The Suzuki Method was founded over fifty years ago by the Japanese violinist and pedagogue, Shinichi Suzuki. He noticed that all children learned to speak their native language with ease.
He applied the basic principles of language acquisition to learning music. He believed that every child can learn to play a musical instrument, just as every child can learn to speak his/her native language in a nurturing environment.
The method is often called the mother-tongue approach.
Here are some components of the Suzuki Approach that have made it an internationally renowned music learning technique.
- Students begin Suzuki Early Childhood Education classes between 0-3 years old with a parent/caregiver.
- Students begin lessons between 3 – 6 years old.
- Students learn by ear at first through repeated listening to a recording of the graded repertoire.
- Emphasis is on mastery of producing a beautiful tone and basic technique.
- Learning takes place in a positive environment of encouragement and step-by-step mastery.
- Individualized learning is emphasized and children learn at their own rates.
- Parents take an active role, attending lessons, playing recordings and monitoring home practice.
- Parent, child and teacher form the “Suzuki Triangle” to create a long-term, collaborative learning experience.
- Note-reading is introduced at a later time, when students are developmentally ready.
- Instruction focuses on the long-term musical development of each child.