Traverse Symphony Suzuki School

Orientation: August 31 5:00 pm & September 7th 5:45 pm at First Congregational Church

(Note, the orientation meetings are identical–you don’t need to come to both–and are appropriate for anyone who is considering the Suzuki program and wants to learn more as well as anyone who will be joining as new parents this fall.)

For more information:

All levels Violin Group Class Fall 2023

For students of all levels.

Suzuki Group Classes: The concept of group classes is central to the Suzuki philosophy and its unified repertoire of music. Group classes are complementary to private lessons and equally important to the child’s development. They are meant to build confidence, practice and review skills learned in private lessons, learn new skills through already mastered pieces, build ensemble skills, explore other genres outside of the classical canon, and to build community. Instructors keep group classes fun and light by playing musical games and team building activities. Parents are expected to attend group class with their children and while parental involvement is less focused, observers can offer the praise and support that makes any learning more productive. (Pre-requisite: Private lessons with any teacher in the community or online.)

All levels Violin Group Class Schedule:

Every Thursday evening, September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 8, 15, 29, December 14. **NO group classes November 23 and December 7.**

Location: First Congregational Church

5:00 – 5:45 pm Pre-Twinkle Class

5:45 – 6:30 pm Book One Class

6:30 – 7:15 pm Book Two Class

Group Class only – $180 REGISTRATION LINK

Private Suzuki Lesson

The Private Instrumental lesson lies at the heart of the learning process. Since a young child needs structure and support, parents come to every lesson, take detailed notes and discuss the lesson with the teacher. The parent takes the techniques learned and provides a home environment in which they can be practiced daily. The parent is expected to be the home practice partner. In this way, the parent is able to ensure that the child is able to repeat the goals of the private lesson every day and can help shepherd the child towards productive and self-reflective learning. Lessons take place each week and last between 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on a child’s age and level of experience.

Lessons to be scheduled individually with the Private Instructor.

Group Class AND Private Lesson – $540 REGISTRATION LINK

Email: for questions or to sign up!

Program Description:

In the Traverse Symphony Suzuki School, led by TSO violinist Ann Marie Van Patten, TSO violist Kim Teachout, and TSO cellist Elizabeth Bert, we believe that every child can thrive in a positive and nurturing learning environment.  We believe that learning music is beneficial to the well-being of every child.  In the TSSS we facilitate this through the development of the “Student-Parent-Teacher” triangle in weekly private lessons and group classes.  Daily listening and home practice with the child’s caregiver are important to develop the relationship and the skills learned in private lessons. This in turn helps to develop self-confidence within the child. The weekly group classes provide a vital community in which to belong, inspire, explore, and grow.

Meet your instructors!

Ann Marie JonesMrs. Ann Marie Van Patten is a freelance musician and personal coach based in Northern Michigan. Ann Marie earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Michigan State University and a Masters of Music Education from Grand Valley State University. She began her teaching career while studying at Michigan State as a Suzuki violin teacher in the Community Music School. Since that time she has primarily taught young orchestra students through public education at the middle and high school levels, most recently with the Traverse City West Orchestras.
Ms. Van Patten is a certified Suzuki violin teacher, an active adjudicator for state Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and has served on several music education committees in the state of Michigan. She enjoys performing as a violinist with the Traverse Symphony and Great Lakes Chamber Orchestras and with a variety of small ensembles within her community.

Kim Teachout grew up in Traverse City, MI and received a Bachelor of Music at Northern Illinois University, a Master’s in Music Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and completed 3 years of a Doctoral program at Arizona State University. Kim is currently the Associate Principal Viola with Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Viola with Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.
As a registered Suzuki violin and piano teacher, Kim has spent much of the last two decades teaching the Suzuki Method throughout the US and Italy. She currently maintains a large and active violin, viola, and piano studio teaching both Suzuki and traditional methods, and is a class piano Instructor at Northwestern Michigan College.

Elizabeth Bert held the Principal Cello position for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra for over four decades, and also enjoys a career as an area performer and teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Secondary Education; Instrumental Music Education, and a Master of Education; Guidance and Counseling from the University of Toledo.

Elizabeth Bert also serves as Principal Cello for the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and she frequently performs with the Sault Symphony Orchestra, Marquette Symphony, and the Benzie Area Symphony. She is on the faculty for the Gerber String Program, an after-school string program serving the greater Charlevoix and Petoskey areas, where she is the cello instructor. She also is the cellist in the Cummings String Quartet.

Elizabeth continues to be an active performer, collaborating with her TSO colleagues in a variety of ensembles, and enjoys sharing her love of music and the cello.

The MSU Community Music School video, featuring Mrs. Van Patten:
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