FAQs & Observation
What is Suzuki Method?
The Suzuki method was developed in 1950s Japan by Shinichi Suzuki. He was a violinist who had trained in Germany and sought to bring beauty and joy to the lives of children and their parents through learning to play the violin. Many other instruments such as piano, cello, viola, flute, and recorder were subsequently introduced. Suzuki strongly believed that if infants could learn something as complicated as speaking their mother tongue, they could also learn to play the violin using a similar approach.
How does it work?
The method is ideal for children starting to learn at the age of 3 or 4, and because of their young age, parents are integral to the learning process. They are present at every lesson with their child, and are involved in daily practice at home. Children learn all of the Suzuki repertoire by ear. Once they can confidently play the first few pieces with good tone and posture, music reading is then introduced using different material.
Fully qualified Suzuki teachers in the UK have typically trained for 4 – 5 years, and teach using a holistic and encouraging approach while at the same time ensuring proper technique and good tone production. The emphasis is on giving children and their parents a positive and enriching education through music, and not to hot-house or to create musical prodigies. It may be noted however, that several violinists of the highest calibre currently on the international stage such as Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, and Nicola Benedetti all started with Suzuki Method.
What kind of commitment do I need to make as a parent?
– Observe a few group lessons with your child
– Find a teacher, and have a few lessons yourself in advance of your child starting
– Attend and take notes during all your child’s individual and group lessons
– Take responsibility for creating the right environment at home:
a) Sticking to a regular practice time each day
b) Giving genuinely encouraging feedback to your child
c) Ensuring that your child listens to the Suzuki recording and other classical music every day.
The more observation you do with your child before starting lessons, the more you will begin to see how the method works. Please contact Louisa Stuber to arrange observation at group lessons this term.