Suzuki Method ~ Information

About the Suzuki Method:

Dr. Shin’ichi Suzuki wanted to teach young children to play music using what he called the “Mother Tongue” method. He used the fundamentals of how a child learns their native language to teach violin to children as young as 2 and 3 years old. Later, his method expanded to include instruction for many other instruments including Suzuki Viola, Suzuki Cello, Suzuki Bass, Suzuki Piano, Suzuki Guitar and many more.

Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy of Talent Education is that talent is not inherited but taught and that any child can learn given the right environment and encouragement to do so.

Some of the key points of the Suzuki Method include:

  • An early start ~ Children begin learning from the time they are born and can be introduced to music from the very start.
  • Listening ~ Just as a child hears his/her mother speak even from the womb, listening is an integral part of learning. With the Suzuki Method, students listen regularly to the Suzuki CD’s as well as teachers, parents and other children playing their instrument.
  • Imitation ~ How does a child learn to do something? By copying a person who is close to them.  Teachers and Parents make excellent examples and children will begin to imitate what they see.
  • Repetition ~ When you child spoke his first word he/she probably began to repeat it over and over “mama” “mama” “mama” until another word was learned and added to the vocabulary.  It is the same with the Suzuki Method where repertoire is a vocabulary of music.
  • Environment ~ A positive learning environment that fosters the natural curiosity of the child and includes negative free practice and lesson time as well as constant encouragement.
  • Parental Involvement ~ Parents who commit to the Suzuki Method are present and active the whole journey.  They take notes in lessons, attend group classes and recitals and contribute a great deal at home practice time.
  • Group Participation ~ It is important the children be exposed to groups with other kids who are learning just like them.  They can look up to more advanced students and feel special that they offer a good example to younger ones while being motivated by fun Suzuki group classes and orchestra experiences.

About Dr. Suzuki himself:

Dr. Shin’ichi Suzuki was born in Nagoya Japan in 1898 and died in 1998 at the age of 100.  He had twelve brothers and sisters.  He was an accoplished violinitst and recieved honorary doctorates in music from New England Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

Some Pictures of Dr. Suzuki:

Suzuki Method    Suzuki Method   Suzuki Method

Suzuki Method

Some famous quotes by Dr. Suzuki:

“character first, ability second”

The essence of his philosophy may be found in the following quotes from his many writings:

“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets beautiful heart.”

“Where love is deep, much will be accomplished.”

“My dream is for the happiness of all children. I feel respect and friendly feelings for everyone. In particular, I cannot help but feel respect and warm feelings for young children. And my heart brims over with a desire to help make all the children born upon the earth fine human beings, happy people, people of superior ability. My whole life energies are devoted to this end.”

“Man is the son of his environment.”

“I have no doubt that people are born with differences, but I believe that a person’s abilities grow and develop depending on the stimulation from outside.”

“I firmly believe that any child can become superior, and my confidence has never been betrayed.”

“Music is a language that goes beyond speech and letters”


Further Reading:  Here are some great books that we recommend about the Suzuki Method:

Nurtured by Love

Ability Development

How We Raise Them

The Suzuki Approach

To Learn with Love