Read what the British Suzuki Music Association has to say about the Suzuki Method here! They will go more in depth about the history and philosopy, but we will give you a rundown of what we believe is important here, too!
The Mother Tongue/ Talent Education Philosophy
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki was born in Japan, and learnt to play the violin as a teenager after hearing it on the radio! He travelled to Germany to study as an adult. During this time (when he lived with Albert Einstein and met his wife) he began to notice that learning a new language as an adult was incredibly difficult – but all children at the age of 6 spoke their mother tongue language fluently and effortlessly – sometimes even more than one!
Suzuki determined that as children learn to speak the languages they are surrounded with at home, they must be the product of their environment. He believed that parental influence was the key to paving the way to a person’s biggest potential. The Suzuki Method ethos is that every child can learn to do anything that they put their mind to and that there was no such thing as ‘inborn talent’ – a radical opinion at the time! Fast forward to today, and this is a more widely accepted concept – that with hard work and the right nurture, every child can learn to do anything the want!
The Suzuki Method is based on how children learn to speak – they learn by listening to their parents, communicating daily, repeating the same words while they learn new ones, and by the positive response they receive for communicating well! The younger a child starts the better, as children soak up the most at young ages!
Dr. Suzuki believed that in working on a beautiful tone, you would also be creating a beautiful heart. He wanted not only to teach a high standard of music, but also to work on the character of the child, to create beautiful citizens of the world.
The Suzuki Triangle
The Suzuki Method operates on the belief that the musical journey is governed by the three sides of the triangle : Teacher – Parent – Student. The Suzuki Triangle will work closely together to help the student realise their full potential.
Trained Suzuki Teachers
Suzuki certificated teachers undergo extensive training in technique, philosophy, delivery and knowledge. Kimberley has an ESA Diploma (level 5) and is qualified to teach all levels of Suzuki Violin.
CORNERSTONES OF THE SUZUKI METHOD
EVERY CHILD CAN
Suzuki Method teachers believe that every child can learn to play the violin! Therefore, we have no prerequisite ability tests that must be passed before learning can commence. However, as we believe that the younger a child can start the better, teachers may help to determine if a child is mentally and physically ready to start playing an instrument. Individual tuition is important as every child learns in different ways and at different speeds, and to best fulfil their potential should have the opportunity to do this in their own space with their parent and teacher.
Just as your child could not have learnt to speak without your guidance and help, they will learnt best with your input during this process! Parents are committed to attending every lesson and practicing daily with their child at home. This is especially important for your children as there is so much to remember and control!
Infants listen to the words around them from in the womb, for roughly a year before the begin to speak. The words that they start to speak are familiar (for instance, if you speak only French at home your child will not suddenly speak Chinese!) and are often repeated clearly and often to the child. The Suzuki Method has a clear curriculum which are all recorded. These recordings should be listened to multiple times, daily, a year ahead of playing the piece. In this way, the child hears what they are trying to achieve clearly in their mind, and only has then to learn the techniques in order to make the sound on their instrument! Just like children learning to speak, Suzuki students will learn their early pieces by ear, and learn to read later on. At KWVS we use Music Mind Games to begin this process early!
Instead of learning one word and then discarding it while learning the next, the Suzuki Method teaches students to continuously cover the material they have previously learnt. This enables them to perfect old techniques and learn new ones on material that is already comfortable, rather than the difficult task of learning new techniques while also learning new pieces. This allows for easier progression, more enjoyment, and a list of pieces that can be performed at a moments notice!
POSITIVE FEEDBACK CYCLE
Just like when your child was learning to speak, it is important that we celebrate every new step that they make! Children learn because last time they did this, they had fun or felt good about themselves. So during this process the response they receive from parents, teachers and family/friends is incredibly important. Suzuki Teachers believe in specific praise, followed by one workable practice point.
It is important to practice your skills daily, as if you don’t practice for one day, you lose 50% of muscle memory from the practice you did the day before! Children will practice communicating daily when learning to speak. This is learnt by family members talking to them and helping them to learn every day without fail. Dr Suzuki’s famous quote was ‘you only have to practice on the days that you eat’!
Along side individual tuition, the Suzuki Method also involves group lesson learning. Children want to learn together! Here, they will learn to work in a team, and practice their skills together. The wider Suzuki community hold many events to connect Suzuki Students around the world! Check out our own Surrey Suzuki Workshop here!