At IDA we begin strings (in the 5th grade) via the Suzuki Method, i.e. imitation and concentration on basic skills minus music reading. Once the fundamentals have been established the music reading begins in earnest. String instruments may be particularly difficult to master for a variety of reasons, therefore concentration on proper instrument and bow placement and listening skills is critical and will pay huge dividends down the road.
Our older students perform several times a year including a district wide ‘large group’ orchestra festival in Las Cruces, NM each spring. The orchestra is judged on their performance and sightreading ability. Imago Dei Academy orchestras have always performed to the highest level, receiving honors at each festival they have attended.
Many IDA students have also participated in New Mexico All State which is held in Albuquerque each January. Students audition for and are selected based on high proficiency and then perform in one of two orchestras made up of students from throughout the state.
Imago Dei Academy was also selected as the Honor Orchestra for New Mexico in 2014 and performed to a full capacity audience at Popejoy Hall on the UNM campus during All State.
*The Suzuki method is an internationally known music curriculum and teaching philosophy dating from the mid-20th century, created by Japanese violinist and pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki (1898–1998). The method aims to create an environment for learning music which parallels the linguistic environment of acquiring a native language.