The Suzuki Method

There are a number of precepts to the Suzuki Method that distinguish it from conventional music teaching. It is not that each of the individual precepts themselves are new. It is the totality of approach that distinguishes the Suzuki Method.

1. Early Beginnings

Lessons ideally start before the age of 6.

2. Listening

Students listen to the recording of the pieces they will play before they learn to play them. This develops a sophisticated ear for pitch and tone which enables a child to play with greater sensitivity.

3. Complete Mastery

Students of the Suzuki Method are taught to play from memory which is seen as the starting point for work on proper technique and musicality.

4. Common Repertoire

All Suzuki students learn and follow the same sequence of material.

5. Group Practice

In addition to an individual music lesson, Suzuki students learn in larger groups.

Group lessons contribute greatly to the motivation of the students. Children’s enthusiasm and enjoyment usually shine out in group situations, leading to increased motivation to practise at home. Parents are often actively involved in the group activities, which especially for small children, makes them even more enjoyable.

6. Parental Involvement

Parents have an active role in the Suzuki Method. Indeed, many parents have been so inspired helping their children, they have taken up music study themselves.

7. Practice

Music should be practised every day. Of course, this kind of commitment is difficult to make and Suzuki understood this. He therefore said: “Only practise on the days you eat.”

8. Trained Teachers

Suzuki teachers learn and are expected to perform the Suzuki repertoire as well as a number of other pieces. They are also taught in such areas as child development and psychology and dealing with learning difficulties.

9. Love

Suzuki wrote an account about his teaching method, entitled “Nurtured By Love.” He believed that musical ability lies in all children. He did not believe he was imposing a skill upon a child; he was, rather, guiding them to manifest what they already possessed. Amazing results can be achieved when understanding, sensitivity, and discipline are brought together in a single field of study. The glue that binds these various elements together is, Suzuki believed, love.

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