THE SUZUKI METHOD
Dr Shinichi Suzuki, the brilliant Japanese music teacher, developed the highly effective “Mother-Tongue approach” to teaching music. It mirrors the way very young children learn to speak by instinctively drawing from the environment they are in. His vision was to holistically develop each child’s character through the study of music.
The Principles of the Mother-Tongue Method
It is a known fact among Early Childhood Education experts that children benefit immensely from regular exposure to music, especially in the early years (0-6 years), as long as they are developmentally appropriate.
As when a child learns to talk, parents are a key pillar in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. By pro-actively creating an enjoyable learning environment at home, parents are setting their child up for success in their music learning journey. Here are some of the key factors in creating a successful home environment for learning:
Young children possess a remarkable ability to imitate much of what they see and hear. By listening to good-quality recordings of Suzuki method music every day, your child will develop an awareness for beautiful tone, clear rhythm, proper intonation, and musical expressiveness from the very beginning.
Dr Suzuki said, “Hear everything, overlook a lot, and fix one thing”. All young beginners will be overwhelmed and become quickly frustrated if they are expected to concentrate on posture, intonation, tone, and expression, all at the same time. The ability to concentrate on one single point at a time is the first and most important step that your child will learn.
Practice and Review
Daily practice is vital to the ability to play well. The brain and body develop fluency, skills are sharpened, musicality is improved and one’s heart is inspired with confidence.
As with language, your child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered.
Your child will also have regular opportunities to learn in a small group. This provides a positive environment of peer encouragement, participating in fun activities, listening, observing others learn and improve, thereby creating a virtuous motivation cycle.
We will have recitals often – both mini and full-scale ones. They provide excellent motivation for your child to practice and prepare before the recital, to respect and observe others during the recital and to review and improve after the recital.
The Suzuki Triangle
“In traditional teaching…the parent…does not really become involved in the actual teaching situation. In the Suzuki approach, the success of the approach depends on the triangular relationship of parent, teacher & student, rooted in a strong environment. Each arm of the triangle is of equal length, indicating equal importance.” - Kay Colliar-Slone
We essentially partner with the Parents to create a learning environment for their children.
The method is about the learning partnerships between Teacher, Parent & Child, what we refer to as the Suzuki Triangle. Essentially getting everyone involved in a common purpose.
Parents are the home teacher 6 days in a week who greatly influence the outcome of their children & the abilities they learn. This opportunity is presented to Parents daily.