- Park Ridge Strings is open to students age 6 and up; we welcome beginners, continuing or transfer students (from other teachers/programs)
- Grades 1st-4th are ideal for starting the VIOLIN, VIOLA or CELLO
- weekly lesson duration: 30/45/60 min. (depending on age, level, commitment)
- lessons are scheduled after school, evenings, and weekends
- daytime lessons for kindergarten, home-schooled and adult students
- two evenly-spaced weekly lessons (the successful European/Asian model) are available for more committed students.
- pull-out lessons during school (at Mary, Seat of Wisdom School and St. Philip School)
LESSON TIME AVAILABILITY
- due to high demand, availability of lesson times is very limited, especially after the start of the school year. SIGN UP
- every year, more parents sign up for two evenly-spaced weekly lessons, the successful European and Asian model.
- we accept and retain serious students that show consistent interest and pursue the meaningful rewards that come from meeting personal challenges. Our students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to self-improvement through their general attitude of perseverance, consistency and their accomplishments.
Park Ridge Strings offers a comprehensive and balanced curriculum based on the successful Traditional European method (influences: Suzuki, Galamian, Flesch, Rolland, Fischer, Mantel). The curriculum includes instrumental technique, graded repertoire, music theory and history, ear and rhythm training, sight-reading, ensemble playing and various performance and enrichment opportunities.
- Instrument and bow parts; their basic care and maintenance
- Correct posture and bow hold; relaxed and efficient use of the biomechanics
- Hand and bow exercises (for control, flexibility and stamina)
- Rhythmic patterns through games and rhymes, rhythm sheets
- Note-reading, musical terms and symbols
- Routines of ensemble playing and rehearsing
- Performance etiquette (stance, bowing)
- Fun songs to play for family and friends, or with friends, such as popular classics, folk tunes and nursery rhymes, movie themes, Broadway & rock tunes
- Videos to help the students learn better and faster, even between lessons
- Park Ridge studio, MSW School and St. Philip School
- weekly individual lesson
- most sheet music for beginners and elementary students (occasionally, a music collection will be required for the intermediate and advanced students), a binder with clear, spelled-out weekly assignments, scales, music theory worksheets, case stickers
- reference recordings as video clips or MP3s to support progress between lessons
- piano or string accompaniment for most Park Ridge Strings performances
- video clips and MP3s to support progress between lessons
- “Technique & Repertoire” Competition (early November)
- Chamber Music Institute (each spring, between spring and summer breaks)
- audition fee reimbursed when auditioning for Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO), Midwest Young Artists (MYA), Merit School of Music, etc.
- no registration fee, no materials fee, no recital fee or any other hidden fees
- tuition is competitive within the area and related to current demand, experience, results and offerings.
- current lesson fees are discussed in person, never over the phone / email
- Student performances: two yearly recitals, “Technique & Repertoire” Competition, Christmas/Holiday String-Along, Summer Brown Bag Concerts and Master-classes
- group experiences in “Park Ridge Children’s Orchestra”, Cello and Viola Choirs, and the Chamber Music Institute
- summer music camp and other scholarships for advancing students
- Yamaha electric string instruments available for student trial and loan
STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
While we attempt to enhance every student’s life experience through music making, we are not trained, certified or licensed in special education or music therapy, therefore teaching students with special needs (developmental, cognitive, motor, behavioral, or emotional) is outside of the scope of our programs.
Main benefits of music study
- Self-discipline, self-expression, self-confidence
- Psycho-physical coordination, interdependence, independence and fine motor control
- Complex, multi-sensory integration (visual, verbal, aural, tactile)
- Attention to detail, improved focus
- Analytical and associative skills
- Abstract reasoning
- Forward planning, follow-through and perseverance
- Physical and aural feedback evaluation
- Creative solution-finding on the spot
- Team-work and social skills
- Non-verbal communication
- Public performance skills
What do I need to start?
- Rent an instrument (Michael Becker Violins is highly recommended); the rental instrument comes with bow, case and rosin; inexpensive insurance covering damage and theft is recommended, particularly for younger students; each student is sized for the right fit at the time of rental)
- Music stand for home practice
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