Suzuki Violin and Instrumental Music

Alan Smith

Music Teacher

Patrice Knight

Suzuki and Instrumental Music Teacher

This is my eighth year teaching the Suzuki violin and instrumental music students at Smith STEM Elementary. I previously taught instrumental music in Rocky Hill grades 3-12. I have a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!) and a Master’s degree from Central Connecticut State University. I live in West Hartford with my husband, two children Juliette (4), Colin (2) and our two cats. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking and performing the cello with the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. 

The instrumental music program provides intensive instruction to develop music skills and is a natural extension of the classroom music curriculum. Students in grades four and five have the opportunity to study a band or orchestra instrument. Small group lessons occur during the school day. Large ensembles rehearse weekly before school.

Student Progress Report:

Performs with correct position and posture.
Correct playing position and posture is the foundation for all successful instrumentalists.

Demonstrates good technique.
Technique is dexterity and facility on an instrument.

Plays with correct breath, bow or stick control.
Control of breath (winds), bow (strings), and sticks (percussion), is essential to produce a characteristic sound.

Applies proper bowing/tonguing/slurring technique.
Articulation of notes with the tongue (winds) and bow (strings) is important to develop good technique.

Performs with characteristic tone, on pitch.
Playing on pitch with characteristic tone is the product of proper breath control and embouchure (winds), bow control, finger placement and finger pressure (strings).

Reads rhythmic/melodic notation.
Students are taught to read music notation.

Is developing ensemble skills.
Ensemble skills in band and orchestra include responding to conducting gestures, playing music in two or more parts, and performing with proper blend and balance.

Work Habits

Shows evidence of consistent practice and high quality preparation. 
Students are expected to practice daily, demonstrating careful preparation of assigned music, with emphasis on repetition and self-evaluation. 

Focuses attentively during the lessons and rehearsals.

Brings necessary equipment to lessons and rehearsals.