What is the Suzuki Method?
One of the key concepts of the Suzuki Method is the Suzuki Triangle. The teacher and the parent create the foundation of the triangle; they work together to create a positive and successful experience for the child. The respect and commitment between the teacher and parent is vital for the child's success.
A second key component of the Suzuki Method is that the instrument is learned using the "Mother-Tongue" language learning principles. Dr. Suzuki observed that "all Japanese children speak Japanese" merely by being surrounded by the language in their environment. Similarly, by surrounding children with a musical environment and using language learning principles, children can be taught the necessary skills to play an instrument at very young ages.
Some other unique aspects of the Suzuki Method include:
- Early Beginnings: Language centers are developed in the brain between ages 3-5. These years of development are also crucial for body coordination.
- Listening: Just as one learns to speak before one learns to read/write, so to does the Suzuki student learn to play and produce sounds on the instrument before reading music. Listening daily to the recordings is essential for not only learning the tunes, but to also develop a sense of beautiful tone, dynamics, phrasing, and overall musicianship.
- Parent Involvement: The parent will learn to play the Twinkle variations and be the home teacher. During the private lesson the parent will take notes for home practice assignments. The parent is also our number one cheerleader!
- Step-by-Step: Skills are broken down into small segments so that they are easily mastered by the student. Each step is securely learned before moving on; old skills are used as building blocks for new skills.
- Improvement & Refinement: "Old" or review pieces are continually practiced and played to provide a means of refinement in the child's skills.
- Encouragement and positive reinforcement fosters confidence and ensures that your child feels successful along the way. Since each child is an individual and treated as such, your child successfully progresses at his or her own pace.
- Repetition: Skills are mastered through creative repetition, positive encouragement, and daily practice.
- Environment: It is important to create a positive, nurturing, and musical environment, both in lessons and at home. Children will flourish if they are provided such surroundings!
The ultimate goal of the Suzuki Method is not to create excellent violinists, but as Dr. Suzuki said to "create beautiful human beings." Children who learn music through the Suzuki Method are not only instilled with the value of dedication and patience, but also acquire confidence and strong self-esteem.