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Learning piano the Suzuki way

Can you remember your child learning to speak? Their first tentative words, your own excitement, and the encouragement to repeat over and over again?  It was no doubt a very exciting time, when progress seemed to grow exponentially and those first few words were reinforced and new words began to follow, first a few then more ....until the inevitable torrent of chatter!  That’s how an instrument is learned the Suzuki way.

Shinichi Suzuki, founder of the Suzuki approach, based his teaching on one fundamental principle.  Children succeed in learning their native language (even the most difficult dialects) almost without fail.  Therefore, if music is taught in the same immersive and encouraging way they can become equally adept at playing an instrument.  

Suzuki music lessons begin with listening - at home, to the Suzuki repertoire and other recordings daily, and also during observation of other children's lessons weekly.  When lessons begin pupils play at first by ear - after all, when learning to speak they simply copy what they hear, we don't make them read their words first! Reading comes later, once children are playing the piano confidently with some ease, and finally children may be ready to compose their own music- something that emerges from reading and playing music as naturally as creative writing comes from reading and telling stories.

Teaching music is not my main purpose ...if children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline, endurance.

Shinichi Suzuki

The Suzuki Triangle

Child, parent and teacher form the triangle that is fundamental to learning an instrument via the Suzuki approach. The child is taught by their teacher and also assisted by their parent. The teacher interacts with both the pupil and parent to facilitate effective practice. The parent is the vital link between child and teacher, aiding understanding, ensuring regular practice and providing a nurturing home environment to support the mother tongue approach.

When you embark upon Suzuki piano lessons with your child you begin a journey together.  Amidst the challenges of sharing daily practice together parent and child build a strong bond that lasts a lifetime.  It isn't just music, but the whole child that matters.