The Suzuki Approach
The purpose of the Suzuki approach is to bring about the total musical development of the child as a significant and integral part of the child’s general development into adulthood. The goal of the teachers is to build a sense of community through the love of music and develop self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual commitment and respect.
The Suzuki approach aims to develop students who have learned how to do something well, and who have gained the confidence and poise which come with taking satisfaction and pleasure in the learning process itself. Technical proficiency and musical sensitivity go together to develop skilled and sensitive human beings. The child as music student is never considered apart from the child as a whole. Children nurtured by love, who are encouraged to work hard to achieve a goal, whose sensitivity to beauty is awakened and nourished, and who are encouraged and guided by adults who respect their efforts and individuality, will surely have a good start on their path to mature adulthood. Whether or not Suzuki students continue to play their instruments as adults, the experience they gain in the Suzuki environment has benefits in areas far beyond musical knowledge and skill.
The Suzuki approach is based on the premise that every child has enough innate musical ability to play major works from the standard string repertoire at a high standard if the right kind of environment is provided. Every child has the basic talent. The task of teachers and parents is to “educate that talent.” This is the reason Dr. Suzuki called the movement he founded in Japan in the 1940′s the “Talent Education Movement”.
The Society for Talent Education program has two parts – private lessons and group lessons – students are expected to attend both a weekly private lesson and a weekly group lesson. Students receive 38 private lessons from September to June, and 24 group lessons that start in late September or early October and run until early May.
Success in your Suzuki music study relies on effective participation in both private lessons and group lessons. It is expected that students will listen daily to the pieces that they are learning and that parents and students will practice at home on a daily basis.