“Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.”
― Shin’ichi Suzuki
What is the Suzuki Method?
Suzuki music education combines instrumental teaching with a philosophy embracing the total development of the child.
“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” ― Shin’ichi Suzuki
Dr Suzuki has called his teaching method the Mother-Tongue Approach. It was inspired by the knowledge that children are not born with the ability to speak their native language (or mother tongue). Rather, the ability to speak is slowly developed over time in a nurturing and supportive environment. Babies are exposed daily to the sounds of the spoken language. Small, easy words are repeated over and over many times. Encouragement and positive reinforcement abound when babies are learning to speak their first words. With this nurturing environment, all children easily and naturally learn to speak their “mother tongue”.
When a child learns to speak, the following factors are at work:
Babies are not scolded
They learn by repeating
They learn in small steps
They progress at their own rate
Babies are surrounded by language
They absorb language through interactive listening
Their experiments are greeted with enthusiasm
They continually practise sounds
Parents expect them to succeed
Success is based on success
There are no time limits
There are no dropouts
They Learn with Love
-With Love in my Heart and a Twinkle in my Ear
MOTHER TONGUE APPROACH TO MUSIC
In the Suzuki approach these principles are used in the learning of an instrument.
Following the parallel with language learning, the foundation of the Suzuki Method is what is referred to as the Suzuki Triangle. The parent’s role is crucial to this process. Learning takes place in an environment of co-operation between teacher, parent and child. Parents attend their child's lessons so they are able to help and encourage the child's home practise sessions. It is also the responsibility of the parent to ensure that daily listening to the Suzuki repertoire takes place. With the Suzuki Triangle, everyone works together!