Origin - The Suzuki method was developed by the late Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese who was an accomplished violinist. He played for the Imperial Court of Japan and formed the Suzuki Quartet with his siblings. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki then went on to start a music school and in 1964, the Suzuki method was introduced to the United States. Shinichi Suzuki died on January 27, 1998.
Philosophy - The method was based on Suzuki's observation of children when he was in Germany. He observed that children are able to learn their mother tongue with no difficulty. He noted that children who are born in German households naturally learn to speak the German language. Children who are born in a Japanese household would naturally adapt their native language. He concluded that a child's environment greatly influences his/her development.
Technique - Using the "Talent Education Movement," children start taking violin lessons by age 2 or 3. Suzuki students are first exposed to great classical recordings and music pieces that they will eventually learn. Background music will constantly be playing while children are at school to immerse them in music. The belief behind this is that children will learn to develop good musical ears, able to detect changes in pitch, timing, tone, etc. Students learn by observation, they learn as a group. Social interaction and cooperation is fostered among students.
Parent's Role - The Suzuki method stresses the importance of parental influence and involvement. Parents and teachers work together to achieve a common goal. Parents are expected to attend lessons and serve as teachers at home.
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