“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”.
Who is Shinichi Suzuki?
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki (1898 – 1998) was a Japanese musician, philosopher, and educator and the inventor of the international Suzuki method of music education who developed a methodology of educating people of all ages and abilities. His philosophy is centered around the idea of cultivating the ability among all children to learn things well, while building the character of the children during music education.
What is the Suzuki Method?
The Suzuki method is an internationally known music curriculum & teaching methodology, created by Japanese violinist Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. The method aims to create an environment for learning music which parallels the linguistic environment of acquiring a native language. Suzuki believed that this environment would also help to foster good moral character.
What is the Mother Tongue?
Dr. Suzuki has called his teaching method the Mother-Tongue Approach, inspired by the fact that all children learn to speak their native tongue efficiently. Positively reinforced by the love from parents and the family environment, the child responds and develops the most difficult of skills, that of intelligible speech.
The Suzuki Triangle relationship
The triangle relationship describes the relationship between the teacher, parent, and the student. This relationship is truly the corner stone of the Suzuki method. The teacher offers expertise, guidance, and ears. The parent offers support, to both student and teacher, plus insights and translation between teacher and student. And the student offers the possibility.
Dr. Suzuki believed the early years are critical for developing mental/intellectual processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music can begin as early as at birth; formal training may begin at 3 or 4 years old, but it is never too late to begin.
Listening & Repetition
Children learn words after hearing them hundreds of times. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.