Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area

The Suzuki Method

Shinichi Suzuki, a master violin teacher, revolutionized violin teaching with his creation of the Japanese Talent Education Movement. The Suzuki Method he introduced has also been extended to other instruments viola, cello, bass, piano, flute, guitar and recorder with outstanding results. The Suzuki Method works on the principle that every child can learn music through the same process he learns his mother tongue language. With this approach, a child can develop his abilities during the early absorbing and sensitive years far beyond what most people previously imagined.

The Suzuki approach differs from other music education philosophies in that:

  • Suzuki teachers believe that musical ability can be developed in all children
  • Students begin at young ages
  • Parents play an active role in the learning process
  • Children become comfortable with the instrument before learning to read music
  • Technique is taught in the context of pieces rather than through dry technical exercises
  • Pieces are refined through constant review
  • Students perform frequently, individually and in groups

Just as in language learning, the parents’ role is vital in the development of early music learning ability. Parents attend lessons with the child and help with practice at home. At the same time, the parent's knowledge of the instrument and music is developed along with the child’s. The basic elements of the Suzuki Method are listening, motivation, proper technique, repetition and reinforcement. The underlying goal is to nurture a child not only in musical abilities but as a complete human being.

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