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Suzuki Violins 

Every student in Kindergarten and First Grades are taught to play the violin by Gail Acosta, a skilled violin teacher trained in the Suzuki method age appropriate to these students.  Violin class is taught in the classroom and involves the classroom teacher and parent volunteers.  In Kindergarten, the class is taught for one-half hour with students divided into two “master classes” of approximately ten students each.  When one master class receives instruction, the other is outside the classroom engaged in a music related activity with parent volunteers. Inside the classroom, instruction commences with students and teacher greeting each other respectfully in Japanese.  Students are taught the parts of the violin and bow and to respect and value their instrument.  Students learn numerous physical positions necessary for playing the violin; these include proper foot stance, rest position with violin under arm, bow hold, violin placement under chin and pizzicato with thumb on fingerboard. Toward the conclusion of the year, students begin to learn to draw the bow across the strings. 


In first grade, all the above skills are reviewed.  The class length, however, is extended to one hour with each master class taught for one-half hour once a week.  While one master class is taking their lesson the other put on ear buds and work on a music or math related computer program on laptops from our mobile computer lab. Students also begin to read music on a staff and to apply the rhythms they have learned while drawing the bow across the string beginning to make a full sound.  Using open strings and simple fingerings, students learn a basic repertoire. At year’s end, all Kindergarten and First Grade students perform in recital.



When students participate in the various parts of music, connections are made in many areas of their thinking (i.e. spatial reasoning, English Language Development, math and fractions) which in turn improves the whole students’ approach to learning.


Music is also a way for students to express themselves emotionally, which leads to improvement in self-esteem and cooperative learning.  Music classes are also designed to link up to the middle school and high school programs.  Providing a solid base at the elementary level, students can then make this transition to higher levels of music classes with ease. 



Students in 3rd - 5th grade have the opportunity to audition for chorus.  Chorus meets for an hour once a week with our music teacher and they perform what they have practiced! 



The Colfax Instrumental Music Program consists of beginning and advanced students who play violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. Students are selected based on the number of instruments assigned to Colfax each year. The students enjoy performing opportunities such as the Holiday Program, the World Fair, the Culminating Concert, as well as other special invitational performing venues.