Suzuki Violin Lessons

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Jodie St. Clair

Jodie St. Clair and Meagan Ruvolo are Suzuki Violin Teachers at ESMA.

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Teaching Philosophy

As moms and teachers, we believe that teaching is not just about the music, it is about the person. We strive to teach the whole student, not just the musician, and to create a community of music through ESMA. These words from Dr. Shinichi Suzuki sum up our teaching philosophy:

“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”

“Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.”

“Beautiful tone, beautiful heart”

Meagan Ruvolo, Suzuki Violin Teacher

Meagan Ruvolo

At ESMA we guide parents and students with these 7 basic Suzuki principles:

  1. Every Child Can Learn
  2. Ability Develops Early
  3. Environment Nurtures Growth
  4. Children Learn from One Another
  5. Success Breeds Success
  6. Parent Involvement is Critical
  7. Encouragement is Essential

More Than Just a Violin Lesson

When you and your family attend Suzuki violin lessons with the Eugene Suzuki Music Academy, you get much more than just a weekly private lesson. Here is a list of some of the services you will receive when you enroll:

  • Private/Semi-Private Violin Lesson
  • Group Class
  • Parent Education
  • Studio Recitals
  • Suzuki Book Graduation Recitals
  • Individual Parent Support
  • Parent Library
  • Music Events

“We had the pleasure of having Meagan teach our 8-year-old daughter violin for one year. Meagan is not only a talented performer and very knowledgeable about her trade, but also a talented teacher. She was excellent at tuning into what her student needed. She was always a professional and also was great at communicating what she needed me to do to further our progress. She was patient, kind, fun, firm, and above all fostered our daughter’s love for music.”
— Heidi Bryan

Private/Semi-Private Suzuki Violin Lessons

This is what everyone thinks of when they think of “music lessons”. This is a once-a-week Suzuki violin lesson where individual attention is given to the student and their musical advancement. Very few educational opportunities dedicate individual attention to each student.

Students will learn…

  • How to play their instrument
  • How to problem solve
  • How to reproduce musical pitch, both with their instrument and their voice

Lessons also teach basic music theory, composition, improvisation, study skills, time management, note reading, and music appreciation.

Our music lessons focus on the Suzuki repertoire, but folk and fiddle music can also be incorporated for students interested in other musical genre.

“For years, Jodie St. Clair has been my daughter’s guide to the world of the violin. Jodie seeks to inspire instead of tugging or expecting. When L. was meandering, not fully applying herself to the Suzuki repertoire, Jodie interested her in things “on side roads”—Irish fiddle, composing, and the differing chord structures and scales of various musical genre. Then, when L. wanted to speed up and cover some ground quickly to meet an audition goal, Jodie offered appropriate leadership and encouragement to get her there. This, to me, is how you grow a child in music.”
— Ellen W., Eugene

Group Class

Meagan with studentsOnce a week, students will have an opportunity to play with their peers in a social environment. Group lessons reinforce what students have learned in private lessons. In addition to reviewing material, the focus will be note reading and how to play in an ensemble.

We custom-mix group classes by age and skill level. This way students both play among their peers, yet students of varying ages and skill levels can work together to grow as students, musicians and people.

“Jodie has a wonderful way with children. She explains things in ways that they understand and has lots of engaging ideas for practice. My children (ages 5 and 7) love her friendly, approachable manner. As a parent, I also appreciate how clearly she sets out goals and exercises for each week. She has great skill in helping families through the inevitable ups and downs in motivation.

“My children love group class. I would definitely recommend that parents make attendance at group class a priority. The social experience of making music with other children is terrifically motivating, and the group class has musical benefits as well. It introduces the children to ensemble playing and helps them explore dynamics and other musical variations on review pieces.”
— Julie Hessler

Parent Education

Through our website, lessons, social media, email list, and other offerings, we provide regular support, practice tips, and other advice to aid families on their ongoing musical journeys.

Studio Recitals

At least 3 times each school year we have an opportunity to celebrate our hard work through a recital. Recitals are special occasions where students play with a piano accompanist and experience what it is like to perform alone on stage. Recitals are generally held in October, February and May.

ESMA students are required to play in at least 2 recitals per year.

Suzuki Book Graduation Recitals

Graduation recitals are a celebration of progress from a pre-determined level. Graduation recitals differ from the recitals described above in that they consist of only one student. Every part of the family is often part of the musical learning effort, and graduation recitals give the family a chance to recognize and celebrate that effort. Graduation recitals follow more of a free-form recital format, are usually held in the student’s home, and are attended by family and friends.

Individual Parent Support

Teachers are available by phone and email to answer your questions and to provide you with support, advice and motivation for their child’s music education.

Parent Library

Eugene Suzuki Music Academy maintains a lending library to help you expand your knowledge of music, Suzuki, practice, how to work with your child, and other topics. A number of different publications will be available, including trade publications such as the Suzuki Journal, and various books on the Suzuki Method and learning violin.

Music Events

At ESMA we believe it’s important to share music with the greater community. We encourage students to join us in the joy of making music with various music events throughout the year, attending area musical performances, and more.

“I’m impressed by my daughter’s persistence in daily practice, year after year. It happens because Jodie sets the bar high and expects my daughter to reach for it. And so she does. Her violin experience at ESMA teaches her discipline and responsibility and raises her self-confidence more than maybe anything else in her life.”
— Leslie Pelinka

Register for Violin Lessons

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