What is the Suzuki Method?
The founder of the Suzuki Method, Dr Shinichi Suzuki, was inspired by the way and ease of how children learn their mother tongue due to their environment, as they grow up surrounded by it, guided by their parents. So, he realized that the same could be applied to music learning, and he coined it the “mother-tongue approach”. The Suzuki Method heavily relies on parental involvement, coupled with a positive learning environment and various other to enhance a child’s music education.
To cultivate a good learning environment, the following are key factors:
For very young children, it is important that the parents are involved in their child’s learning. They are strongly encouraged to attend lessons with the child, so that they can learn and understand the material and what is expected of the child. They are to guide the child through practice sessions at home, just like doing schoolwork with the child. Teachers usually work with parents closely to forge a positive and fun learning experience for the child.
Listening, Repetition and Memory
Many children learn by example, and the best example they can get is from listening to recordings of not just the Suzuki repertoire, but music, in general. Listening to good examples provide a role model for children to look up to, and the importance of producing a beautiful tone and is heavily emphasized since the start. Listening also comes hand in hand with memory and repetition. As they familiarize themselves with the recordings and constantly practice it, they can easily commit it to memory.
Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire teach a wide range of techniques. Each piece is tailored to teach the child a certain technique, and with constant review of the pieces, students visit again and again what they have learnt, and as they progress through the pieces, they learn to incorporate the techniques that they have learnt.