Mother tongue method
As a young man Suzuki studied in Berlin. Struggling to learn German, he marvelled at the fact that even the youngest German children spoke German perfectly and effortlessly, long before they were old enough to learn to read. He recognized that children absorb the language that surrounds them, complete with the finest nuances and inflections. Suzuki realized that the best way to become sensitive to music and develop musicality is by being exposed to music in the same way a child is exposed to its mother tongue.
In the beginning everything is played by ear therefore. This more intuitive approach makes that music becomes part of you, and musical expression becomes more… expressive. Once a child has had opportunity to feel at ease with the chosen instrument, music reading is gradually introduced.
Child-centred, individual lessons
Every child is unique and allowed to progress at his or her own pace. Lessons are individual and are conducted in playful, but structured ways, in order to instil good tone and a sound technical base.
An important principle is that of ‘one step at a time’. Every step is small and achievable, and serves as a stepping stone for the next. Students can easily see their progress, something that contributes to confidence and motivation.
Children learn their ‘mother’ tongue from the people who are closest to them. Therefore it is important that one of the parents (or sometimes grandparents) accompanies younger children to their lessons and helps with practice at home. A Suzuki teacher will offer suggestions and equip you with precise tools, often in the form of games. Like this, you and your (grand)child can work together in a way that is fun for you both. Often these practice sessions become valuable ‘quality time’ for all involved.
A holistic approach
Most students play musically and with ease. More importantly perhaps, the lessons influence other aspects of a child’s being, like confidence, focus, intelligence, empathy, poise, sense of beauty…