As many of you know, I love teaching. And, perhaps more than I love teaching, I love the Suzuki Method. As I teach and take Suzuki Training I am continually impressed by the way this method grows with me. The more I study it, the more I believe in it and the more important I believe it is for my students. Dr. Suzuki was a genius–not only in the music he selected but more importantly in the way he taught.

A brief background of the Suzuki Method.

What makes the Suzuki Method different from other methods?

Every Child Can. Every Child Can learn. All s/he needs is an environment that inspires that ability and the opportunity to do so.

Listening. The Suzuki Method is often referred to as “the Mother Tongue” method referring to the idea that every child learns to speak his/her native tongue because that is what he/she is exposed to-from birth. Exposure to music leads to interest in music. Listening to good music performed well not only develops the ear but also develops a student’s ability to recognize beauty and a job well done. For my violin students, listening to the pieces they will be playing gives them a vision of what they can do as well as a model for them to follow.

– The importance of a positive environment. In a competitive and critical world, this method focuses on positive-focusing on what you do well to improve what you do not do well.

– Everything is broken into small steps. The smaller the bite the easier it is to digest. If notes/techniques are broken down into small enough “bites” every student can feel a sense of achievement every time they s/he has a lesson or practices at home.

Repetition. Suzuki said that practice begins when after you can play it correctly. If it takes you 5x to play something right you have practiced it incorrectly 4x. In order to really learn something well you have to play it more times correctly than you do incorrectly and somehow this needs to be interesting and positive!

Common Repertoire. Having a common repertoire allows for group playing as well as gives students a language they can use all over the world.

Daily Review

The Suzuki Triangle. The teacher, parent, and student working together as a team to create the best environment, the best practice, the best effort will produce the best results.

Delayed reading

Tone (your sound). If you are never taught to really listen to the sound you are producing, wether on the violin or on the piano, you will never be able to really hear what you are doing. Students need to learn how to listen and how what they are doing is producing that result.