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What is the Suzuki Method of Learning the Violin?

Published on 05/10/2012

  • What is the Suzuki Method of Learning the Violin?

Suzuki's approach to teaching music builds on the principles of language acquisition. Because all children learn and master their own language, Suzuki believed all children could learn and master music in the same way. The belief is that musical talent is not inborn, but can be developed in everyone.

The Suzuki principals include an early beginning, listening, loving encouragement, parental support, constant repetition, learning with other children and then learning to read.

Being a Suzuki Student or Parent
It's a big commitment. Some students begin very young, often at a pre-school age. Parents must attend the children's lessons so that they can supervise home practice. Crescendo Music has many of the percussion instruments that are used in the early childhood classes. Wooden blocks, xylophones and lollipop drums are used to develop rhythm.

At some point you will need to rent or buy ( or borrow, beg or steal ...) a violin.

Also, students will need to listen to recordings of the music they learn, so be prepared to listen to the Suzuki CD's many, many, many times: in the car, at breakfast, after school.

There are many Suzuki books, and it takes many years to work through them all. Most Suzuki teachers supplement the books with other things like scale books, etude books and other pieces from genres of interest to the student (pop, fiddle, Celtic, klezmer, you name it), exercises and more. Suzuki students don't start to learn to read music until they have learned to hold the instrument well and have developed a good ear. They then typically learn to read very well.

Suzuki students are expected to take regular group lessons. Here, the children play together, learn to follow a leader, play music games and review music they know. Usually there is a "recital" time where kids can play individually with a piano accompanist. Students meet with a wider group of children who are also learning to play.