Piano lessons based on the Suzuki Method:
The Suzuki method, also known as the Mother-Tongue Approach, was founded by Dr Shin’ichi Suzuki, which embraces the effective way children learn to speak their native language. Embedded within this process, children learn to speak through listening, repetition, vocabulary, motivation, memory, parental involvement, step-by-step mastery and first and foremost, love. Within Suzuki, these same principles are used in the learning of an instrument.
As children learn to speak through listening and imitating the spoken language they hear, the method emphasises the presence of daily listening to recordings of the Suzuki repertoire. This also applies to the production of singing tone, not only does the recordings enhance the child’s development, but the Suzuki teacher also model fine tone and sensitive playing which is stressed from the beginning.
As the child constantly reviews and repeats pieces of repertoire throughout the study of their level, technical, musical and stylistic skills are strengthened and developed.
Parental involvement plays a crucial role in the development of a child within Suzuki. Learning takes place in a cohesive and cooperative environment between the child, student and teacher. Just as children acquire societal skills from the environment they surround themselves in, so does learning an instrument.
Parents are encouraged to attend lessons, taking notes and using the guided steps provided by the teacher, to facilitate practice at home. Parents also help create a supportive and encouraged environment by playing recordings of the repertoire and attending concerts and graduations with their child.
Each student is encouraged to develop at their own rate as they build upon small steps so each one can be mastered. Each piece of repertoire becomes a building model for the precise development of technique, whilst the movement from one piece to another, facilitates a strong sense of motivation.
Through this process, these developed skills and repertoire become the child’s musical vocabulary, which is then better retained by not only the frequent use and acknowledgement of each child’s vocabulary, but the emphasis on memorising all pieces of repertoire to the be performed.
As Dr Suzuki stated,
“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a child hears fine music from the day of birth, and learns to play it, sensitivity, discipline and endurance is developed, the child acquires a beautiful heart”.