What is the Suzuki Method?

suzuki_pedagogueSuzuki Talent Education is a music education method developed Dr Shinichi Suzuki from Japan.

Dr Shinichi has called his method the Mother Tongue approach.

He observed that any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue.

A child learns to speak by:

  • Listening
  • Repetition
  • Step-by-step progress
  • Vocabulary
  • Parent involvement
  • Love

Each of these factors is at work in the Suzuki Method of musical education.  Suzuki combines a teaching method with a philosophy, which embraces the total development of the child.

At what age should my child start to learn?

The Suzuki Method follows the parallel with language learning and recommends that musical training should become an important part of the child’s environment from birth.  Children can start formal individual lessons from four years old.

What Instruments can be taught using the Suzuki method?

In Western Australia, we have qualified Suzuki teachers that teach cello, flute, guitar, piano, violin and viola. We also have an Early Childhood Program.

How do I choose a teacher for my child?

The Suzuki Talent Education Association has a list of accredited teachers and can recommend one for you.  However, it is wise to firstly observe some lessons to see if the Suzuki Method and the teacher’s style appeals to you.

What equipment do we need?

You will need to own an instrument before you start lessons.  Your teacher will advise you of the correct instrument and size for you child.  You will also need a good quality sound system to listen to recordings of the Suzuki repertoire.  This listening is an essential element of learning since constant listening to music performed with beautiful tone provides children with a role model for their playing.  It also helps the student to learn their pieces faster if they know how the piece sounds.

What is the role of the parent?

The parent’s role is crucial and involves:

  • Attending each lesson and assisting with practice at home;
  • Understanding and caring for the instrument;
  • Creating an environment of affection, support and encouragement;
  • Playing the recordings at home; and
  • Attending workshops, concerts, graduations and other Suzuki activities with the child.

What sort of music do the children learn?

Children start with nursery rhymes and folk songs and move through the classical repertoire.  The order of the repertoire is carefully chosen to develop technique, musicianship and style. Teachers often give supplementary material to widen students’ musical experience.

At what stage do Suzuki children learn to read music?

In the some way that children learn to speak before they are taught to read, children learn to play music before they are taught to read it.  Reading music is taught after basic playing skills have been mastered.  The stage at which this happens varies from child to child and depends on the child’s age and general developments.

Do students perform in public?

suzukimusic__2005_1022_142359AAYes.  Students perform in public at an early age, gaining self-esteem, confidence and encouragement from these public performances.

Why join the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (WA) Inc?

The Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (WA) Inc aims to foster and encourage the use of the Suzuki Method and approach to music education in Western Australia.

Levels (Levels Days) and Graduation

Doing ‘Levels’ is not an examination, and every child succeeds. Teachers present students only when they are certain that the performance is secure and musical.  To graduate is to achieve recognition for having reached a certain milestone in the ongoing process of musical education.

There are many benefits of joining the Suzuki Talent Education Association:

  • A quarterly newsletter containing helpful articles and information on events in this State.
  • Access to events such as concerts, workshops and other special events.
  • Access to the Association’s library and books, cassettes, music and videos.
  • Support from fellow parents.
  • Updated list of teachers
  • Opportunity for graduation at the completion of each level.

Families learning from a Suzuki teacher are expected to join the Association