: Parents attend lessons with the child to prepare for their
role as "home teachers" during the week. They also work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.
: The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination.
Listening to music should begin at birth, and training ideally begins with a Baby & Toddler: Phase One Instrumental Instruction
class. Specific instrumental instruction may then begin in the pre-school years, but it is never too late to begin.
Listening: Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Daily
playing of a reference recording of the Suzuki repertoire provides the environment for learning by ear.
Repetition: Repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument, to train muscles and
memory. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. In the Suzuki approach, it is also used to maintain
a performance repertoire.
Refinement: In language acquisition,
old words are kept and used in new and more sophisticated ways. In the same way, new skills are added to previously learned
pieces to refine tone development and musicianship.
As with language, the child's efforts to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise. As a student learns at
his or her own rate, building on small steps that can be mastered, specific praise for effort and accomplishment creates a
nurturing learning environment. Children are also encouraged to support each other's efforts, fostering an attitude of
generosity and cooperation.
Graded repertoire: Just as children
do not practice exercises to learn to talk but use language for its natural purpose of communication and expression, the Suzuki
repertoire is designed for technical and music skills to be developed in the context of the music.
Group experiences: In addition to individual instruction, Suzuki students participate in
regular group lessons and performances, at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.
At First By Ear: Children learn to read after their ability to speak has been well established.
Following this example, children learn basic technical competence on their instruments prior to and initially separately from
reading music. This gives them the skills for multi-faceted learning and playing later on, as well as the ability subsequently
to read music fluently and musically.