Every Child Can Learn
In the 1940’s, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki had the realization that all children everywhere learn to speak their native tongue at a young age. From his insight, Suzuki developed a method of teaching music based on the principles of learning a language as a small child. In this approach, which Suzuki called the “mother tongue method,” everything that goes into teaching a young child to speak is applied to teaching the child a musical instrument.
The Suzuki Method centers on the Suzuki Triangle (teacher, student and parent), requiring equal involvement from every side. Parents attend the lessons with the child and act as “home teachers” during the week. This begins the course of nurturing children into becoming good people and respectable human beings; no matter which direction their careers take them.
A child learns his native tongue starting from the moment of birth by means of constant repetition. Words are repeated hundreds, maybe thousands of times before they start to become a part of a child’s vocabulary. Repetition is also a source of development in Suzuki’s method. Like learning a word in one’s language, a child doesn’t just learn a song and stop playing it; the child repeats it and continues to expand his understanding of the piece.
Every child learns at his or her own rate. Praise and encouragement for the child’s efforts to learn are very important to his or her growth as a person and should not be thought of as small achievements. Dr. Suzuki’s method of teaching utilizes this interaction as a key part of every child’s development.
Creating The Suzuki Method, Dr. Suzuki’s goal wasn’t to create violin prodigies or virtuoso performers, but to build and nurture good people. He once proclaimed, “Man is a son of his environment.” Dr. Suzuki’s method is intended to influence the person as a whole and not just a child learning to play the violin. Through the work of the teacher and parent, along with cooperation and willingness of the child, a strong foundation is laid for discipline, character development, and artistic expression.