Suzuki Piano Method
The Suzuki Piano Method provides piano lessons based on the philosophy that any student who is properly nurtured can learn to play the piano beautifully and grow in their love of music. Encouragement and enthusiasm from caring parents and teachers create a positive environment that breeds a successful child.
The Suzuki method parallels learning an instrument with the way a child learns to speak his native tongue. Your child learned to speak by hearing language in his environment, and then copying those sounds until they became words, sentences, and eventually fluent speech. The same process happens with music lessons. Nicknamed “the mother tongue approach”, Suzuki lessons require listening to recordings of the repertoire to create an environment of sound for your child. The student is then shown how to create these sounds on his instrument until he can play notes, phrases and finally entire songs. Listening, imitation and repetition provide the opportunity for those skills to be mastered so that each progressive piece studied becomes a building block for careful development of beautiful playing.
It is a big misconception that students who take Suzuki Piano Lessons do not learn to read music. That is akin to saying a child will not learn to read his language simply because he learned to speak it first. The truth is Suzuki students learn to read extremely well, because their acute understanding of sounds allows for the symbols of music notation to make sense easily. However, the fact that reading is delayed to allow for musical development is the reason that this method is so highly successful with very young students.
Moving through lessons in small, sequential steps allows a student to build a solid foundation that breeds a sense of total success. Each mastered accomplishment creates legitimate pride in his accomplishment. This builds a path of success and self-esteem that becomes its own motivation and enthusiasm for leaning.
Suzuki lessons (like good traditional lessons) focus on the development of good musical tone and a strong memory. The musical awareness and training develop tools that help students succeed in any future endeavors.
Suzuki piano students receive all the benefits that traditional musical study provides. They also enjoy the added benefit of starting at an age when life provides them many less distractions. They develop their skills in a way that music becomes part of who they are rather than simply something they do.
We often hear the Suzuki Method of teaching referred to as “Talent Education.” All children are talented. It is an amazing task learning to speak a language, but all kids do it at an extremely early age. This “Mother tongue” approach to music just applies their natural abilities to a new arena. Talent in this perspective is just a matter of mastering the small steps that build to bigger abilities. So everyone is talented, and everyone can learn to make beautiful music when lessons are approached with the Suzuki Method.
Cecelia Prinkey is a Suzuki certified teacher.