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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Suzuki Method

Start them young, and learning will be natural and easy. That is the basis of the philosophy of the Suzuki Method, a way of training children to become skillful and joyful musicians. I must say, even though I was never exposed to Suzuki, I am rather partial to the basic tenets of his approach. The key elements are: play musical pieces rather than etudes, play by ear than by page, regular ensemble performances, constant refinement of learnt repertoire, and above all, promoting a love of the music.

Shinichi Suzuki, the man himself, is quite an interesting character. His father owned a violin factory, he went to Germany to do advanced training, where he became a buddy of Albert Einstein, returned to Japan and started a string quartet group, then began his famous path of music teaching and pedagogy. A great life of 99 years.

The Suzuki Institute of Seattle has a nice site, with separate streams for piano, violin, cello, and voice. If only I was three years old again! Click here.