Ballance Talent Education offers the highest quality violin lessons, viola lessons, and cello lessons in their studios in Kent, Washington, and Fox Island, Washington, for students of all ages and abilities. Dr. and Mrs. Ballance start beginners, both children and adults, and work with students at every level, including professionals. Ballance Talent Education also organizes and coaches chamber music ensembles, with the coach often performing as a member of the ensemble together with the students.
Ballance Talent Education follows the philosophy of Japanese music educator Shinichi Suzuki, who believed that every child can learn if parents and teachers create the right environment, and it also incorporates the approach of Swiss music educator Emile Jacques-Dalcroze. Suzuki was amazed to think about how every child learns to speak his or her native language, by being immersed in it, taking small steps toward mastery with all kinds of encouragement. He wanted to harness that amazing aptitude of children and use it to educate them in music. His goal was, through music study, to develop more noble human beings with disciplined minds and honorable character.
At Ballance Talent Education, your core study will consist of a weekly private violin, viola, or cello lesson and a weekly group class. We also will have opportunities for you to partipate in parent meetings, performance classes, and recitals. Enthusiastic parent involvement is essential to the success of Talent Education, and we will strive with you to create a compassionate, supportive, high-achievement, and nurturing atmosphere for you and your child.
The key elements of Suzuki’s method of education follow the way every child learns to understand and speak their native language. Although based on how young children learn and master a spoken and written language, these principles of acquiring and mastering new skills are effective with learners of all ages.
1. Every Person Can Learn
2. Environment and Listening From Age Zero
3. Learning in a Positive Environment
4. Repetition and Accumulation of Skills
5. Learning With Parents
6. Learning From Other Children
7. Small, Incremental Steps Toward Achieving Goals
8. Learning Through Speaking a Shared Language
9. Learning to Read a Language Already Understood and Spoken
For more information on Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy, please click on the Suzuki link.
Mrs. Ballance has taught private violin lessons since 1997, and has been a registered Suzuki teacher since 2006. She has been on the faculty of a number of institutions and taken Suzuki teacher training courses with nine different trainers. She has been a frequently published author in the American Suzuki Journal, and in 2011 she earned the Suzuki Association of the Americas Certificate of Achievement.
Dr. Ballance has taught cello, Dalcroze, and music theory at the Eastman School of Music, Oakwood University, Samford University, and many summer camps and institutes. He maintains a private studio in Kent and Fox Island. His cello students have won local and regional competitions. His Suzuki teacher training has been with Edmund Sprunger, Jean Dexter, Dr. Beth Cantrell, Gilda Barston, Carey Cheney, and Tanya Carey. Dr. Ballance holds the Juilliard School’s Dalcroze Teaching Certificate where he studied with Robert Abramson. He has completed additional Dalcroze teacher training with David Brown, Lisa Parker, Anne Farber, Stephen Moore, Daniel Cataneo, and other noted Dalcroze teachers.
We would love answer any questions you might have about the Suzuki and Dalcroze methods or Ballance Talent Education. Please just email us at jballance AT gmail DOT com.