Created by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan in the 1940s, the Suzuki method focuses on developing the whole child through music. The aim is to nurture creativity, sensitivity and self-esteem; to help children become better human beings and create a better world.
Dr. Suzuki profoundly believed that every child possess an unlimited talent to be educated. He believed that ‘Everyone has a sprout of talent. Developing that sprout into a wonderful ability depends upon how it is cultivated’.
Dr. Suzuki observed that learning to speak your native language has a 100% success rate. By determining the steps involved in learning to speak a language- Listening, Repetition, Imitation, Modeling, Exploration and Experimentation, Observation and Positive Reinforcement; Dr. Suzuki applied the same steps to teaching children how to play the violin.
Dr. Suzuki said ‘Children learn abilities best when they are having fun. Use this as a weapon and repeatedly give them as much as they can do. Praise them when they do as much as they can. Then their incentive will become much stronger’. To this end, Suzuki teachers divide tasks into small pieces, which allow a child to readily achieve success. As a child experiences the praise and recognition of mastering these small pieces, their desire to learn develops new abilities. As Dr. Suzuki explained, ‘Ability breeds ability’.
Parents are an integral part of the Suzuki method! One parent will need to be the ‘practice parent’. This parent will always accompany the child to their weekly lesson, and direct the daily practice at home. Often, this parent is referred to as the ‘home teacher’. Parents are also responsible for creating a positive learning environment at home. In addition to facilitating daily practice, parents are also responsible for turning on the Suzuki CD everyday. It is also beneficial for parents to explore live concerts available at a variety of places.