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Making music

- Photo and text by Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer


Zarhia Blue stood upright in front of her teacher, violin perched under her chin, bow pointing skyward, fingers properly placed on the bow. Zarhia was waiting for the cue from her teacher to begin playing.

The 5-year-old began playing a year ago. She was jealous of her older brother, who plays piano, but she didn’t want to play the same instrument.

She studies the Suzuki method of violin at the Broadway School of Music.

In the Suzuki method, repetition is the key, according to Barbara Bachtell, executive director of the school.

Bachtell remembers when Zarhia first started taking lessons. Her mother, Tanya, would haul Zarhia and her three other siblings to every lesson.

The Suzuki method requires a parent to sit in on the lesson — no easy task with three children in tow.

“The mission of the school is to provide a highquality arts education for all ages and abilities,” said Bachtell. “Because the community we live in is low to moderate income, we strive as much as we can to provide lessons that are affordable.” The school offers lessons for more than 20 instruments.

Bachtell sees benefits in the Suzuki method. “Suzuki requires parent and student to work together. It helps to strengthen the family connection.”

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