1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

My Daughter's Suzuki Lessons

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Jul 2, 2012.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I got my youngest daughter a violin, and I have started with Suzuki violin lessons. The kid had great tone almost as soon as she picked up the bow! She loves to practice too. One side benefit is that I am actually picking up some violin because I attend her lessons and I have to follow the teacher so I can help her later.
     
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    All my children started with the Suzuki program (sadly now discontinued in our school system). Its a wonderful way to teach music. You'll enjoy it. Glad to hear you're doing this.
     
  3. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    After she gets the basics down, you should contact your local university's music department and find a private teacher. I am anti-Suzuki, BTW. (I played violin starting at age 6)
     
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Not all Suzuki teachers are created equal. My wife teaches Suzuki but all of her students read. She just uses it as a foundation (and a great foundation it is) and then makes them into a complete musician based on her varied experiences and background.
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    My little girl is currently taking classes at a music store, but she will start taking classes at the university where I work on the fall. That will be a Suzuki program also.
     
  6. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Doc, whatever you do, keep her away from TalkViolin.com


    You will save a lot of money!

    :D
     
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    :D
     
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    +1

    The Suzuki program in my locale teaches reading pretty early, and uses literature other than the Suzuki books. Both of my kids are good readers.
     
  9. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Suzuki method is ok, but there are better options. If you are serious about music, and want to be able to play soulfully, like you love the music, then avoid suzuki. This is common knowledge among most classical musicians.

    The way I look at it is that Suzuki is like taking Tae Kwon Do or Shotokan karate in a strip mall, while private lessons is more like a one-on-one with a good sensei.

    Read the most common criticisms about suzuki before you absolutely make up your mind. Yes, Suzuki is good for getting really small children to play...but there are other ways that I prefer.
     
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I can see your criticisms of Suzuki, but I'm not concerned. My daughter is getting music lessons much younger than I ever did, and I'm sure that the folks at my university will get her reading before long. My main goal is to keep her interested, and to teach her discipline and work ethic through music practice.
     
  11. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut
    20 years ago I would have agreed with you. My exposure to well-trained Suzuki teachers was nonexistent and I had many pre-concieved notions about the method. Where I live, there is no consensus among the performing professionals on what is "best". Typically it is what they learned when they were developing early on.

    I have also read many common criticisms of the method over the years and they often miss the mark. Today, my main criticism of the method as a whole is (was) a rigid adherence to using a single set of repertoire in books 1-10. On the flip side- the repertoire is very well thought out for sequentially developing technique (and yes, musicality) through the music. Lately, many teachers supplement the core rep. with other collections that achieve similar goals.

    Suzuki advocated the following major points in his method:
    * teach the whole child to become better citizens through developing a solid work ethic, in partnership with the parents. It isn't about training kids for entry into a conservatory. -but you can start here.

    * develop solid posture, mechanics, and tone through learning music. Teachers will typically teach one-point lessons, keeping it simple.

    * Teach children music in the same manner that we acquire language- Later research confirms that many of the same parts of the brain are being utilized. We first learn to speak through imitation & call/response with our parents. Later we learn to decode printed words and phrases.

    * As soon as children are reading books in their native language, they should be learning how to read music from the printed page. This is the real Suzuki approach.

    Teachers who ignore this important part of the child's musical training (music reading) typically do so because pushy/over-zealous parents want their kids to progress faster through the repertoire and some teachers give in to the pressure, oblige and and take their money. I've been to institutes where these parents engage in pissing contests like: "so, which piece is your daughter playing?" :spit: My answer: "all of them"

    And now for a typical Suzuki-parent pissing contest: :D
    By the time my daughter reached her fourth year in Suzuki violin studies, she had already chewed through 3 etude books and was halfway through the Trott Melodius double-stop etude book for her sight reading work. Totally kicking butt with the sight reading. End of SPPC.

    Seriously- With a properly trained teacher, this method reaps rewards beyond just the music and is a great place to start, regardless of the journey the child takes.
    peace,
    R
     
  12. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Those are some excellent points. I'm sure a lot depends on how the Suzuki program is run in the particular locale, and the attitudes of the parents.

    If the parents are non-musicians, and consider the violin to be a form of obedience and competitiveness training, then you get the Tiger Moms asking one another: "So, what Book is little Madison in? My little Adams is in Book 5."

    If the parents are motivated by their own love of music, and are not self conscious about their social status, then it's a much different story.

    You see the same thing with kids and parents and math.
     
  13. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    But it is the Tiger Moms who love Suzuki the best...for all the reasons you, Dr. Cheese and others said: Suzuki is more about discipline and personal growth...and using music towards that goal..same as how I compared it to strip mall martial arts..seems like the goal is something other then the the main course of study provides.
    I do know lots of people who have done Suzuki...but most that stuck with music only did Suzuki in school-related programs before college, and transistioned to private lessons thereafter.

    Of course, I think any music education at all is great. And since my kids are going to be calling the Tiger Mom's kids "sir" and "M'am" and definitely working for them...there might be something to Suzuki.
     
  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    That may be. Honestly, everything I know about Suzuki comes from my own two kids participating in a couple of programs for violin and cello, respectively. I didn't read "doctor" Suzuki's book. This is a town with a huge population of educated parents including Tiger Moms. I think that parents choose the Suzuki program because it happens to be a large and well run program with things like theory and ensemble classes that the independent private teachers can't really provide.

    On cello, it's basically a loose network of private teachers who happen to be using the Suzuki books.

    On violin, it's a large group program, but my kid is taking fairly conventional lessons from a private teacher who is herself a professional orchestral player.

    If my kids are learning discipline and obedience, I haven't noticed it. :eyebrow:

    Just kidding about that last point. I have great kids.
     
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I did not think I would have to reaffirm my love of music in this thread! I love music, and I want my kids to love and learn music also. Discipline and hard work are part of the process.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.