The Suzuki Approach
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki lived from Oct. 1898 to Jan. 1998. His father was
a manufacturer of violins, so he was around violins from a young age.
He became interested in learning to play the violin as a young man, and
eventually went to Germany to further his study of violin playing. After he
went back to Japan he performed and taught. One day, he was struck by the
profound yet simple truth that all children learn their native language. This
happens no matter how difficult an adult coming to that language may find it.
He started to analyze what takes place in this process.
The main points he established are:
Hearing: the child hears the language around him from the time he is born.
Praise: the child’s first attempts to say any word are met with delight and encouragement from the adults around him.
Repetition: the child is happy to repeat this word many times and then try another and the whole process is repeated.
Review: there is by natural usage much review of words learned.
...And so the "Suzuki Method" was developed...
Hearing: the children have a recording they listen to every day.
Praise: the parents and teachers are very encouraging and offer praise for the child’s efforts.
Repetition: the child is encouraged to do many repetitions of whatever they are mastering.
Review: the child is also encouraged to review melodies and techniques already learned so as to be able to build on what has already been mastered.
Dr. Suzuki worked on these principles, and his students performed in many countries to audiences' delight. Multiple students went on to become professional musicians. Learn more about the Suzuki Method.
But for Dr. Suzuki, how well a student played the violin was
secondary to the "good heart" they were developing. He
wanted his students to study music because he thought that
their good hearts would lead to pacifism. He wanted for no
child or adult to ever again experience war. This sentiment
was echoed by Pablo Casals when he first saw Suzuki students
performing, he exclaimed: "...perhaps it is music that will save the world."