When a family chooses to become a part of our program, parents make an important commitment to devote regular time to their children’s musical education.  Families will work closely with their teacher to build a strong relationship for the sake of the student’s growth and development.

Each year consists of a 10-month program including:

  • 37 weekly individual lessons.
  • 9 hours of group lessons culminating in a year-end groups concert.
  • Public recitals at least twice a year with a year-end concert in the beautiful Convocation Hall at the University of Alberta.
  • Graduation recitals upon completion of each Suzuki music book. These are held multiple times throughout the year at Alberta College Conservatory of Music.
  • Special events like ESPS’ annual Fall Workshop and Spring Festival.

Before beginning lessons
, the following is completed:

Lesson Observations

The parent and student must observe several lessons with students at various stages of their musical education. Usually, these would be lessons given by the teacher the family chooses to study with.

The observations show how the student/parent/teacher triangle works in practice.They give both parents and children an idea of what to expect in the lesson. Potential students will get to know the teacher and what will be expected of them. Parents will watch how the other parents take notes, what the teacher says and how they interact with their students.

Observing a wide spectrum of students at various levels is particularly important. Observing other beginners allow children to see what they will be doing. Higher level students demonstrate where the training will eventually lead, which can be quite motivating—for parents and children.

Parent Orientation Workshop

This 3-hour workshop, led by one of our ESPS teachers, is held at the Suzuki Charter School,10720-54 Street, Edmonton. The focus is on introducing parents to the Suzuki philosophy. Parents receive a workbook, a copy of the book Nurtured by Love, by Dr. Suzuki, and are given reading assignments. The course includes discussion of the parental role, techniques for successful home practicing, and the Suzuki Approach in practical applications.  In addition, parents themselves will learn basic piano posture and technique by playing introductory pieces. Then, they are better able to guide the children when they begin.


Upon registration, families will receive and begin listening to the Book One CD. The student should be quite familiar with the first few pieces by the time lessons begin.

Our Program: Expectations and Responsibilities

During the lesson:

  • Parent should arrive at the lesson on time, so that their child will not feel rushed.
  • Before the lesson, check that the student’s hands are clean and the fingernails are trimmed.
  • Bring your practice binder and pencils to take notes during the lesson.
  • Pay attention during the lesson. Your child needs to see that you consider lessons to be important. The teacher may occasionally ask you to participate so you should be ready to do so fully.
  • If your child misbehaves, leave the discipline to the teacher.
  • Avoid expressions of delight or disappointment. An emotionally charged atmosphere will break the child’s concentration.

At home:

  • Parents should play the Suzuki CD and other fine music daily.
  • Parents must gently guide the daily practice session.
  • Be consistent with practice time.
  • Give your child undivided attention during practice time. Do not allow interruptions such as telephone calls.
  • Do not interrupt the child’s playing with comments–positive or negative. Wait until they are finished playing before commenting.
  • Always give a positive comment first, then any negative criticism. There is always something to praise! (You played the whole thing!)
  • Give your child plenty of performance opportunities for family and friends.

For additional tips and helpful articles, visit our Tools for ESPS Members section