The Suzuki Method was founded over 50 years ago by the Japanese violinist Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. He observed that young children all over the world speak their mother tongue naturally and easily, just by hearing the sounds and rhythms of the language in their environment.
Loving parents encourage and reinforce their children’s efforts to learn their language.The Suzuki method applies these same principles to develop the whole child through the study of a musical instrument.
The method has been developed for violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, flute, harp, guitar, recorder voice, and Early Childhood. Young children are exposed to an environment of music at home by listening to recordings of the repertoire to be learned, as well as other fine music. Children are motivated to learn when they live in an environment where music is present and they see other students their age performing and having lessons. Suzuki teachers are trained to establish a studio environment where children can learn at their own pace.
Suzuki teaching is based on a philosophy of respect for the child. Dr. Suzuki has said talent is not inherited, and the potential of every child is unlimited. All children are respected as unique human beings, and they are capable of developing their musical abilities as well as they develop their linguistic abilities. Dr. Suzuki’s main goals are for the child to build a noble soul, to develop an appreciation of beauty, to give a sense of purpose to life, to learn the discipline of acquiring a skill and to become a fine human being. Dr, Suzuki calls it Talent Education. He believes that with the proper education and environment, every child can learn. Talent can be learned, ability can be developed, and, just as each child learns to speak his native language, he can learn a musical skill through the Mother Tongue approach. Here is an outline of the Suzuki Method concepts.
- Environment nurtures growth
- Every child can learn
- Parental involvement is critical
- Children learn from one another
- Success breeds success
- Encouragement is essential Ability develops early
A natural next step in the world of Suzuki teaching is the development of Suzuki- based preschools in which all areas of early education are approached through Suzuki eyes. In such schools m math, science, art and language have all been integrated with music into the kind of life education, or education of the whole person, that Suzuki’s own teaching personifies.
Sensitivity to others is considered as important as skill development. An environment is created in which parents and teachers work closely together with energy, imagination, and commitment in a family grouping of children 2-1/2 to 5 or 6. Such a classroom is based on the belief that children know quality when they see it and respond well to adults who respect them and never doubt that they will succeed. Children are exposed to as rich an environment as possible until they are ready for actual instruction, and then the teacher teaches only what the child is really ready for.
All teaching is based on close observation of the children themselves, and how they really learn. Teaching is done with careful preparation of each learning step one step at a time. The tempo of teaching is lively and teachers develop an imaginative vocabulary of many different ways to say the thing, leaving children eager for more. Thus a solid foundation of skills is built, allowing true creativity to develop. Qualities fostered in Suzuki music instruction – memory, coordination, quick response, careful observation, pride in accomplishment, sensitivity to others – can be developed in even greater depth and intensity where all subjects are taught from a Suzuki point of view. It is the spirit of such classroom rather than its content, that is the key to its success. The goals is developing children who have a wonderful self-discipline and who believe they can do anything because adults believe that they can.
Suzuki Method Principles
Essential to the Suzuki Method are four principles:
Create a musical environment in the home by daily exposing the child to recordings of great music,especially the music the child is studying. Attend concerts and recitals as frequently as possible. Postpone the reading of music until the child.$B%f.(Bs aural and digital skills are established.
Expose the child through recordings to beautiful tone quality. Stress the production of beautiful tone and sensitive playing form the earliest stages onward.
Begin early: age three or four. Utilize step-by-step mastery in small segments to assure each child’s built-in success.
Include daily parental involvement – at home and at the lesson. Participate in group lessons and performances – they serve as positive reinforcements of skills learned in the private lesson. Show respect and love for the child as a unique human being. Rejoice in all the child’s achievements, no matter how small.