Suzuki Philosophy

"All children learn to speak their native languages through imitation and repetition. Dr. Suzuki realized how language acquisition correlates to learning music and made this the cornerstone of his method. Over time the ‘mother tongue approach’ has revolutionized music study for thousands of families worldwide.

Listening to music is the key to the mother tongue approach. Students listen to recordings of their repertoire daily. This simulates the way in which a child is exposed to language. After many hearings, every nuance becomes familiar to the child.

Parents are involved in every aspect of the young child’s musical development, though they do not need to have prior musical training. Teachers help them to set up a nurturing atmosphere rich in musical stimulus. Parents attend lessons with the child and serve as home teachers at the daily practice.

Suzuki repertoire, available in graded books and on CDs, is carefully selected to teach technique and musicianship within the context of the music. Students develop a repertoire as they retain and refine the pieces they learn. These pieces become a foundation from which children can explore higher levels of artistry and new technical challenges.

Both private and group lessons. As a complement to the private lesson, the group class helps students gain confidence-building performance skills. Through games, activities, and the sharing of music, close friendships often develop for both students and parents.

Reading is taught using supplemental materials, once basic playing skills are well established. This follows the model of language acquisition. Children are taught to read once they are able to speak well. The initial focus of instruction is on developing a fine musical ear and solid technical skills on the instrument. Once reading skills are in place, students are able to easily learn and memorize difficult pieces because of the strength of their ear training.

The Suzuki Method is a child-centered approach. Parent and teacher work together to support the child's music education through respect, encouragement, and love."
© 2011 Leslie Bates