Technique: Overcoming common misconceptions in Suzuki teaching


Why it is so important to understand the method’s concepts of review, group class and aural training

Whenever I speak about the Suzuki Method to a broader audience, I like to think about the elements of Suzuki teaching that may not be understood by more traditional teachers. Unfortunately there are many people who use the Suzuki books without the necessary training to understand how the method works, and two central topics that are often overlooked are the concepts of group class and review. As a young teacher I spent a summer observing Shinichi Suzuki teach in Japan. Knowledge in itself, he said, does not equal ability: knowledge times 10,000 repetitions equals ability. That is why Suzuki students continually develop and review each skill that they learn, so that they can play and perform with ease and confidence. It is therefore vital that children repeat the rhythms and articulations in the Suzuki books absolutely correctly, with an excellent posture and bow hold, right from the beginning. They should also have the opportunity to review these skills both in individual lessons and in a group setting. Group class allows students to do much of their skill-building repetition and review with their peers in a fun or playful way. It also allows them to revisit the technical aspects discussed in the individual lessons, while teaching them the importance of ensemble playing and helping them to build the social relationships that motivate many of them to continue their studies…

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