General Information

The Suzuki Method©


Are you interested in the Suzuki Method?  I am a registered Suzuki instructor with the SAA. In fact, when I was a child (raised in Japan) I studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the founder himself!

Philosophy

The Suzuki Method is a music curriculum based on the philosophies of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, which he called the "Mother Tongue Approach" (or later, "Talent Education,") inspired by the fact that children so effortlessly learn to speak their native tongue. When a child learns to speak, the following factors are at work:  Dr. Suzuki applied these principles to the violin, believing that every child was capable of learning music aurally (like one's native language), and he developed the following philosophies for his program:
  • Every child can learn
  • Success breeds success
  • Children learn from one another
  • Parental involvement is critical
  • Encouragement is essential
  • Environment nurtures growth
  • Ability develops early

  • In Japan, the 'Suzuki Method' (as we call it here in the USA) is still referred to as "Talent Education", and refers to the development of skill, knowledge and character. The word for Talent in Japanese --> Saino 才能 means both "ability" and "talent". There is no distinction for the word as there is in English.  
    Dr. Suzuki said: "Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited".


    You will find detailed information about the method and its philosophy by visiting the SAA website (homepage) directly or to the detailed explanation about the Suzuki Method philosophy. Although Dr. Suzuki passed away in 1998 at age 99, his philosophies and Method have spread internationally, not just as a violin method, but also for viola, cello, bass, flute, recorder, harp, piano and guitar.


    Listening

    Dr. Suzuki emphasized the importance of daily music listening (whether it be classical music on the radio or the Suzuki Method CDs) to develop the musical ear and learn the repertoire in the Method. Constant listening of beautiful tone is a good role-model for the ear.
    It is crucial that you LISTEN TO THE SUZUKI CDs DAILY!!! Keep them in the car, in the house, on your ipod, etc. Don't just listen to Book 1, listen to other volumes so you get inspired and don't get bored of the same material.

    Side note: As a Suzuki student myself growing up, I am very careful not to let my students play by ear which tends to happen with students who only listen to the CD and don't bother to learn to read the notes. I teach note-reading very early in my curriculum in Book 1. Probably sooner than most teachers, but you'll thank me later! In Japan, they don't teach note-reading until Book 4 or 5. Here in the US, they start to incorporate in late Book 1 or Book 2.