What IS the Suzuki Method?

What IS the Suzuki Method and how does it differ from my Traditional Method?

The Suzuki Method

The Suzuki Method, also known as Talent Education, was founded in Matsumoto, Japan by Shin'ichi Suzuki.

It is based on the "mother-tongue principle" of language learning - every child can learn even the most complicated language through listening, repetition, and positive reinforcement.

The Suzuki philosophy believes that talent is not inborn but can be developed by the nurturing of the adults in the child’s life. 

In a traditional Suzuki setting, a parent attends lessons with the child and also learns how to play the instrument.  In my studio the parents are not required to learn to play violin or viola along with the child unless they express a desire to do so.  I will provide opportunities for the parent's involvement. The more involved the parent, the more likely the child will be successful.  

It is a common misconception that Suzuki students only learn to play by ear, but this is not true.  Note reading and theory are taught in an organic manner after the child displays a solid technique on the instrument.  Most of my students begin to read music in Suzuki Book 2 or 3. 


The Traditional Method  

My traditional method of learning begins the exact same way as the Suzuki Method.  Depending on the age of the student I will teach note reading and theory earlier if it is needed for a school or youth orchestra.  I expect my parents to be present at the lessons, to help with the practicing at home, and to support their child and me in the lessons.  At a point in the learning I will begin to have the student study from more traditional method books - etude and technical books, as well as a more broad list of solo repertoire.