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New Families/Prospective Students

The purpose of Suzuki instruction is not to set out to produce professional musicians (although some may choose to go that route), but to enhance a child's life through cultivating a love of music, helping to build a child's character, and by using music lessons to further their brain development and concentration skills.
Kirkwood Academy's teaching philosophy is based on an amalgamation of Joseph Kaminsky's major violin teachers, and other solo artists. Below are influential quotes from these individuals that inspire Mr. Kaminsky to aspire to in his teaching:

"I am mentally preparing myself for the five-year-old mind. I want to come down to their physical limitations, and come up to their sense of wonder and awe." (Shinichi Suzuki)

"Do not hurry. This is a fundamental rule. If you hurry and collapse or tumble down, nothing is achieved. But do not rest in your efforts." (Shinichi Suzuki)

"Slow practice fixes everything." (Fryderyk Sadowski)

"We use the pieces to build our technique." (John Kendall)

"Be your own Sevcik." (John Kendall)

"Never play it faster than you can play it accurately, and perfectly in tune."(Almita Vamos)

"Slow practice cures everything." (Almita Vamos)
"If you come up to a brick wall, you have the mental capacity to choose to go around or be blocked by it. Follow your intellect." (Roland Vamos)

"Its human nature to speed up---that's why we use the metronome." (Itzhak Perlman)

"I start off my practice first hour: scales. Second hour: exercises, etudes (review pieces function as etudes for beginning and intermediate Suzuki students). Third hour: repertoire." (Itzhak Perlman)

"If I am short on time on a particular day, I try to focus on just one page and do high quality work." (Joshua Bell)

"Slow practice trains the ear and sets a target. Acceleration practice trains the muscles to execute and hit the target." (Joseph Kaminsky)

By foregoing "instant gratification" and setting on a long-term path to pursue learning an instrument, a child learns that with dedication and persistence they will be able to succeed in almost anything, designing solutions to and overcoming temporary setbacks. Such a lesson is invaluable for our children and helps to instill the confidence and skills needed to face life's many upcoming challenges.

While most of Kirkwood Academy's students come from St. Louis county, families driving for their weekly lessons with Mr. Kaminsky have come from as far North as Quincy IL, as far East as Charleston IL, as far South as Rolla, and currently come from as far West as Kansas City. Tuition is suprisingly affordable as Mr. Kaminsky bases his tuition to match what it costs to study with an entry-level Suzuki teacher at Webster University CMS school. Some other St. Louis viollin teachers often charge $100/hr and up.


Lesson Information

The school year consists of three 12-week quarters and a summer term. Group classes are on Wednesday evenings at 6:35 - 7:30pm once a month.

TUITION 2022-23: 

12 30-minute lessons and group classes................. $535.00

12 45-minute lessons and group classes................. $745.00

12 60-minute lessons and group classes................. $960.00

TUITION IS DUE by the end of the 2nd week of each term. A late fee of $10 will be assessed is tuition is not paid by week 6 of the term, and a late fee of $25 will be assessed if tuition is not paid before the end of the term.

ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE: $50.00 per family due prior to Fall term


All lessons cancelled by the teacher will be made up at a mutually convenient time or credited. Since a private teacher reserves a weekly lesson time, any lesson missed by the student due to student absence will not be made up, refunded, or credited.


Group classes will meet once a month on Wednesdays from 6:35-7:30. The SUZUKI class generally will meet the first Wed of every month from 6:35-7:30. The MIDORI group will generally meet the 2nd Wed of every month, CHANG meets on the 3rd WED, and the HEIFETZ group meets on the 4th Wed of every month. The SUZUKI group involves the beginners and all students who have not graduated from the Twinkles yet.

HOLIDAYS 2021-22: 

There will be no lessons on the following select holidays: Thurs/Fri Nov 25/26 Thanksgiving, Fri Dec 24 Christmas Eve, December 23-Jan 3 Winter Vacation, Mon Feb 21 Presidents Day, March 21-27 Spring Vacation



Dress uniforms are required for all formal group Concerts. The formal dress uniform consists of a crisp white tuxedo style shirt with a red bow tie and red cummerbund, black dress slacks or skirt and black dress shoes. The summer casual uniform consists of a "Kirkwood Academy" white polo shirt, and khaki shorts (available from "Just Me Apparel" on Old Sulpher Springs Rd in Manchester).



Mr. Kaminsky's studio at 419 Gabriel Drive in Kirkwood (across the street from Kirkwood High School) is conviently located 17 minutes or less from all of the Parkway High Schools, 13 minutes away from Lindbergh and Ladue High Schools, 19 minutes away from Clayton High, and 15 minutes away from MICDS.

All Wed evening group classes are at the 419 Gabriel Kirkwood studio location

Kirkwood Academy of Music � 419 Gabriel Dr. Kirkwood Missouri • (314)965-1571 • Email Us