Suzuki Philosophy

What is the Suzuki Method of learning music?

Dr Sinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) was a Japanese violinist and accomplished teacher whose career spanned over 50 years. He studied children and the way in which they learn. Encouraged by their ability to assimilate their “mother tongue”, he saw great opportunity to enrich children’s lives through music, but also he recognised the unique contribution music can make in the total learning process. The purpose of Suzuki training is not to produce great artists, but to help every child find the joy that comes from music-making.

Dr Suzuki's book  “Nurtured by Love”, describes the philosophy and is the foundation of the teaching method. It is reccommend that you read it as this is the basis of the Let's Twinkle programme. In “Ability from Age Zero” (another book by Dr Suzuki that is reccommended), Dr Suzuki made a plea to all parents, “please, prepare the best environment for your child. Parent and child should grow together looking forward to the future.” The Suzuki Early Childhood Education programme Let's Twinkle will help you create a nurturing environment and aid in all learning aspects for the child.

The Suzuki Triangle

An important point in the Suzuki Philosophy is the 'Suzuki Triangle'. It is the relationship between parent, child and teacher. We are all equally important and need the other for the learning process to take place.

Suzuki Method 'Myths'

"My child is too young to play an instrument"

Ability develops early. With the right skill base any child can begin learning an instrument. The Suzuki Method learns the technique of the instrument first before learning to read music, which means they do not need to be reading books to be able to play an instrument. After completing the Twinkling Tots class, a child can be ready at 3 years old to begin instrumental lessons.

"All Suzuki students sound the same"

Tone is one of the most important teaching points in the Suzuki Method. Every lesson a teacher will work on the students tone. Having a beautiful tone means having a beautiful heart. In all three classes in the Let's Twinkle programme we are aiming for making or listening to a beautiful tone, whether on the triangle, woodblock, xylophone or with our own voices.

"It's cheating listening to the CD"

Music is all about what we hear. Listening to the repertoire is listening to what we are trying to strive for. In the early stages of not being able to read music, we learn all repertoire by ear, therefore the child must listen to the upcoming songs.

"Suzuki students can't read music"

There is no reason why a Suzuki student will not be able to read music. All good Suzuki teachers include a reading programme in their teaching. Yes, they will not be able to read music at first until they have mastered basic technique on the instrument.

"Playing in a group makes them play out of tune"

Children learn from one another. Playing together in a group can help the younger children learn new repertoire and the older children are role models.

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