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Schwob School of Music Preparatory Division

Schwob School of Music Preparatory Division

The Suzuki Method

DIRECTOR AND INSTRUCTOR: ELIZABETH HOSTETTER

For a free trial lesson, contact Elizabeth Hostetter through the Music Preparatory Division by calling 706.641.5124

About the Suzuki Method

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The Suzuki Method is based on the way in which children naturally learn language. Sinichi Suzuki noticed how miraculous it is that children effortlessly learn their mother tongue. Why can't they learn music in the same way?

As a result of this train of thought, he developed Talent Education, in which children are exposed to and learn to play the violin in much the same way they learn language. How does a child learn language? By being surrounded by it. They hear it spoken between others and to themselves directly. They start to imitate and each attempt is met with approval and encouragement. The important factors in learning a musical instrument are much the same: a positive musical environment, repetition and accumulation, learning with parents, learning from other children, taking small steps mastering each as they go along and learning to read music.

By being surrounded by music children pick it up; the recording of the songs they will learn should be listened to many times a day, introducing music into daily life. They go to concerts, play CD's. If music is part of a parent's daily life, it will feel natural for the parent's child to participate. A positive environment includes praise for work done. Praise your child's efforts and recognize the work they have done: this will motivate them and result in increased self-esteem.

By repeating an exercise or a passage played correctly, children train their muscles to remember. By repeating learned repertoire, they improve basic technical skills as well as musicianship, and eventually will internalize the music. They will also have something to show for their efforts at any given time.

The parent's role in Suzuki training is essential to the triangle between teacher, parent and child. It is the parent who provides the positive environment at home, the encouragement and love. It's the parent who practices with the child at home reminding him of the important points of the lesson. And it's the parent who understands his/her child. It's the parent's approval and support that is most important to a child.

Learning from other children is also crucial and can be a great motivator. In a group setting children have the sense of sharing with each other and being a part of something. This is the advantage of a shared repertoire. They can play together at any given time without rehearsal and the children learn from each other by watching and listening.

At lessons learning the instrument is taught in small-success oriented steps. One new thing is added at a time and many repetitions are usually needed before moving on. Thus the child is happy, feeling successful at every stage. Every child may move forward at his/her own pace. The repertoire is in order and is used as a teaching tool. The teacher must be aware of each new challenge presented in the next piece and be imaginative in how he/she helps each child master it.

When the child has proficiency on the instrument and has developed his/her ear so he/she is listening internally, he/she will also learn to read music.

Learning music through the Suzuki Method is a wonderful way to bring music, love and culture into your child's life. The majority of the top students in schools across the country participate in making music. This art form enriches children's lives in many ways and helps to cultivate beautiful souls. This was the vision of Sinichi Suzuki.

For more information about the Suzuki program, visit www.suzukiassociation.org.

Private Lesson Description

Private lessons introduce the gradual steps each student takes to begin playing the violin. Parents are first taught these steps in the lessons shared with their son or daughter. As lessons progress, less time is spent with the parent and more with child.

Ear training is central to Talent Education, parents must play the CD multiple times each day for their child listening directly to the new song being learned as well as letting it play in the background.

Group Class Description

Group classes serve to reinforce skills learned at lessons and provide a sense of joining in with others in play. Children learn from each other and are motivated by being part of something.

Activities in class will include: learning names of parts of violin, singing, practicing bowing and posture, holding the violin and the bow. In addition students will practice all other steps toward playing songs on their instrument. All of these steps can be done in the context of play in a group. As students progress, class time will used for reviewing repertoire learned. All group class activities will be done with a spirit of fun incorporating games, which reinforce assimilation of repertoire and develop concentration, focus, and listening skills.

Parents are required to attend all private and group lessons with their children.

Top Ten Reasons to Study Suzuki:

  1. Improves memory
  2. Develops focus
  3. Develops coordination
  4. Cultivates bond between parent(s) and child
  5. Develops self-esteem
  6. Enriches the heart and soul
  7. Increases language skills
  8. Promotes peaceful socialization
  9. Teaches cooperation
  10. Music is fun