About Suzuki Viola and Violin Lessons
The Suzuki Method - Lessons for Children
The Suzuki Method was created by the famous violin pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki. Suzuki believed that a child could learn the violin in the same way they learn their native language, which is why the method is often referred to as the "mother tongue approach".
A child learns their mother tongue by watching and listening to their parents and all others around them communicate with each other. They quickly learn to mimic sounds and movement as they learn to communicate as well.
This is why the Suzuki method puts a great deal of focus on ear-training (the child listens to pieces and songs and learns to copy them on their instrument.) This is what makes it possible, for example, for very small children (as early as age 3) to learn the violin.
I want to make good citizens. 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.
How it works:
Suzuki incorporates daily listening activities. The violin method book comes with an accompanying CD for the child to listen to, which contains all the music within the book. It is also recommended that the child regularly attends live performances and watches recorded performances at home. This helps the child become "immersed" in music and violin playing, just as they would become immersed in their mother tongue.
Not only does the Suzuki method allow young children to learn music, but it also fosters and encourages a love for music and instrumental playing. As the child grows, they will not be able to recall a time when they didn't listen and play. This helps violin playing feel second nature to the student, as if it was like walking and talking.
At first, the focus is put into learning music by ear rather than learning to read notes off of a page of sheet music. This is in accordance with the fact that children learn to speak before they learn to read. *However, as a violinist and teacher, I have found it necessary for the child to begin "note naming" immediately (naming the notes- A, B, C, etc while simultaneously playing). This is because many children find it hard to incorporate this after a long period of time in which they did not think of music in this way. If this is not done, it requires a lot of "relearning" for the child . See a more detailed explanation of my method here*.
The method does not have a recommended time frame in which to introduce note-reading. It leaves this solely to the discretion of the teacher.
For more information, you may contact me using the information request form or by calling or emailing me directly. I will be happy to discuss how I utilize this method in my own approach during viola and violin lessons for children.