The Suzuki method of music instruction was developed over 50 years ago by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki of Matsumoto, Japan. The method is based on the concept that every child's innate musical talent can be nurtured. A child can be taught music at a very early age much the same way that he or she learns to speak. Children learn language through encouragement, exposure, and repetition. Together, parents and Suzuki teachers use these principles to provide an ideal environment at the lessons as well as at home. The triangular arrangement of teacher, parent, and child is the key to success through early childhood, and it leads to increasing independence and self-motivation in the teenage years.
One aim of the Suzuki method is to develop each child's character to its fullest potential. The skills which are developed while learning an instrument - concentration, coordination, memory, long attention span, respect for other people, taking turns, working together in a group - are all skills that are valuable for any person. Dr. Suzuki emphasized that his ultimate goal was to develop the natural musical ability of a child for his or her own happiness.
Active parent participation is central to the Suzuki learning process. Your role as a parent involves observing and taking notes at lessons, playing instrument recordings, and practicing daily with your child. Even if you feel you know little about music, you are your child's best teacher. Through your affection, support, encouragement, praise, and understanding, you can create a happy "musical environment." Parents are offered classes each semester to learn more about their role and about the Suzuki philosophy.
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