The Suzuki Approach in Action

Suzuki Approach

Every individual has innate ability and talent, with the potential and capacity to learn within a nurturing environment, supported by dedicated and talented teachers and supportive parents.

The school is inspired by the research of Dr. Suzuki, who believed that if children can learn a complex language at a young age, then they can also develop musical skills and appreciation if they are exposed to music making and music listening at a young age. Dr. Suzuki's "mother tongue" method values realization of the potential of all children through:

  • the awakening and growth of a desire to learn.
  • the creation of positive, high expectations for the learner.
  • a favourable environment characterized by encouragement, praise, and cooperation.
  • the utilization of a mastery approach to learning which is understood by distinguishing three phases of task-specific skill development:
    • emphasis on the learner's understanding of what is to be learned;
    • meaningful practice with appropriate feedback that is specific to the relationship between current performance levels, and goals that are within the student's immediate reach;
    • review that develops and reinforces the automatic execution of a skill.
  •  instruction based on the knowledge that children will learn at different rates, and with different learning styles.
  •  cognitive learning facilitated by a strong auditory foundation.
  •  social interaction in the form of group lessons that encourage motivation and commitment.
  •  the active involvement of parents to support teacher-directed instruction through regular daily review.
  •  the critical importance of teachers contributing as role models and as facilitators of learning.

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

October 17, 1898 - January 26, 1998

Shinichi Suzuki, the son of a violinmaker, went to Germany at the age of 18 to study violin under Karl Klingler. He found it difficult to learn the German language even though German children mastered it at an early age. He reasoned that if they can learn a complex language by absorbing it throughout their environment, then surely they must have the abilities to perform music by listening to good examples of beautiful music on a consistent basis at a young age. After returning to Japan, he formed the Suzuki Quartet with his three brothers. As well, he continued to research how young children learn their native language, a monumental task, and applied the "mother tongue" approach to music education resulting in the founding of the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan in 1947. He also believed that this approach could be extended far beyond music education, as it was applicable to all learning.

For more information on Dr. Suzuki, the man, his philosophy, and his influence, explore the Suzuki Association of the Americas website.

Why Music is Good for your Brain

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