How does the Suzuki method differ from other methods of piano instruction?
The Suzuki Method is based on the “Mother Tongue” approach. Dr. Suzuki theorized that children can learn to play an instrument just as they learn to speak: by listening and then by imitating what they hear. Once children have developed their ear to the point that they have learned Volume 1 of the repertoire, they begin to learn to read musical notation. This mirrors how children learn to read and write once they already know how to speak.
What is a good age to start Suzuki piano lessons?
Beginning as early as possible has definite advantages in terms of ear development. Most Suzuki teachers suggest that children are at least three years of age before beginning formal lessons. However, listening to the Suzuki recordings and other fine music can sometimes allow a child to begin even earlier.
How do I know if my child is ready to play piano?
If the parent is “ready,” the child is ready. The Suzuki Method requires the full participation of the parent in lessons as well as in the child’s home practice. It is the parent’s commitment and active participation that ensure that the best possible environment is created in which the child can learn.
How often do we need to listen to the recordings?
Sometimes teachers quantify this in terms of a certain length of time for passive listening: for example, three hours a day. The reality is that the more the child hears the recording, the easier it will be to learn the pieces, and the more effectively they will be learned. In our program, it is the parent’s responsibility to play the recording at home as much as possible.
How often should I practice with my child?
Dr. Suzuki famously stated: “You don’t have to practice every day – only on days that you eat!” Daily practice ensures success. On days when a child is sick or one does not have access to a piano (for example, on holidays), listening to the recording is a good way to “practice.”
Why do I need an acoustic piano instead of a digital one?
Even the best digital piano cannot match an acoustic piano in terms of touch and sounds. Since the Suzuki method focuses above all on playing with “beautiful tone,” an acoustic piano is an absolute necessity.
What is my role as a parent in piano lessons?
The parent and the student attend Suzuki lessons together. Some teachers require that the parent takes notes during the lessons while other teachers write the lesson notes. In the lesson, Suzuki teachers ensure that both the student and the parent have a clear understanding of what needs to be practiced at home during the week to come.
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