G2015-05-02 10.00.24row-a-Fiddler Violin Studios is a Suzuki Violin program in Carrboro, NC led by teachers, Rebecca Buchanan and Amy Buchanan McKinnis. Founded by Rebecca in 2009 and joined by her sister, Amy, in 2015, the Grow-a-Fiddler violin studio serves over 60 familes in the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Durham areas with weekly private lessons, semi-monthly group lessons, solo recitals, fiddle club, and group performances. The Grow-a-Fiddler violin studio strives to promote the teaching philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki who believed in the high ability of all children. If you are interested in joining the Grow-a-Fiddler violin studio, or for more information, contact:

Rebecca: growafiddler@gmail.com

Amy: amy.mckinnis@gmail.com.

The Suzuki Method

20141218_155506The Grow-A-Fiddler Violin Studios bases its philosophy on the study of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and his Talent Education program. More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized that children learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music and called his method the mother-tongue approach. Dr. Suzuki’s goal was not to develop professional musicians, but to nurture loving human beings and help develop each child’s character through the study of music. Suzuki based his approach on the belief that

Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.

What makes the Suzuki approach effective?

  • Students begin at young ages.
  • Parents play an active role in the learning process and have the unique opportunity to be intimately involved in their child’s education on a daily basis.
  • Children become comfortable with the instrument before learning to read music.
  • Technique is taught in the context of the reviewing of lesson music rather than through technical exercises.
  • Study includes private lessons and group lessons.
  • Students perform regularly: individually and in groups.


The Suzuki Triangle

The study of the violin is like a triangle; it takes three sides to be complete. The Suzuki triangle is made up of the teacher, the parent, and the student.

The teacher will:

  • suzuki-triangleCreate a positive environment for learning
  • Encourage the student’s feeling of success at their individual rate of learning
  • Adapt the method of presentation to accommodate student’s needs and level of understanding
  • Schedule performance opportunities
  • Prepare group lessons and events
  • Inform the parent of all studio activities and dates
  • Communicate with the parent to discuss the progress of the student and to plan for the future needs of the student
  • Provide support for parent and student in home practice
  • Continue to further pedagogical skills and musical knowledge by attending institutes and workshops, reading professional publications, and engaging in other continuing-education activities for professional growth

The parent will:


  • Commit to parent-education about the Suzuki approach by attending studio parent talks and events and reading provided articles, journals, and other literature
  • Create an environment of affection, encouragement, and faith in every child’s ability
  • Provide a violin in the best possible condition
  • Attend private lessons, group lessons, and other studio events and remain fully present (avoid using mobile devices unless they are being used to takes notes or pictures). It is strongly suggested that the same parent attend each private lesson to
    keep practice and progress consistent.
  • Actively observe each lesson, taking notes to help in practice, but refraining from correcting or interacting with the student during the lesson
  • Ensure that the student arrives at the private lesson and group lesson on time and with all music and materials
  • Play recordings of lesson music every day
  • Create an enjoyable and distraction-free learning environment and practice space at homeelsieboxviolin
  • Practice with the child consistently (a minimum of 6 days per week), acting as the home teacher until the student is approved for self-guided practice. As the child grows, the parent’s role in practice will gradually become less hands-on.
  • Regardless of the student’s age, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the student maintains a consistent and productive practice habit.
  • Communicate with the teacher concerning the student’s practice experience at home and the progress of the student in order to plan for the future needs of the student.
  • Be financially responsible. Pay tuition and other fees on time.

The student will:

  • Be respectful to the teacher, parent, and classmates during lessons and home practice
  • Follow instructions during private lessons and group lessons
  • Practice a minimum of 6 days each week. Young students will practice with their parent. Older students approved for self guided practice will practice when reminded by the parent.
  • Practice all lesson assignments

Joining The Studio

For information about joining the studio contact:

Rebecca: growafiddler@gmail.com

Amy: amy.mckinnis@gmail.com.