Who was Shinichi Suzuki?

Shinichi Suzuki was a violinist, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. Born in 1898, he studied violin in Japan for some years before going to Germany in the 1920s for further study. After the end of World War II, Dr. Suzuki devoted his life to the development of the method he calls Talent Education. (For more information go to http://suzukiassociation.org .  I also recommend Shinichi Suzuki's book, Nurtured by Love which chronicles the story the development of his method of Talent Education) 

What is the Suzuki Method?

Philosophy:

  • Every child has the potential to become musical.
  • Environment rather than genetics will determine achievement.
  • Positive reinforcement promotes success.

Curriculum:

  • The SuzukiTM  Method curriculum is a well-considered series of musical pieces designed to introduce and review musical technique in a progressively challenging format.

Technical Concepts:

  • Begin lessons early, enlisting the aid of the parent as home teacher.
  • Adapt the "mother tongue" [language acquisition] approach to learning through listening, imitation, review, and positive reinforcement.
  • Break each skill into the smallest possible steps.
  • Teach individual lessons to let each child progress at his or her own pace.
  • Use group classes to review the materials presented in the private lesson and to introduce the skill of playing together.

This list is excerpted from the book Teaching from the Balance Point by Edward Kreitman.  I recommend the book to all of my parents. Mr. Kreitman is a world renown Suzuki pedagogue and has an excellent way of capturing the most important concepts in words.  He had the good fortune of spending some time in Japan studying with Shinichi Suzuki himself and has worked with the pioneers of the Suzuki Method in the United states. I have had the good fortune of studying and training with Mr. Kreitman and I am a big fan of his work.