About the Suzuki Method:
The Suzuki method, also known as Talent Education, was developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) and is based on the premise that every child can learn to play and read music, just as every child learns to speak and read in their mother tongue. Just as we learned to speak through first listening to words, with the Suzuki method the student learns to first play by ear and learns later how to read the music. Without having to concentrate on reading the notes at first, the student is able to focus more easily on getting comfortable with the instrument and setting the foundation more thoroughly for good posture and intonation. The repertoire from the Suzuki method is structured in a specific sequence to build technique and develop proficiency on the instrument step by step.
The students (and preferably the parents also) listen often to the CD of the pieces they will be learning so that they know the music they will be playing which helps the student self correct when learning to play. The CD can be played while driving in the car, at home during the day, at bedtime...when ever it is convenient. The student does not necessarily need to listen intently. Even if the CD is playing in the background they will get to know the music.
It is important to note that the Suzuki method encourages the parent to be an active part of the learning atmosphere. They come to the lessons and actively participate in creating a positive nurturing home practice environment for the student to thrive.
The Suzuki method also incorporates lots of fun into the process of learning! Especially with the younger student, many games are used to help them enjoy the learning process and when a student is enjoying himself or herself they have more enthusiasm to keep at it.
The parent should attend the lessons and bring a pen and notebook to take notes so they can help the student with practicing at home.
With very young students age 3 to about 7 or 8, often I will teach the parents some hands on basics about playing the violin. This helps the parent to know what their child is experiencing which helps the parent to understand more thoroughly how to assist their child with practice at home.
The Suzuki method is meant to nurture many qualities in addition to learning to play the violin beautifully. Even if the student does not continue to play throughout his or her life, he or she will have gained many life lessons and skills such as respect of self and others, self esteem, sensitivity, problem solving skills, poise, listening skills, goal setting and achievement, confidence, discipline, memory skills, focus, and perseverance among other skills. The goal of Talent Education can be seen through this quote from Dr. Suzuki, "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 a beautiful heart."