Dr. Shinichi Suzuki believed that every child can be taught to accomplish challenging tasks, based on his observation that all children learn their native language. Sometimes called the mother-tongue method, the Suzuki approach draws on components of language learning, including active parent involvement, a daily listening routine, and the creation of a positive learning environment.
Through dedicated work in a nurturing environment, students build skills to achieve challenging goals (both musical and non-musical) and develop character qualities like empathy and confidence.
Dr. Suzuki’s wish was to build noble hearts. As parents and teachers, we can help our students accomplish that goal through music.
Suzuki lessons are available to students as young as four years old. For aspiring string players under the age of four, please see our Suzuki Early Childhood Education information to learn more about early preparation and building a solid foundation for the study of an instrument.
Children learn best with great support, and in the Suzuki method, much of that support comes from a parent. The practice parent attends all lessons with the child and then becomes the teacher for home practice. One of the benefits of the Suzuki approach is fostering a working relationship between child and parent that provides an opportunity for the parent to observe and directly participate in the child’s musical learning and development.
Group lessons support and enhance the work done in private lessons. Through cooperative work, students help and motivate each other in their progress. They build ensemble and teamwork skills from a young age.
Listening is a foundation of the Suzuki approach. By listening daily to the reference recordings, the child learns by internalizing the model of tone first, and then discovering how to create a beautiful tone with the guidance of the teacher.
In lessons and group class, motivation is built on success. Challenges are broken down into manageable pieces, and each step is celebrated. Mirroring the process of language learning, this positive environment fosters the student’s ability to accomplish difficult goals.
A daily commitment to practicing at home is crucial to a student’s success and motivation. Through diligent daily work on manageable challenges, students can achieve mastery of new skills.
An initial parent orientation session plus occasional parent gatherings support work at home through the sharing of experiences and guidance from teachers.
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