastered and then repeated in the lesson and, with the parent's help, is repeated further at home before the next lesson. Children are taught early: "How to practice and what to practice" and are empowered with practice tools, including games and activities

How early a child can begin to play the piano is dependent on two criteria: 1) the individual child's motor development, and 2) the individual child's readiness to creatively interact with the teacher on a one-to-one basis. The teacher generally determines suitability on a case-by-case basis. In nearly all cases, the child is ready to begin private study by age four.

In keeping with the Suzuki principle of teaching appropriate to the child's age and capacity, reading the musical score is introduced as a separate skill when basic keyboard skills and musical concepts are well grounded. Playing first; reading second. You cannot read what you do not understand. For the average 4-year old beginner reading would normally begin at the start of the second semester of study, but might begin sooner depending on the child.









About Private Voice Lessons for Teenagers & Adults
Poughkeepsie Studio

Private Lessons in VOICE are available for Teenagers & Adults using Traditional (non-Suzuki) methods. Since good technique allows the singer full access to their WHOLE voice as well as to the fullest range of color and expression available to each voice (regardless of what 'style' is being sung), the focus of all lessons is the development of better and better vocal technique. Repertoire is chosen for each singer with this primary goal in mind, but also taking into account the individual's voice type and personality. Additional repertoire outside of the basic repertoire needed to develop good technique can also be included in the lesson if the singer has need (including musical theater). The teacher typically accompanies in the lesson, with an accompanist provided (at an additional charge) for any performance occasions.

Technical basics included in all lessons are:

  • Posture - the attitude or stance of the body, both overall and in regard to the head, neck & shoulders.
  • Breathing - the intake and outflow of air, particularly in regard to maximizing the 'natural' air flow and it's relation to sound production.
  • Release - the 'timing' of the creation of the sound itself.
  • Resonance & Tone Production - the carrying power of the voice: where it is produced & how to develop, maximize, and gain mastery over it.
  • Vowel & Consonant formation - the formation of the lips, tongue and mouth to form the parts of the words.
  • Diction - the ability to declaim the text so that it is clear and understandable to the audience.
  • Pronunciation & Articulation - knowledge of the language itself (including foreign languages): how it's parts are pronounced and articulated.

Regular opportunities to perform solo repertoire in public are available in the twice annual Studio Recitals at the singer's discretion. Your teacher is also a member of N.A.T.S. (National Association of Teacher's of Singing) and of M.T.N.A. (Music Teachers National Association) with access to competition & graded examination possibilities through these organizations as well as others; and can also prepare teens for NYSSMA examinations. Solo recitals, either for an individual student or jointly with another student, can also be arranged.

Lessons in SIGHT-SINGING are also available at the same rates as for VOICE.

Payment: Adults & teenagers above the age of 16 are expected to reserve as regular an appointment time as their schedule permits and to schedule specific dates in advance with prepayment expected for no less than 4 lessons at a time (or for the remaining number of lessons scheduled in that semester/session). Students above the age of 16 are expected to attend lessons regularly, similarly to younger ages in the Studio. Excessive irregularity in lesson attendance may forfeit the privilege of the reserved regular appointment time in favor of a more reliably scheduled student.

Lesson Availability: Adults & teenagers follow the same calendar as the rest of the studio. Lessons are only available during scheduled weeks as listed on the current Studio Calendar.

Fees (effective Oct 2014):   30-minute lesson = $30;   45-minute lesson = $45;   60-minute lesson = $60.






About the Raynham Studio

The Music Studio in Raynham, MA offers instruction in Suzuki Voice for children and Traditional private vocal instruction for adults. Lessons are conducted on a regular basis as scheduled on the Studio Calendar. All students are expected to commit to a regular course of study and to prioritize lesson attendance to the extent of adapting their other activities to the studio schedule. Tuition is paid on a 'per diem' basis at each lesson, private or group.

SUZUKI VOICE:
Suzuki Voice students are expected to attend private instruction and group instruction as scheduled by the Studio. In all cases, the parent is expected to attend the lesson. Under certain conditions 'Family Lesson' arrangements may be available for families with more than one child sharing the lesson time.

Studio Recitals are a necessary and important part of Suzuki instruction and are scheduled in Raynham appropriate to the needs of the current enrollment and the availability of the teacher and accompanist. All Suzuki Voice students are expected to participate. All Raynham Suzuki Voice students are also welcome to participate in any scheduled Poughkeepsie, NY recitals and productions.

Graduation Recitals are also important parts of the Suzuki approach to learning and are scheduled in Raynham, NY as needed with fees appropriate to the occasion being considered at that time.

'New Parent Orientations' are required before any child can begin Suzuki Voice study and are designed to fully inform the parent in regards to their responsibilities to their child both in the lesson and at home. These lecture/discussions are intended to benefit the student's learning potential in a positive and constructive way and to enable the closest possible guarantee of a successful outcome of study. No matter what the age of the child the parent's understanding and support are critical to the ultimate outcome.

TRADITIONAL VOCAL INSTRUCTION FOR ADULTS:
Private Lessons in voice are available for adults using Traditional (non-Suzuki) methods. Since good technique allows the singer full access to their WHOLE voice as well as to the fullest range of color and expression available to each voice (regardless of what 'style' is being sung), the focus of all lessons is the development of better and better vocal technique. Repertoire is chosen for each singer with this primary goal in mind, but also taking into account the individual's voice type and personality. Additional repertoire outside of the basic repertoire needed to develop good technique can also be Adult students are also invited to perform in any studio recital scheduled at the Raynham studio at their discretion and choice.included in the lesson if the singer has need (including musical theater).

TECHNICAL BASICS INCLUDED IN ALL LESSONS are:

  • Posture - the attitude or stance of the body, both overall and in regard to the head, neck & shoulders.
  • Breathing - the intake and outflow of air, particularly in regard to maximizing the 'natural' air flow and it's relation to sound production.
  • Release - the 'timing' of the creation of the sound itself.
  • Resonance & Tone Production - the carrying power of the voice: where it is produced & how to develop, maximize, and gain mastery over it.
  • Vowel & Consonant formation - the formation of the lips, tongue and mouth to form the parts of the words.
  • Diction - the ability to declaim the text so that it is clear and understandable to the audience.
  • Pronunciation & Articulation - knowledge of the language itself (including foreign languages): how it's parts are pronounced and articulated.

Lessons in SIGHT-SINGING are also available at the same rates as for VOICE.