About Oak Park String Academy
Who We Are
The Oak Park String Academy was founded by Oak Park violinist and local mom, Meg Lanfear. A passionate visionary and innovator in the music education world, Meg had a clear vision for bringing a music school to the area that would not only offer conservatory quality music lessons to the Oak Park area families but also provide a community to families interested in developing their children’s character. Ten years later, OPSA has become a program known for the quality of training its students receive with regards to their playing as well as their joy in meeting challenges. Students attending OPSA receive awards and accolades throughout their studies for the hard work they do every day as they seek to master their craft.
We believe that joy comes from meeting a challenge.
We work with parents and their children to develop musical and character skills for success in an ever changing world. We offer the tools necessary to become lifelong learners, whether this is in music or any other field. These tools include but are not limited to:
- Breaking down huge challenges into more workable steps.
- Assessing one’s skills and setting goals to improve weak points as well as celebrating accomplishments.
- Finding joy in the process.
- Learning how to work with pressure and be prepared as much as possible in such situations.
- Time management skills.
- Working well with others in a creative and occasionally high-pressure environment.
- Connecting with an audience, and sharing your own individual voice through music.
We believe that joy, pride and self-confidence comes from meeting challenges.
The most successful Suzuki families are the ones who commit to creating the time in their schedules for daily practice and listening, as well as weekly lessons and group classes.
How we do it
The secret to success is the work between the Suzuki Triangle: Parent-Teacher-Child.
Parents in the Suzuki Approach take on an active role in the learning process. Parent participation is necessary in order for the student to be successful. At least one parent (the same parent each time) must be present at each lesson. The Suzuki parent will learn the basics of the violin with their child. You do not need to know anything about music or the instrument prior to enrollment.
A willingness to learn and the time to dedicate to practicing every day are the only requirements for the program. The parent agrees to practice daily with their child at home and is responsible for establishing a daily regimen of music listening as instructed by the teacher.
The beginning student will be expected to practice directly with their parent for approximately 30 minutes a day. By the second year of study, this daily amount of practice will increase to about 1 hour. It is common for advanced OPSA students (~11-16 yrs old) to practice 2 or more hours.
Private Lessons are held weekly with your teacher. Scheduling is coordinated between both the teacher’s and families’ availability. Parents and students attend each lesson together. Dr. Suzuki believed that the parent is the most important teacher for the child. Careful instruction is given to the parent in each lesson to guide the daily practice sessions at home.
Group Lessons are an integral part of musical education. Playing with others is not only one of the greatest joys of music, but it is also an extremely motivating activity. Students come to group lessons excited to see one another. Group lessons provide an opportunity to learn how to behave in a group setting, how to watch and follow a leader, how to play with other musicians, how to rehearse and perform with others; it’s a chance to practice old skills and strengthen the newer ones.