Suzuki Method

Violin · Viola · Cello · Piano

What is the Suzuki Method

It is difficult to explain what the Suzuki method is without talking about the life and spirit of its founder Shinich Suzuki.  Dr. Suzuki developed this method of education based on the idea of “talent education,” a belief that is grounded by the premise that talent, whether in music or in other areas, is something that can be developed in any child. He himself rejected the idea of naming this approach after himself, instead calling it the Mother-tongue approach based on his conviction that children learn best when the approach to education mirrors how a child naturally learns to speak his or her native language, or mother-tongue. The elements of The Suzuki method are centered around this core philosophy.

How do children learn to “speak” the language of music through the Suzuki approach?

Parents expect that their child will learn to speak their native language, and indeed begin teaching them from before birth. We know that babies can clearly distinguish their mother’s and father’s voice from within their mother’s womb. Parents smile, laugh, and beam as their baby begins to say “ba ba” or “ma ma” or make any first attempts at language – By doing so they create a supportive and encouraging environment for learning and experimentation.  A Suzuki parent also plays an active role in their child’s musical development – ensuring the child is brought up with a richly textured musical environment that includes both receptive and expressive musical experiences. An important part of Suzuki education involves listening to both live and recorded music. Suzuki emphasized the importance of daily listening to the pieces they are learning or will be learning so that the music takes shape within the child’s mind.

Children naturally learn through repetition! They may repeat a skill or new word many hundreds or even thousands of times before they have mastered it. So too, does the Suzuki method emphasize learning through thoughtful repetition. Dr. Suzuki said, “Knowledge is not a skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill.”

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Suzuki students learn using a series of pieces that are carefully selected to gradually introduce and reinforce the necessary skills required to master playing a musical instrument. This graded repertoire allows students to begin learning through playing beautiful music rather than focusing on exercises and drills as is more common in traditional methods. Just as children learn language best through active communication with others, so too do Suzuki students learn with other children. In addition to weekly private lessons, children participate in regular Suzuki group classes and performances during which they learn from and are motivated by each other. Following the mother-tongue model, note reading is taught after a child has achieved a level of basic competency on their instrument, just as a child learns to read only after they have learned to speak. This approach of delayed reading helps children to develop strong auditory skills which are the basis for musical development.

You can read more about the Suzuki method at  https://suzukiassociation.org/about/suzuki-method/ 

How to get started with Suzuki lessons

Potential new students and their families first com to observe a Suzuki lesson at Sound Crossing. In addition to attending their child’s lessons, parents of new students are required to attend 4 Suzuki Parent Classes.

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Suzuki Group Classes

Group classes are included in tuition for all Suzuki students taking private lessons at Sound Crossing. These classes are open to students participating in a school Suzuki program or students who study privately with a Suzuki teacher who does not have the ability to offer group classes. Suzuki students in book 3 and up participate in our Suzuki Chamber Program.