Suzuki method was in its infancy in 1975. The concept of children younger than fifth grade playing violin was not considered a viable option among most music educators. The method had not come to the United States until the early 1960s when it was introduced by a group of ten Japanese students touring the country. Lamar Blum, Director of Suzuki School of Elgin was introduced to the method in Missoula, MT by Eugene Andrie - a forward thinking violin professor who was already teaching young children. Upon moving to Elgin, Lamar began teaching young children violin in 1975 starting with two students. The demand was great as parents saw the benefits and opportunities afforded students of Suzuki Method. It didn’t take long to see the need for another teacher as the number of students increased. In the early 1980s there was enough interest in cello to add a teacher for that instrument. Interest in flute and double bass followed in the 1990s expanding the offerings of the school.
Suzuki students have weekly private and group lessons. Parents are a vital part of the method becoming the “home teacher” or “practice parent” at the beginning. The school follows the basic premises of the method to begin as early as possible, to learn through listening, to respect the triangle of parent, student and teacher in the learning process, to have group as well as private lessons and to learn with joy.
Some of our activities include performances for private and public functions. The group has performed extensively throughout the Fox Valley, in Chicago, Williamsburg, VA, and Yellowstone National Park, WY. They have done benefit and fundraising concerts as well as played with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
SSE has a parent group called Suzuki Plus made up of all parents of enrolled students. They are active in putting on school recitals and performances, hosting social events, keeping a library of books, CDs and DVDs on musical subjects, publishing a newsletter and giving scholarships for workshops and institutes.
We are devoted to perpetuating the philosophy of Dr. Suzuki that “all children can learn” and “man is the son of his environment”. It is to these ends that the teachers and parents in Suzuki School of Elgin endeavor to provide the highest quality of lessons along with nurturing the spirit of each child.
To see a video about character development through a Suzuki education, click here.