Suzuki Teaching Philosophy
The Suzuki teaching method (also known as the Suzuki movement) is a method of teaching music conceived by Japanese violinist Shin’ichi Suzuki (October 17, 1898 – January 26, 1998). Suzuki noticed that children pick up their native language, and even ‘difficult’ dialects easily. He concluded that the environment where the children live affects this ability, and he decided to adapt his teaching method and philosophy to enable kids to play music as naturally as they would pick up a new language.
The Suzuki teaching philosophy is well received in the world, and spreading from Shin’ichi Suzuki’s home country, Japan, to all over the world. Due to the universality of the concept, the Suzuki teaching method has also been adapted for us with various instruments apart from the violin (e.g. the flute, recorder, piano, guitar, cello, viola, bass, organ, harp and voice).
The underlying principle that Suzuki had, was his belief that children should be nurtured by love to become beautiful persons, both inside and out. In this article we would like to explain the Suzuki teaching philosophy through the Chinese character strokes of ‘ai’ (meaning ‘love’):
Expectation of Success
We believe that every child is inherently gifted in music. Therefore, we do not give up teaching our kids the beautiful music that will transform their life, no matter how difficult it is.
In the same way as parents encourage their children to speak as soon as possible, we believe that there is no minimum age when your kids should start learning using the Suzuki method. We encourage kids as young as 4-5 years old, to start to learn music. The younger they are, the faster they can learn the skills.
Children learn to understand a language about two years before they are able to speak it well. Using the Suzuki method, we follow this natural learning process by playing the Suzuki repertoire (practice songs) over and over again months before they learn to play the actual piece.
Nurture the Talent
As parents welcome a kid’s gurgling, babbling and first words with enthusiasm, we expect Suzuki parents to encourage their child’s musical progress and reinforce their desire to learn.
Encourage Social Learning
Just like how children practice their mother tongue whenever they meet friends and family, in the Suzuki method, kids learn to hone their skills and also socialize through our regular group classes, where they can play the guitar with children of their age.
In the Suzuki method, nothing is more critical than YOUR support. We view parents as one side of successful Suzuki triangle concept, where success of the child depends on engagement of teacher, parents and the child himself / herself.
Repetition is the key to a child’s pace of learning a new language. In the Suzuki method, we have designed the curriculum such that the key concepts are repeated (and reinforced with each repetition) with little variants added on for each new stage. As such, your kids will benefit from the reinforcement of the key concepts, just as they would in learning a new language.
Nothing beats a performance to showcase a child’s ability and build his/ her confidence in their skills. We have regular performance and recitals as part of our curriculum to encourage your kids to practice what they have learnt, and go further even.
Just as how you would correct a child in the use of his grammer, vocabulary etc., in Suzuki method, we have regular reviews to improve your child’s fluency and proficiency in guitar techniques.
We all know that children do not learn a language by reading first, but rather by listening to those around them speak it. Similarly, in the Suzuki method, our children are taught to appreciate a musical piece by listening to it first, as compared to the traditional method of teaching a song based on the musical score. Reading of musical scores will take place when your child is ready, but before that, don’t worry! Your child will learn to play just by ear alone.