What is 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.
Dr. Suzuki believed that all children have talent, and that given the correct environment, every child can succeed in learning to play an instrument at a high level. In order to create the best environment possible, the parent and teacher work closely together to help the child succeed. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, and constant repetition of small steps are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.
How Suzuki Works
Dr. Suzuki felt a higher purpose in teaching music, and our teachers follow that example. We believe in instilling confidence, love of learning, goal-setting, perseverance, team work, memorization abilities, improved concentration, coordination, appreciation of others, and more through our musical instruction.
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Formal training may begin at age four, but it is never too late to begin!
The success of the Suzuki Method depends upon the participation of the parent as well as the student. The Suzuki parent is actively involved in the learning process. The parent attends all lessons, supervises listening, and practices with the student each day, making sure the student does as the teacher instructed. The parent is the "home teacher," giving praise for each effort, so that practice time is a positive experience. Being a successful Suzuki parent does not depend on any previous knowledge of music - the parent is taught step by step how to help the child at home.
Mentoring Educational Triangle
One important aspect of the Suzuki education is the mentoring educational triangle formed between the student, the teacher and the parent. A loving environment is created for the child, in which the child’s natural inclination to music is channeled lovingly through encouragement and celebration of each small step. To foster this environment, one parent is involved in the musical learning of their child by
- attending lessons
- being “home teachers” during the week
- and by working with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment at home, where music becomes a joyous part of upbringing.
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others, and then imitating what they have heard. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.
Learning with Other Children
In addition to private lessons, children participate in group lessons and performances at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.
Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well -established. In the same way, we believe that children should develop basic technical competence on their instrument before being taught to read music.