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What is the Suzuki Method?

The Suzuki Method is a systematic approach to music instruction taught around the globe. 

Founded by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan in 1942, it was brought to the U.S. in 1964. Since then, it has become the most widely used method for teaching children of all ages to play stringed instruments. Suzuki realized that all children 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 SUZUKI PHILOSOPHY

The Suzuki Philosophy rests on the idea that talent is not inborn, that every child can learn. The Suzuki Method, sometimes called the Mother Tongue Method, is based on Dr. Suzuki's discovery that children could learn music quickly and well at young ages by using the same techniques they used as they first began to talk.

The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Participation in music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, and it is never too late to begin. The Suzuki Early Childhood Education program (Joyful Tots) nurtures the learning of infants and toddlers!

Listening is a vital component to learning a musical instrument. Listen provides an aural framework for good intonation, helps with memory, and teaches the child the heights that they can reach on their instrument. Listening to great musicians is inspiring and motivating.

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Every Child Can Learn

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Early Beginning

Listening

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More About the Suzuki Philosophy

  • Children Learn from One Another

  • ​Success Breeds Success

  • Parental Involvement Is Critical

  • Encouragement Is Essential

Role of the Teacher:
  • Nurture and teach the parent how to be the home teacher.

  • Cherish the child and teach in that way that meets his/her individual needs and learning style.

  • Demonstrate the qualities of a “noble being” both in excellent violin playing and in the love of learning and growing.

Role of the Parent:
  • Learn the fundamentals of playing the violin and how to care for it.

  • Accept the role of home teacher willingly and cheerfully, establishing daily practice routines

  • Follow the practice sheet faithfully and daily at home.

  • Play the CD every day for the child to listen to.

  • Attend all lessons. Observe quietly. Take notes on the student’s practice sheet.

  • Ask questions if you do not understand any teaching points.

  • Enjoy the process. Do not compare the progress of your child with that of other children. Each child is an individual; cherish them.

Role of the Child:
  • Always treat the teacher, parent and other students with respect.

  • Let the parent be the home teacher.

  • Practice every day, carefully following the practice sheet.

  • Listen to the CD!

The Importance of Mom or Dad Learning to Play:

Based on the age of the child, there is great benefit in having a parent able to play the violin.  For older children it can bring a sense of camaraderie and shared experience; however this is not the best fit for everyone!

 

For very young children, and up through around age 9, it is an enormous asset for a parent to play.  Having experienced the steps themselves, Mom or Dad will know first hand the challenges; they’ll know from experience how a skill set is being developed, and will be equipped to effectively coach the child.  You can plan on 5-15 min daily practice time for starters.

 

Parents are encouraged to participate in Group Lessons and recitals! This is not a time to be ‘shy’, but to model for your child what you are asking of them, and to realize your dedication is an inspiration to others, and you get to celebrate your own musical journey!

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Step-by-Step Mastery

Repertoire teach technical skill sin the context of music rather than in dry exercises. Pieces are presented sequentially in small, easily mastered steps.

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Group lessons are an integral part of the Suzuki method. They are not only fun, they develop ensemble skills, social skills and an eagerness to learn. Students are exposed to many other students at many different levels. This is a powerful incentive to practice and improve without encouraging competitiveness.

Group Lesson

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As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical growth of their child. They attend lessons with the child, ensure the child listens to their recordings daily, and serve as "home teachers" during the week.

Parent Involvement