I am a registered Suzuki instructor and I offer lessons in violin, viola, and piano using this method. The Suzuki Method encourages students to learn their instruments through guided listening, demonstration, and repetition, rather than through the traditional approach of learning to read music as the student learns to play the instrument. In effect, the student learns to play their instrument by ear. As the child learns to play the instrument through listening and interaction with both the the teacher and the parent, Suzuki students can typically start lessons at the age of four. Learning to read music is an important part of the Suzuki Method, but this does not take place until the child has a solid foundation in musicianship and is comforable playing the instrument.
Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “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.”
Dr. Suzuki’s goal was not simply to develop musicians, but to nurture loving human beings and help develop each child’s character through the study of music.
The Suzuki Method is different from other music teaching methods in that
Suzuki teachers believe that musical ability can be developed in all children.
Students begin at young ages.
Parents play an active role in the learning process.
Children become comfortable with the instrument before learning to read music.
Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered.
Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.
Technique is taught in the context of pieces rather than through dry
Pieces are refined through constant review.
In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons
performance at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.
Students perform frequently, individually and in groups.
From The Suzuki Twinkler, a copyrighted publication of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc. © 1998.