I began my 10 year old with Valerie in spring 2015. She had taken a couple of months of violin with another teacher, but I wasn't pleased with the process there. I felt there was too much pressure to memorize all the notes right away, the instruction was good, but I didn't feel like practice was really yielding the result it should.
I knew about the Suzuki method and admired it. I knew the method of playing by ear would be more efficient than memorizing notes (initially) for my daughter whose dyslexia made reading music challenging and fact retention (flashcards) difficult.
Suzuki starts with basics and adds just one piece at a time to the puzzle of playing violin. First bowing, then one note, rhythm, adding in a phrase and practicing technique to perfect it early on, rather than come back to correct later. Valerie is always very encouraging through this process, always remembering to speak praise to the student, then offering suggestions of how to improve the piece.
After the first recital, I knew I had chosen well. When you think of a children's violin recital, you may cringe just a little at the thought of squeaky bows or errant notes. But this was nothing like that! Every child played beautifully, clearly having learned and perfecting their pieces before progressing.
Suzuki does require parent involvement, but it is worth it, helping your child progress faster through the basics. Our experiences at Grace Notes Music Studio has been outstanding and I would definitely recommend it.
Valerie instructs my three young children and myself on piano. We truly enjoy our lessons and are learning so much at our individual paces and with joy thanks to her manner and method (Suzuki). It is my hope to instill a life long love of music in my children and I myself have never had any music training so it was imperative to me that the instructor shared that vision (a life long love of music) and she does. While excellence is certainly on the table in this studio, the love and joy of music is my goal and we are well on our way thanks to Grace Notes!
Violins for Jesus
Valerie is an excellent Suzuki teacher. She is kind, patient, thorough, and offers plenty of praise and encouragement during lesson time. She has really motivated me, an adult student, to keep going. Her positive attitude is contagious and my 6 year old daughter especially enjoys having her for a teacher. Honestly Suzuki is not necessarily an easy program. It takes time and commitment to learn a new instrument. I just want to say how pleased we have been with Valerie as our teacher. She is committed to her students and makes every effort to encourage us to practice and succeed in the new pieces we are learning.
My children and I have been taking lessons from her for almost a year, and I would highly recommend Valerie to anyone who has been thinking about starting violin lessons for their child. My daughter and I plan to continue taking lessons after we complete Book I and look forward to working with Valerie in the months and hopefully years to come.
Valerie is also very highly qualified as she has 10 years previous violin teaching experience. She is able to teach you and/or your child from the very beginning through the most advanced techniques. I encourage you to contact her soon and get started learning the violin. It has enriched our lives so much, and we have seen our daughter's confidence grow in unexpected ways in reading and other school subjects as well.
My daughter is taking violin lessons with Valerie and is really enjoying it. The teacher is very encouraging and offers good tips for what to practice during the week. She also plays very well herself! She is a very godly woman who has the gift of music! I highly recommend her.