Traditional & Suzuki Instruction Methods

Traditional Method Instruction

For all instruments and voice
There are many methods for teaching music. The most effective teachers bring the best of what they have learned through their own training and experience and develop an approach that enables them to respond to the needs of each individual student. In general, the traditional approach to music study integrates note reading and playing, with a customized repertoire based on the student’s needs and interests. The traditional approach is best suited to adults and children over the age of five who have already begun to read words. Parent/guardian participation in a child’s lesson, though desirable, is optional with the traditional method of instruction.

Suzuki Method Instruction

Piano, violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute
The Suzuki Method of instruction, which is as much a life philosophy as it is a method, was developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan after the end of World War II. Dr. Suzuki believed that all children are innately musical, that they can excel musically and that a “beautiful heart,” sensitivity and discipline can be achieved through hearing and playing music when started early in life. The Suzuki Method is most effective when started with very young children.

Here are some hallmarks of the Suzuki Method:

  • The method is based on the way children learn their native language—by listening and imitating. Pieces are learned by ear (without reading music) and played from memory. Note reading is incorporated later on in the child’s training, when the child is beginning to read words.
  • Parent, teacher and child are all active participants in the learning process. Parents must be willing to learn the instruction method and make a commitment to attend lessons, group classes and performances. Parents are also required to participate in at-home practice.
  • The curriculum uses a common repertoire which is organized by books of advancing levels, starting with Book 1. The common repertoire enables students to play with each other and creates an international community of Suzuki learners.
  • In addition to individual, partner or group lessons, young Suzuki students are required to attend a weekly repertoire class. The purpose of this class is to review and reinforce pieces learned in lessons while developing musicality and ensemble playing skills, often using games to highlight important technical points and encourage music reading. Repertoire classes also promote development of musical rapport among students.