Suzuki Approach | Dr. Suzuki’s Revelation
These steps, in their specific sequence, are also the path Suzuki students take on their journey of music learning. The Japanese violin teacher, Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), developed an approach to teaching the violin based on the way children learn language. Dr. Suzuki called his method Talent Education, believing that talent was no accident of birth–but rather abilities that could be learned and trained. Theorizing that children could learn to play music the same way they learn language, Suzuki transferred this process of initial language acquisition to violin teaching.
Dr. Suzuki observed carefully the way in which small children learn to speak, as well as the roles of the mother’s behavior and the environment in this process. It became clear to him that in learning one’s native language, there is no failure. Every child learns at his own pace, and every child possesses the incredible potential to learn language’s smallest details, even the smallest nuances of the local dialect. This all occurs despite the fact that most parents lack training in speech pedagogy. Dr. Suzuki’s novel approach established the conditions in which every child can successfully learn, although his teaching method really possesses no new elements. The Suzuki method evolved from simple observation of nature at work. He gained his knowledge exclusively from practical experience, careful observations, and through intuitive action. Suzuki’s major contribution was his recognition, decades before science, of many important developmental details that occupy a central position in present-day scientific research: the importance of the pre-natal phase; the learning of speech; sensorimotor development; and the prerequisites for early learning. Even when there are differences of opinion concerning some details, scientific research has come to support most of Suzuki’s ideas.