Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese pedagogue and philosopher, developed a method of teaching music based on the premise of the “mother tongue.” He realized that all children learn to speak their native language fluently at a very young age without any difficulty. Dr. Suzuki believed that this same phenomenon could apply to another language – the language of music. The Suzuki approach encourages early exposure to music with formal lessons beginning as early as age four. Parents are intimately involved with the musical learning of their child. They attend all lessons with the child and serve as the “home teacher” during the week.
Children are also encouraged to listen regularly to the recording of the repertoire they will be playing to assist in the learning process. Repetition in both playing and listening is an essential ingredient in the Suzuki approach. Just as children learn to read after they have already learned to talk, Suzuki students learn how to read music, after tone and technical ability on their instrument has been well established.
The Suzuki Method is a positive, encouraging approach to learning an instrument. Mastery of each small step is celebrated and children learn in a nurturing environment. Students and families are also encouraged to support each other through recitals, group classes and other performances, creating community with other families.
More information about the Suzuki Method is available via the Suzuki Association of the Americas website: www.suzukiassociation.org.