The Suzuki Method™ or Suzuki Approach is based on the principle that all children possess ability which can be developed through a nurturing environment.
Children are taught to play an instrument in much the same way as they first learned to speak their own language, by listening and imitating, with the constant encouragement and support of their parents.
Because Shin'ichi Suzuki (1898-1998) was a violinist, he first applied his ideas to the teaching of violin, but the approach is now also used with many other instruments and in early childhood education.
Some important elements of the Suzuki Approach/Suzuki Method™ to instrumental teaching are
- An early start (typically aged 3-4)
- The importance of listening to music
- Learning to play before learning to read music
- The involvement of the parent and a nurturing and positive learning environment
- The importance of producing a good sound in a balanced and natural way
- A high standard of teaching by trained teachers
The Suzuki Approach has enabled many children all over the world to play music to a high standard. Substantial numbers of Suzuki trained students have indeed become highly acclaimed professional musicians. However, the training of professionals is not the main aim: the emphasis throughout is on the development of the whole child and on education through music.
The website of the European Suzuki Teaching Development Trust