Suzuki Approach | Learning a Langauge

Although music is not a language, the process of learning music is similar to that of learning language.   Consider for a moment how you first learned to speak:

First, you listened to language. From the time of birth, and even before, you were surrounded by the sound of language and conversation. You absorbed these sounds and became acculturated to the language of your environment.

Second, you tried (unsuccessfully at first) to imitate. Keep in mind that even before you were successful at imitating, you were praised for your efforts and encouraged to “babble,” even when the sounds that you were making did not make sense.

Third, you began to think in language. Words and phrases began to have meaning for you. You picked up the meaning through your experiences with language.

Fourth, you began to improvise in language. In other words, you were able to make up your own phrases and sentences that were organized in a logical manner. You were able to engage in conversation.

Finally, after several years of developing your ability to think, you were taught how to read and write. You learned to read with understanding because of all the experience you had listening, imitating, thinking, and improvising.

How would your language achievement have been affected if any of these steps had been skipped? How would your speech have developed if someone had tried to teach you in a different sequence? For example, what would have happened if someone had tried to teach you to read before you could think, or even before you had engaged in a conversation?