Pathways of Learning
Every Child Can
Talent is in all of us; it only needs to be developed and nurtured. The primary value in this education in Dr. Suzuki's thinking was the building of character. This value and many other life skills are available to teach and learn during the humbling and disciplined process of learning to play the violin.
Environment must be saturated in music the same way it is saturated with language.
Constant listening- to Suzuki recordings, classical music, especially violin music – is essential to success. As the mother speaks to her child, so the violin student hears recordings of the pieces he is to learn and gains expectations of fine violin tone. This is part of setting up the child's environment at home which determines so much of their learning.
Listening in turn becomes an internal song that is then to be played on the instrument. Singing and imitating the human voice are key to developing the expressive voice of the violin.
At the beginning, parents are committed and responsible for everything – creating the environment, practicing, attention in lessons, completing assignments, encouragement and support. As the child grows older and takes ownership, responsibility is passed on to the student.
Balance – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – is key to success.
Learning is in small manageable steps added together.
Learning a piece begins only after the child can sing it. Learning a new piece is by-ear. As the child matures in his or her development, note reading skills increase and eventually the child learns from the page, while maintaining learning other things by-ear and continuing singing.
Continual review of learned pieces provides a place to grow and mature and polish without struggling with new technique. In one's native tongue, one never gets to a point where a word is learned only to be forgotten. The Suzuki student continually reviews the repertory he has learned, effectively reinforcing his memory, and advancing his technical skill, and therefore giving greater freedom to expand his musical expression.