Prelude Strings

Suzuki-inspired curriculum

General Information:

The Prelude Program uses the Suzuki Method, which is a world renowned method started by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan that incorporates the use of smaller sized instruments, listening to recordings, and parent-supervised practice at home. Dr. Suzuki believed that musical talent and abilities can be learned by all children. They are developed through training and exposure to musical activities.  One of the most important developments in the Suzuki method is the interaction of parents with their children in the learning process. This includes attending lessons and group practices, and making time for practice at home.  Numerous studies have shown that playing a musical instrument increases the productivity of a child in other areas of learning, such as math, reading, writing, languages, as well as history and the sciences. It also encourages your child to set goals for him/herself and to be a team player.

Requirements & Parameters:

  • Commitment to the Prelude Program for the entire year

  • One parent (guardian) and child attend a weekly 15-minute lesson.

  • Lessons are scheduled during the school day.

  • Lessons may consist of 2 or more students at a time.

  • 30-minute group class, scheduled by the director.

  • Performance at school concerts (Winter, Spring, and District Festival – dates provided at start of each school year)

  • Homework:

    • Child practices with parent for 15 minutes per day, 5 days a week

    • Child listens to Suzuki CD every day, so that he/she is familiar with the Suzuki songs

Materials required:

  • Instrument (violin or cello)

    • Instruments are available for rental through local music stores.

    • The school district does not rent instruments for the Prelude Program

  • Suzuki Book

  • Suzuki CD

  • Prelude Strings Handbook & Supplementary material (provided by your instructor)

  • Spiral Notebook for parent attending lessons/group to take notes and write down assignments.

The West Allis-West Milwaukee school district supports pull out lessons and rehearsal for band, orchestra, and prelude strings at the elementary level. Students are pulled once a week from their classes for a 30-minute lesson.  Choir, Orchestra and Band rehearsals (30-45minutes a week) are scheduled when it works for each school as it relates to scheduling, teacher availability, and classroom spaces.  Some are before or after school, some during lunch, and some are scheduled for the last 30-45minutes of the school day.  Please consult with your school’s music teachers for the exact schedule each year.  Prelude students are pulled for 15-30 minute lessons (depending on number of students in a lesson group).  Larger combined lessons/groups are scheduled near concert time. Once the schedule has been created, based on the teacher’s assignment and availability, the schedule will be shared with students, parents, and staff.  All efforts are made on the part of the classroom teachers and school staff to avoid scheduling conflicts with the pull out schedule, as it can be challenging to reschedule these lesson times. Accommodations for state testing schedules, etc. are honored, but timely communication between teachers is needed to facilitate this and to provide communication to the parents/students of schedule changes.