The Suzuki Method
The Suzuki Method was conceived in the mid-20th century by Shin'ichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist who desired to bring some beauty to the lives of children in his country after the devastation of World War II. As a skilled violinist but a beginner at the German language who struggled to learn it, Suzuki noticed that all children pick up their native language quickly, and even dialects which adults consider "difficult" to learn are spoken with ease by people of 5 or 6 years. He reasoned that if children have the skill to acquire their mother tongue, then they have the necessary ability to become proficient on a musical instrument.
He pioneered the idea that any pre-school age child could begin to play the violin if learning steps were small enough and if the instrument was scaled down to fit their body. He modeled his method, which he called "Talent Education", after his theories of natural language acquisition. Suzuki believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of a high level of musical achievement. He also made it clear that the goal of such musical education was to raise generations of children with "noble hearts" (as opposed to creating famous musical prodigies).
It is vital that prospective parents understand the philosophical basis of the teaching method that they have chosen for their child, in this case the Suzuki method. We therefore feel that all parents should read "Nurtured by Love" and/or "Ability Development from age Zero" by Shinichi Suzuki.
Books available from the British Suzuki Institute Book Shop, tel 020 3176 4172, 6.30am-12.30pm Mon-Fri. You may also find them in your local library.