What is the Suzuki Method?
The Suzuki method, also known as the "mother-tongue approach," is a method of teaching music that 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 nurturing teachers at home.
Using this method students learn:
Who created this method?The Suzuki method was developed by an accomplished Japanese violinist and educator named Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. He was born on October 17 (or 18), 1898 in Nagoya, Japan and died on January 26, 1998 in Matsumoto, Japan. Suzuki played for the Imperial Court of Japan and formed the Suzuki Quartet with his siblings. He also became president of the Teikoku Music School and founded the Tokyo String Orchestra. For his many contributions, the Emperor of Japan appointed Suzuki as Order of the National Treasure.
What is the philosophy behind this method?This 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. In the same manner, children who are born in a Japanese household would naturally adapt their native tongue. He concluded that all children can develop musical ability and the child's environment can greatly influence his/her development.
What are the basic elements of the Suzuki Method?The basic elements of the Suzuki method are:
What is a typical lesson like?The Suzuki Method follows a set sequence and each instrument has its respective repertoire; beginning from simple and then progressing to more difficult pieces. Using the "Talent Education Movement," children start taking 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.
Quotes by Shinichi Suzuki
To give you a better understanding of this method, here are some quotes from its creator; Dr. Shinichi Suzuki:
"Character first, ability second."
"Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets beautiful heart."
"Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited."