In selected elementary schools, students have the opportunity to play the violin, viola, cello and string bass using the internationally renowned Suzuki instructional approach.
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki created this method of teaching students to play string instruments. Research shows that playing a string instrument can positively affect students’ abilities in core subjects, such as math, science and reading.
The Suzuki Method develops the whole child and provides lifelong skills, such as listening, observation, memorization, and concentration. Students learn discipline and focus, and they gain self-confidence, all of which can be applied throughout life.
HEB ISD students in Suzuki Strings take one private lesson each week during school and attend one group session each week after school. A parent must accompany the student at the private lesson and is encouraged to attend the group session after school. Parents will supply the instrument, music books, and other various supplies needed for appropriate instruction.
There are many opportunities for performances, including school recitals, PTA meetings, and the annual Suzuki Strings Festival. The K-6 Suzuki Strings program provides the foundation for the district’s secondary orchestra program, cultivating the full intellectual and personal potential of each student. Students who demonstrate adequate proficiency may participate in the Reading Orchestra, the Fine Tuners and the Elementary Honor Orchestra. Parents say they are giving their child a wonderful opportunity only available in a few Texas schools, which compels HEB ISD to be Different by Design.
Students have several options for participation in the secondary Orchestra program in grades 7 through 12. Students progressing from Suzuki Strings to Orchestra in seventh grade must transfer to Central Junior High School to join the Orchestra program.
Students who have prior strings playing experience outside of HEB ISD Suzuki Strings may audition for the Orchestra at Central and will be placed in an ensemble that best fits their performance level. Beginning level string instrument classes are offered in seventh grade on violin, viola, cello, and string bass.
The Orchestra program continues to the high school level at LD Bell High School. Students must progress through the Orchestra program at Central Junior High School and demonstrate successful performance skills on their chosen string instrument. High school students who have prior string playing experience outside of the HEB ISD Orchestra program may audition for the Orchestra at Bell and will be placed in an ensemble that best fits their performance level. Both the junior high and high school orchestras offer a wide variety of performance opportunities. Individual performance in Solo & Ensemble contest and ensemble performance at concerts and UIL assessments are just a few examples of performance opportunities. The HEB ISD Suzuki Strings and Orchestra program is definitely DIFFERENT BY DESIGN!