|We had the good fortune of studying violin teaching with Shinichi Suzuki from 1986-90 at the Suzuki Institute in Japan. Suzuki was a visionary teacher with a ground-breaking insight. From his simple observation that all children speak their native language, he realised that music can be taught in the same way. The Suzuki approach has revolutionised music education around the world. |
* The Suzuki Method uses the powerful inborn human ability for learning language to learn music. This is the principal idea that Suzuki pioneered. Parents are taught how to create a 'music language' learning environment that mirrors learning to speak. We all learn how to talk at home from our parents, so parents become the best home music teachers. Recordings of the music help build the sound environment and parents learn the fundamentals of playing music.
* Reading music is delayed until a certain amount of fluency is established. This reflects the language process - we learn to speak before learning to read. It also means that you don't try to do two different things at once at the beginning - playing and reading the notes. Delayed reading enables you to focus primarily on the sound rather than the page - and music is what you hear, not what you see.
* Listening to recordings internalises the sound of the music you will learn. It builds familiarity with the music in fine detail and style. You can listen and learn from the great virtuosos.
* Suzuki materials enable you to build up a good technique step by step in an ordered way. Suzuki taught very young children over many years, researching and refining the cumulative skill sets for learning to play violin.
* Suzuki draws on real violin music as early as possible. He chose interesting music written or arranged for strings from the classical violin repertoire, without resorting to commercial melodies, e.g. Lion King/Shrek/Star Wars etc. Students build ability and technique in an interesting and enjoyable way through the music, rather than a lot of colourless technical exercises. Of course, some exercises are necessary to practise particular skills more concisely if they are clearly relevant to the music you are learning to play.