Shinichi Suzuki was a violinist, educator, philosopher, and humanitarian. Suzuki devoted his life to the development of the method he calls Talent Education. Almost fifty years ago, Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children all over the world learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., have led to some of the unique features of the Suzuki approach.
Characteristics of the Suzuki Method
Thoughtful teachers have often used some of the elements listed here, but Suzuki has formulated them in a cohesive approach. Aspects include:
- Suzuki teachers believe that musical ability can be developed in all children.
- Instruction can begin in early childhood.
- Parents play an active role in the learning process.
- Children become comfortable with the instrument before learning to read music.
- Technique is taught through the context of pieces.
- Pieces are refined through constant review.
- Students perform frequently, individually and in groups.
Excerpt from the Suzuki Twinkler with permission from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. For more info visit the SAA Website.