The Suzuki Method
The Suzuki Method, also known as the Mother Tongue Method was developed by Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) a Japanese violinist and pedagogue. His belief was that children could learn music in the same way they learn their native language.
Using the same principles as the Mother Tongue learning is possible to learn in a natural and fluid way, focusing on high standards of quality without losing the joy of learning and discovering!
These principles used by the Suzuki Method are:
Every human being has the ability to learn, at earlier ages this ability is fresh and open to any experience available, starting to learn music as a child is easier and bring us benefits that stay for our whole life.
The parent involvement in this process is fundamental because they are the most important figure in that child’s life, parents serve as a model and are the person responsible for all their autonomy. In the music learning process, parents attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.
When we are learning how to speak our environment is full of sounds, we listen to the same words over and over before we are able to speak them properly. To learn music using the same strategy, to listen to the repertoire before we play it, makes our journey easier and bring us a good model to follow.
Repeating the same word a thousand times, learning an instrument is the same thing. To repeat something we are first memorizing it and after that make it easier and easier.
To review previously repertoire is an essential part of this methodology. After learning a piece we keep that on our repertoire list, polishing it and making these songs practice spots for new challenges on the instrument, like learning a new technique or preparing for a recital. Our review should be done always in a mindful manner so we can go further in our musicality. Some of the benefits of doing review are: always ready repertoire, memory and concentration improvement, solidifying and deepening skills, bridge to new skills and more.
To praise and celebrate each little achievement, with the true sincerity and encouragement, every step mastered gives confidence for the next stages ahead. At his own pace, everyone can achieve the best results.
The social aspect of learning an instrument is a fundamental part of the musical journey. To be part of a group that does the same as us, to share our experience, to learn from each other, to make friends. Group lessons and recitals are moments when this social role takes part in addition to the private lessons.
The Suzuki repertoire presents to the student technical challenges gradually, using its songs as the main road to follow. This doesn’t mean that its only possible to work with the Suzuki songs, what means is that we play songs (any songs) that match our ability skill level. The measurement of progress should be “‘how” we are playing and not “what”.
To learn how to read music is a fundamental skill for a musician or any music student, but in the same way that we learn our native language, just after the ability to speak well established is that children will learn how to read. With music, after we have acquired basic skills on playing an instrument we can learn how to read music more naturaly.