suzuki piano method
“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” – Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
The Suzuki Method was founded by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist. It is a unique approach to teaching music that Suzuki originally developed for his own instrument, the violin. However, materials are now available for viola, cello, bass, piano, flute, harp, guitar, recorder, organ and voice.
Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.”
There are some special features of Suzuki’s approach that differentiate it from traditional learning. Karin holds to each of these principles in her own teaching.
Lessons are based on the concept of teaching music as one would teach language. Babies are first introduced to language by hearing parents speak. They then begin to babble and eventually to speak themselves. We later send them to school to learn written language, after they can speak fluently. Thus, the Suzuki Method teaches children how to play first after hearing what the music should sound like, and teaching them to read music later.
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Karin will often help parents learn what a student is learning during a lesson so that they can practice it correctly at home.
Learn how vital encouragement is here.
Learn why practice does not make perfect here.
Suzuki has a set repertoire of 7 books. Each song is tailored to teach specific skills. The songs are a means to an end in that they are tools to teach skills. Therefore progress is not judged by the number of songs the student can play, but by the quality of their playing. There is a high focus on technique and tone from the very beginning so that the students can carry their sense of musicality with them as they go.
Learn about performing here.
Learn why repetition is essential here.
About Karin Constant
Karin received Suzuki piano training under the instruction of Susan Fralin (Lynchburg, VA) for 8 years, including 5 years of superior rankings in National Guild Auditions. She has played for pleasure since, serving at church and playing in weddings. Her teaching began with her own children and grew from friend’s kids to teaching lessons with Valley Music Academy in August 2017. Karin has completed “Every Child Can” and Piano Unit 1 classes via Suzuki Association of the Americas and plans to continue her education annually. You can visit her SAA profile here. Karin has 4+ years experience providing behavioral and academic support to children/adolescents with various mental health diagnoses. Her clients included children with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, anxiety/depression, PTSD, among others.