What Is The Suzuki Method?

The main concern for parents should be to bring up their children as noble human beings. That is sufficient. If this is not their greatest hope, in the end the child may take a road contrary to their expectations. Children can play very well. We must try to make them splendid in mind and heart also.
—Shinichi Suzuki

You may be new to music lessons and have heard friends, family or acquaintances say their child is learning through the Suzuki Method of musical instruction. If you have questions, please read the following statements from the Suzuki Association of the Americas about the background and methodology of the Suzuki Method.

Every Child Can Learn

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki: Creator of the Suzuki Method

More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over 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. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.

Parent Involvement
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.

Early Beginning
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.

Listening
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.

Repetition
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.

Encouragement
As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.

Learning with Other Children
In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performance at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.

The Suzuki Twinkler is a copyrighted publication of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc. © 1998.
Advertisements