The development of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophy began with his realization that, just as all children learn to speak their native tongue at a very young age, so can all children learn and benefit from music. Dr. Suzuki developed his method based on recreating, as much as possible, the conditions involved in learning to speak.
The primary aim of the Suzuki philosophy is to enrich children’s lives through the joy of music. Students build self-esteem, confidence in meeting new challenges, self-discipline, and concentration. Success in playing is a natural outcome of these aims, as each student unfolds and develops ability at her/his own rate of development.
Children can begin formal instrumental training as early as age three. Generally, one parent attends lessons and assists the child with home practice. Students listen daily to recordings of the repertoire, and initially begin to play by ear, with reading postponed until aural and instrumental skills are well established. Once pieces are learned, they are frequently reviewed, serving as carefully selected building blocks which lead to successful completion of future pieces. Group classes, in addition to the private lessons, provide powerful motivation and cooperative, fun learning experiences. (More about Young Beginners on flute here).
While an early beginning is strongly encouraged when possible, many older students find that the methodology is well suited to students of all ages and levels. It is often the fastest way to build skills to a high level while refining a student’s aural capability in numerous ways. For more advanced students, it can be a relatively easy and fun way to systematically build fundamental
skills in flute playing while eradicating habits that are less constructive.
Recommended Reading Materials for Parents:
Nurtured by Love OR Ability Development From Age Zero
Both by Shinichi Suzuki
American Suzuki Association Journal
published by the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) at:
P.O. Box 17310
Boulder, CO 80308
Phone: 303-444-0948 OR 1-888-378-9854