“I chose Suzuki Piano based on the playing I heard by children being taught the Suzuki method. Across the board, their playing was sensitive & musical; they approached the keyboard, it seemed, with an understanding of the needs of the instrument. Now that my daughter is learning Suzuki Piano, it’s clear where this sensitivity comes from. The teaching method pays careful attention to the technique of note-playing: a real, live connection between the pianist & the piano. It’s a joy for us both to hear the growing musicality of her playing as she progresses through the Suzuki repertoire”.
- Children start young – as young as 3. I don’t advise pianists start quite as early as violinists and cellists as unfortunately we don’t yet have small scale pianos, however much can be taught and developed before instrumental lessons actually begin.
- Children learn by ear – often known as the mother-tongue approach based on the way children learn to speak their own language (by immersion, repetition, listening and support in the home). Children listen to CDs of their pieces and learn to read later meaning they can focus on good sound and technique right from the start.
- Suzuki teachers have a teaching qualification – Whilst many instrumental teachers might be fantastic on their instruments, very few of them have actually done a training on how to teach. Of course there is no ‘one’ way to teach, however the extensive training the Suzuki teachers undertake means we are extremely prepped in how to teach our instruments from the beginning and particularly how to teach small children.
- Parents get involved! – The Suzuki method is a wonderful way for families to share music together. Parents/guardians come to the lessons so they really understand what their child is doing. We then prepare you clearly so you can help your child at home. If necessary you may have a small part of the lesson to yourself.
- Observation – children watch and learn from each other’s lessons. This is extremely important for both the observer who learns to be patient and listen, and for the person whose lesson it is to get used to playing in front of others. This means that concerts and exams later feel much more ‘normal’.
- Concerts in place of exams – Suzuki believed that music should be a sharing experience – not something where children should feel judged and graded. Suzuki kids therefore work towards regular concerts (some big, some very small and informal). This way they have a regular goal but they get to hear lots of other kids perform at the same time.
- Group lessons – alongside their weekly private lessons children have a monthly group lesson. Group sessions give pupils a chance to listen to each other, perform what they can do, play fun games and feel part of a team. It is also how we introduce note reading, making it much less daunting.
- Playing from memory – Because children learn their pieces by ear they can perform them from memory. They also review their pieces regularly so once a piece is mastered it sticks and isn’t immediately forgotten. This has been proven to help the memory in general not just in music.
- Being part of a bigger community – by being members of the London Suzuki Group or British Suzuki Institute families will be entitled to many fantastic workshops, concerts and courses throughout the year, giving you a chance to meet other Suzuki parents and for children to learn from some of the country’s top teachers.
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