THE SUZUKI METHOD
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki founded the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan in 1945. There he began teaching young children to play the violin using what he called "the mother tongue method." Dr. Suzuki was struck by the fact that every child learns to speak her native tongue. He was convinced that just as every child learns to speak every child, with proper instruction, could learn to play. It was the role of the teacher and the parent to create an environment where ability could flourish.
Suzuki teachers believe that every child can develop the ability to play well. It is not a matter of talent or genetics. It is a matter of a nurturing environment and a lot of hard (yet fun) work. To make good progress the parents and students must believe this also.
Children hear thousands upon thousands of words before they speak. They are listening to the language they will speak even before they are born. Suzuki students must listen daily to the music they are learning to play. This is crucial for the success of a Suzuki student. Dr. Suzuki says, " Listening until we remember is not enough. We must listen until we cannot forget."
Students should also listen to recordings of other violinists and attend live concerts whenever possible.
Suzuki students typically receive 2 types of lessons. Both are equally important. Each student receives a private lesson each week as well as a weekly or monthly group lesson depending on their age and playing level. Musical skills are taught at the group events that may not be covered in the private lesson. A student's progress depends on attending both private and group lessons.
Group lessons and other events help students and parents make new friends and build community through music.
Dr. Suzuki says to "only practice on the days you eat." We all need daily practice to develop our ability. For young children practice should be short and fun. Parents must set an example for their children by making practice a priority.
To make practice easier:
Have a set practice time and a designated practice area. Be sure your practice area is quiet and pleasant.
Keep it positive. When something isn't quite right, fix it, and then point out how nice it looks or sounds after the correction.
Concentrate on the one practice point your teacher gives you at your private lesson.
Review, review, review. To develop a skill you must practice over and over again
Be patient and keep your sense of humor. Remember a 3 year old playing the violin is still a 3 year old
How many Suzuki students does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one but he has to practice it 10,000 times.
Repetition is at the core of Suzuki Talent Education. Research has shown that it takes 10,000 repetitions to master a skill. Of course, no student does 10,000 bow holds before her next lesson but those repetitions do add up as we constantly review old material.
Suzuki students do not finish one piece and then move on to the next. They continually practice the old pieces as they add new ones to their repertoire. It is in review that we learn about tone, expression, and musicianship.
THE ROLE OF PARENTS
The Suzuki triangle consists of teachers, students, and parents all working together. Parents are an integral part of the learning environment. As a Suzuki parent you will be asked to:
Attend all lessons with your child. ( Parents of young children will learn to play the instrument alongside their child. Parents of older children should attend each lesson and take notes to be used during practice time)
Ensure that your child listens to the Suzuki recordings every day
Practice daily with your child
Attend all recitals and group events with your child
Create a positive, musically enriched environment for your child.
THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER
My role as teacher is to provide your child with the highest quality instruction in an atmosphere of love, patience and joy. My commitment to your child does not stop at the end of the lesson. I am always available to answer questions or help with problems.