The Suzuki Method of Talent Education is based on Shinichi Suzuki’s view that every child is born with ability, and that people are the product of their environment. According to Suzuki, the greatest joy an adult can know comes from developing a child’s potential. This way he or she can express all that is harmonious and best in human beings. Students learn using the “mother-tongue” approach. A new Student learns best by having a copy of their book that comes with a listening CD. Listening to music every day is a key component of this learning method. Much like children learn to speak by listening to their parents speak every day, students of the Suzuki method are advised to listen to music every day.
Parental participation is also very important for Suzuki students. Parents help their beginning students by listening to the CD along with their child. At practice time, parents should give feedback on what they hear. Parents also generally sit in on their student’s lesson. This way, parents may ask questions, and help guide their student at home during practice.
Each series of books for a particular instrument is considered a school, such as the Suzuki Viola School. While the underlying method of instruction is the same, each book addresses some of the unique challenges of its particular instrument. Lessons generally occur in a private studio setting with additional group lessons. The Suzuki method places great emphasis on ear training and good technique. Students listen to the recordings and work with their viola teacher to develop their potential as a musician and as a person.