Suzuki method is one of the most popular of all violin teaching courses in the world, and possibly the best-known also.
Suzuki method was developed by Shinichi Suzuki. He noted that a child does not learn to read until the child was proficient in SPEAKING it, and that children will pick up new languages not by formal reading but by listening and speaking.
And with this, he developed the Suzuki method (sometimes called 'Talent training'). This involved:
- The teaching of young children by the Suzuki method, so that they were immersed in the music from the beginning.
- Emphasis on playing rather than technical details. Many traditional books of the time had concentrated on technical detail rather than playing itself, and Suzuki regarded this as both unhelpful and not useful.
- Encouragement of children to perform publicly and also attend classical concerts by professional musicians to see for themselves the way in which they play.
- No auditioning or musical aptitude test. Suzuki's belief was that there should be a ground-up approach, and that instrument learning should be accessible even to those without any previous musical knowledge.
Criticisms of Suzuki method
Suzuki's method came with its own criticisms, which included:
- Many teachers were low-level performers with no formal qualifications. This has been addressed and now there are qualifications in Suzuki method, which a prospective student can ask about. For the American Suzuki association, basic performance competance is a pre-requisite.
- Performers' poor sight-reading skills and seeming robotic playing. This is the responsiblity of the teacher to address, and many teachers of Suzuki now add additional pieces to the set pieces.
- The method relies on audio recordings, and the quality and the traits of the performances is largely subjective.
- Suzuki was largely seen to concentrate too much upon baroque pieces, with no study between pieces as to style according to genre. Again, this can be dealt with by the teacher choosing to use alternate pieces to the set song books, and by study within the lessons as to styles of different genres and of similar pieces to the one played.
- Some very young children were not ready for formal education in music, and the need to practice at home may be unhelpful for someone so young.
Part two shall cover some of the practical aspects of Suzuki method.
Its crap, may I just add. You don't learn to play. Playing the fiddle should come from the heart, not from a book like that. I was on suzuki for a year and then my teacher left. My new teacher had to spend six months fixing all the bad habits suzuki taught me.