Graduate school

December 1, 2018, 6:50 PM · Hello fellow violinists,
I am a classical violinist major at a college. I do not want to give too much information about myself. Nevertheless, I am a junior and am searching for a graduate school within 0-9 hours away from my home that has a performance major with an emphasis in Suzuki pedagogy. I have 3 schools that fit that category: U of M, Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, and CIM (reach). Is this a decent selection of graduate schools to look at?

Replies (16)

December 1, 2018, 7:29 PM · It would be helpful to know which U of M you mean.
December 1, 2018, 9:56 PM · A glance at a list of the Suzuki full-time training programs suggests that she means University of Memphis. Doesn't look like there are that many programs that combine Suzuki training with a performance MM.

As always, your choice of a studio teacher is vital -- of the programs you consider an option, where is there a teacher you like? Also, your Suzuki teacher training is going to come from a single individual, so make sure that their teaching style jives with the way you want to teach in the future.

December 1, 2018, 11:16 PM · The Suzuki program at CIM doesn't seem particularly great to me...you might benefit from going to the best grad school you can get in/gives you the most $, and take summer teacher training.

Ultimately it's observing great teachers teach that's the most useful. Good luck!

December 1, 2018, 11:56 PM · I agree with Dorian.
Edited: December 2, 2018, 12:53 AM · I'm guessing the consideration is financial. Teacher training is expensive and it's probably more economical to take it as part of your graduate work (and thus tuition that you are already paying, or hopefully getting a scholarship to cover). If the consideration is mostly financial, it might also be worth considering whether you really want to take ten books of training or you just need, say, the first four.

On the other hand, I believe the master's programs in Suzuki pedagogy give you a lot more hands-on supervised teaching experience, so that might be a consideration as well.

December 2, 2018, 11:21 AM · Northwestern might work. I've not been there for awhile, but they at least used to have robust Suzuki training. I did it around 1997 -- I was an academic music person (theory/musicology) but wanted the experience. It was a full year, but not full time. In addition to class (which covered books 1-4), we had to do observations of programs all around the area, attend the school's Suzuki group classes, and were an "intern" teacher for one student in the prep program.
December 3, 2018, 9:20 AM · To answer the OP's original question, if one of the three graduate schools you mention is a school you are certain to be admitted to, and you believe you would be happy at that school, then your selection is fine. If you aren't confident of admission to any of the schools OR if you have reservations about the school(s) you expect to be admitted to, then you should expand your list.
December 3, 2018, 12:30 PM · The other thing you should ask yourself is: What specifically draws you to wanting the Suzuki credential? Lots of teachers without specific Suzuki training set up their own successful studios, or go work in community music schools with performance degrees, creating their own hybrid methods and studio infrastructure based on some of the Suzuki materials and philosophy, also working with young children as well.
It sounds expensive, and I feel it is good to be weary of credentials which are expensive, but that perhaps do not get you in your situation all that much more in terms of life satisfaction and prestige.
December 3, 2018, 12:52 PM · I know you don't want to give out a lot of personal info, but I'm a bit confused as to why you aren't getting Suzuki teacher training as an undergrad or through Every Child Can. Grad school is the most expensive way you could possibly learn Suzuki pedagogy.
December 3, 2018, 4:25 PM · Every Child Can is just the intro course for Suzuki. It doesn't even require that you play. (Parents can attend, for instance.)
December 3, 2018, 4:37 PM · Sorry- to clarify (It's been a while since I got my certification. I forgot the names for everything): Attending an Every Child Can course is a required step to get your Suzuki Certification. There is further teacher training available, as I said before, at significantly lower cost than as a graduate student.

https://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/training/

December 3, 2018, 5:49 PM · My suggestion is an MBA.
December 3, 2018, 5:53 PM · Some of the answers concern financial considerations. NO ONE should actually pay to attend graduate school in music. I went through masters and doctorate with assistantships. The only people who pay for grad school are either foreign students or those who are not competitive, either musically or academically.

And sure, why not an MBA? Sounds scintillating.

December 3, 2018, 9:49 PM · I have two suggestions - make sure you visit each school and form a relationship (usually in the form of a lesson etc) with your new potential teacher. Usually this allows one to feel more confident in chances of getting accepted/financial offer, although it's no guarantee. But it does help, and let's schools know you are really interested. Secondly, if money is an issue, you may want to cast a slightly wider net just to have more options. Getting an assistantship often has to do with who else is applying in any given year, which you can't control, so more applications gives you a better shot. As an example...When I started my masters at BU almost every graduate cellist was on a full ride. A couple of years later, almost no full rides were given to cellists...not because the cellists were any less worthy, but because the applicant pool for cello had exploded after a fairly famous new faculty member came on. I also know some of my former students who went to graduate school where there was a string project and raved about that experience. I hope that's helpful - Good luck!
December 4, 2018, 12:27 PM · You're a junior? Maybe during your senior year you can cover the coursework you'll need for medical school. O-chem, microbiology, genetics, psych, maybe one or two others.
December 4, 2018, 1:33 PM · um...I paid for graduate school at Indiana, and I was plenty competitive both musically and academically. The only violinists getting assistantships at IU were the real stars who were doing well in international competitions. I don't think my experience was unusual; the very top schools are not likely to have assistantships available for the solidly-good-but-not-international-level student but that doesn't mean those students aren't competitive either as students or for job openings in the future.

(Well, actually, my second year at IU was paid for after I found out that the math department didn't have enough grad students to staff all their freshman classes, so I leveraged my BA in math into an assistantship, which incidentally paid twice as much as the violin assistantships. But most violin MM students don't have a math degree in their back pockets. I did know another violin MM student who did the same thing with French--he had done his undergrad at the Paris Conservatory and was fluent.)


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