Dr. Andrew Smith,GRSM Hons, LRAM, Cert AD
Welcome to the Suzuki Music Schools 501(c)3 non-profit music school, founded in 1997. We are a member of the National Guild of Community Music Schools of the Arts, a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, home to the Suzuki Association of Southern New England. We offer instrumental music lessons in violin, viola, cello, guitar, flute, piano, voice, chamber music, music theory, and ensemble to over 400 students.
In addition to our instrumental instruction, we run music classes for tots from "newborn to 6 years", and music enrichment classes for adults of all ages. Our talented faculty is trained within the Suzuki Method and aims to instill joy and confidence to every student through the medium of music. As well as instruction the school is a vibrant community music venue hosting international artists in educational events and in concert open to the public
I invite you to visit the school, meet the faculty or sit in on a lesson. Or if you would like to be entertained, come and attend one of our many events - an inspiring student concert or our exciting visiting artist series. We hope we can bring the joy of music into your life!
Dr. Andrew Smith GRSM Hons, LRAM, Cert Ad.
While some children are able to study an instrument as young as three years of age, the majority of children under five are not ready for private instrumental lessons without preparatory steps. We recommend you enroll in a "music for tots" class for at least a year. We also suggest that you expose your child to as much live and recorded music as possible. Contact our admissions director, Astrid Bernard to discuss choosing an instrument, meeting a teacher or just coming in to observe classes
music for tots
General Music Classes are a fun and creative way to introduce your child to music. If your child is younger than five then we recommend you enroll in a general music class for at least a year before taking an instrument. We also suggest that you enroll for at least a semester in a course run at SMSW since our courses are designed to help the transition into private instrumental lessons
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the school's history
Founded in 1997, the Suzuki Music Schools have grown from humble beginnings in a church hall to one of the country's largest independant non-profit community music schools dedicated to the teaching of the Suzuki method.
Founded by Becki Christopherson, the school occupied the basement of St Paul's Church, Westport, moving several times in its early years. It was incorporated as a non-profit 501c3 in 1998 and expanded to accommodate growing demand. By 2000 the school offered violin, piano, cello, flute, guitar and tots. In 2002 the Board of Directors grew and in 2003 they appointed Business Manager, Marty Alpert.
In 2005 Dr. Andrew Smith was appointed Director and began combining the school's Suzuki tradition with its mission as a non-profit community music school. Moving to Post Road in 2005, the school expanded its programs to include an ambitious program of community and school events that have been recognized for their innovative nature.
At the heart of the school's calendar lie programs bringing major international artists and teachers to work and perform for students and the local community These community programs support student programs that complement the core curriculum. Student concerts take place throughout the year. The school has a social calendar in which music is part of every day life. We march in the Memorial Day Parade, we perform at Earthplace, Santa's House, the Bluefish Stadium and in seasonal events such as our "Spooky Suzuki concert".
The school joined the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts in 2006 and began a process of self-evaluation, considering "Best Practice Models". Suzuki Music School of Westport is unique as one of only a handful of independant non-profit community music schools in the country dedicated solely to Suzuki education.
In 2009 the school commissioned its first independent evaluation from, Michael Yaffe, Assistant Dean Yale School of Music. The school made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 and made subsequent appearances at Lincoln Center in 2008 and 2009. By 2010 the curriculum expanded to include - Suzuki Voice and Suzuki Harp.
In 2012 the School opened a second location at St Barbara's Church in Orange, CT. from the Bethwood Suzuki School. With the creation of a second location the school draws families from New Haven, Litchfield, Hartford and Fairfield Counties as well as Westchester and New York.
The Westport School moved to an 8000 square foot space in downtown Westport in 2018. The Suzuki Music Schools are the regional host to the Royal Schools of Music Theory Exams, the Organizing body of the Connecticut Guitar Festival, home of the Suzuki Association of Southern New England and a lifetime member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.