Top ten things to know about the Suzuki Philosophy:
1. DR. SHINICHI SUZUKI
Japanese violinist born in 1898 is known for being the founder of the Talent Education Movement, or the mother-tongue approach as he called it.
2. EVERY CHILD CAN
Talent is not inborn, but learned and developed.
Just as children learn to speak a language by listening to native speakers over and over again, they learn by listening to music every day, especially their Suzuki pieces that they will be playing.
Repetition is crucial in learning to play an instrument. Just as children learn new words and add to their vocabulary, students add to their repertoire gradually and continue to build fluency.
We praise children immensely when they finally say their first word. We should do the same when children learn to play the cello. Every child learns at a different pace, and we focus on mastering one step at a time.
6. PARENT PARTICIPATION
Just like when a child learns to speak, the parent has a vital role in teaching the child. The Suzuki Triangle involves the teacher, “home teacher”, and student. The home teacher is involved and present during the lesson, and helps with daily practice at home.
7. GROUP CLASS
The peer learning environment is crucial for increased progress with added listening, group encouragement and developing group social skills.
As a music teacher and performer, I understand the importance of learning how to read music, but with the Suzuki approach, children learn how to speak with their instruments, or develop a solid technical foundation before they learn how to read music just as they learn how to speak before they learn how to read.