Toronto Flute School

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Here are some links for more information about Dr. Suzuki, and Suzuki organizations in Ontario, North and South America, and other international centres:

Flute Facts

Someone who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or less commonly a fluter.

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Suzuki Method Lessons: Ages 4-10

Juliana playing on her curved head fluteThe Suzuki Method was developed by Japanese violinist Sinichi Suzuki over 50 years ago. Observing that young children master the complicated process of learning to speak their native language with only environmental exposure and the loving encouragement of their family, he hypothesized that children could learn to play a musical instrument under these same conditions. Believing in the limitless potential of every child, he created a method based on the following precepts:

–Every child can learn.

Children learn at their own pace with step-by-step mastery. The goal of the Suzuki Method is to enrich the child's overall development through exposure to the beauty of music.

–The environment nurtures development.

Listening is the key. Children learn from listening to recordings and concerts, to their teachers and to their peers at group classes.

–Parental involvement is crucial.

The parent provides an environment of loving encouragement. He/she is the home teacher who guides daily practice, attends lessons, group classes and other events.

The O'Connell familyThe Toronto Flute School has the largest Suzuki Flute Program in the GTA. We have found the Suzuki Method to be the most effective way to teach young children. People considering Suzuki lessons for the first time are encouraged to observe an individual lesson and a group class.

Students first acquire a basic ability on the flute, learning to play pieces by listening to the recordings of music. Simple tone and technical exercises are introduced as appropriate, and reading is taught as soon as the child has sufficient mastery of the instrument. Students progress through a series of Suzuki Flute books, adding further exercises, studies and additional repertoire to round out their training. Listening to the Suzuki recordings, other flute recordings and tapes made by the teacher continues throughout the students' studies. Graduations from these books or levels take place during the course of the school year.

TFS Director Vicki Blechta answers some frequently asked questions:

Q. At what age should my child begin flute lessons?

A. My youngest students begin their studies a few months before their 4th birthday. The Jupiter flute company has designed an instrument which is much lighter and easier to balance than the standard curved head flute (see photo of Juliana above). A broader answer to this question would be that children may begin lessons at any age but preferably during their elementary school years.

Q. I have no musical background. Will I be able to help my child at home?

A. The parent is taught whatever basic skills are needed to help guide the child's home practice. Dr. Suzuki believed that every child can learn. I believe the same of parents!

Q. Does the same parent have to attend every lesson?

A. Yes, barring emergencies. This is especially important for the young beginner. The child needs the consistency of having their home coach understand the material presented in the lesson. I often suggest that the other parent attend the group lesson so that he/she can participate more fully in the student's musical activities.

Q. How often and for how long are students expected to practice at home?

A. One of Dr. Suzuki's favourite sayings to students was: "You only have to practice on the days that you eat." Daily practice is extremely important, especially at the beginning. If you miss a day every so often it's not the end of the world, but always aim for some practice every day. The length of time will depend on the age and level of the student. I can best advise that on an individual basis.

Q. Is it mandatory to attend all group classes?

A. Group/ensemble classes are as important as attending individual lessons and practicing at home. Children learn effortlessly from their peers. There are only 16 classes per year. Making the commitment to attend these classes is a requirement for studying at the school.


Do you have more questions? Please feel free to phone (416-485-5716) or click HERE to e-mail us. Also, the Suzuki Association of Ontario has an excellent website with a list of additional sites. Please visit them at: www.suzukiontario.org