All Children learn to speak their native language by listening to the sounds of that language repeated ceaselessly by everyone around them as they grow. Without formal training every child masters this “talent” in a few short years. This method must be highly successful because there are no dropouts or failures and eventually every child displays fine language ability. Music can be effectively taught in this way because, like spoken language, the primary focus of music is sound.
Suzuki teachers take the job of nurturing exceptional ability and good character in every child very seriously. They know that children will accurately reflect the virtues and faults of their models and so they strive to present children with the finest possible example of musicianship and attitude. For every Suzuki teacher this means extensive practice and research of the materials that they give their students. It also means continuing yearly professional teacher training.
Working In Small Steps and Mastering Each OneWhen a child has learned to do a simple task, that task is repeated and reinforced by the child until it has been fully assimilated. This way the child develops solidly internalized skills, in other words, talents. Likewise, students do not drop one piece in order to learn another. Instead they continue to refine their musical skills and develop new ones through pieces they can easily play.
Like a growing plant, a child left unattended through his or her critical growing stages will surely develop poorly. Suzuki teachers work closely with parents to prepare them to supervise practice and establish a good home learning environment.
Working With Others
Suzuki emphasizes cooperation and respect over competition. Because all Suzuki students learn the same repertoire, and because they all learn to play well, they can and often do perform together. Suzuki believes this spirit of cooperation will extend beyond music lessons and into the student’s everyday life. He also believes that the continued spread of such a spirit could lead to a higher goal, a more peaceful world.Developing Reading Skills
One of the goals of music education is producing young musicians who are musically literate. The Suzuki method develops musical literacy within the child as easily and naturally as the mother tongue (native language). Reading, writing, and creative skills are developed when the basic skills are firmly established.