About the Suzuki Method
The Suzuki Method of instrument instruction is based on the philosophy and teaching of Japanese violinist and educator Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Over fifty years ago, Dr. Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease, including the complicated language of Japanese. He applied the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music and called his method the mother-tongue method. Combined with parent involvement, encouragement, constant repetition and beginning at a young age, children learn to play the cello the same way they learn to speak their native language – by listening, imitation and repeating sounds. Dr. Suzuki’s many years of observing, educating and working with young children and his expertly selected repertoire for skill development culminated in the Suzuki Philosophy and Method of instrument instruction and music education.
Tenets of the Suzuki Philosophy
- Nurture: “Where love is deep, much will be accomplished.”
- Positive Environment: Providing a nurturing learning environment both at home and in the lesson.
- Anyone can learn: “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed.”
- Listening: listening to music often and going to concerts and performances. Imitating great artists will help develop creativity and skill.
- Play first, then read: If a child cannot yet read words, they cannot read music. Focus on learning to play the instrument and develop ear training skills and musical skills before reading music.
- Parental involvement: parents learn to play the instrument, too, in order to help their children and to motivate their children to learn. Learning by imitation.
- Character first, then ability: “Teaching music is not my main purpose, I want to make good citizens” Focus not on making great musicians but just great people.