Musings on Suzuki

You know those words or names that you hear over and over again but never muster up the energy to actually look them up? Well, that was "Suzuki" for me. Yes, I'm a musician and probably would have benefited from learning more about it, however I was also a teenager by the time I heard about Suzuki and it seemed to be linked closely with children.

My mother's old friend used to rave about the Suzuki program, going so far as to drive her child two hours away every week in order to obtain his Suzuki violin training. That's four hours of travel time every lesson. Perceiving this situation, I looked on skeptically. Why on earth would someone exert that much effort for violin lessons when there were multiple violin teachers surrounding us in a 5 mile radius?

Instead of seeking the answer, I kept the opinion that this lady might be just another incredibly intense parent with crazy high expectations for her kid.

Yesterday, I finally learned what Suzuki is.

Originating in post-war Japan, the Suzuki method was invented with the mission of raising more productive, intelligent, and balanced young people. The Suzuki process entails the students acclimating to their instruments by first emulating their teachers and listening to music recordings of their future repertoire. The whole journey is supplemented with Suzuki books, though the teacher of this method must be specially trained in the techniques necessary to tutor for Suzuki way. The composition of the program includes both group sessions, where kids can work alongside each other, and individual sessions, where kids can receive one-on-one time with their expert instructor. The popular outcome of the program, if followed in its entirety, is a young musician who has been exposed to social situations, quality instruction, practical discipline, and musical brilliance. According to Andreia Torain, the Coordinator of the Suzuki program at Settlement, the curriculum "creates a really strong, well-rounded kid."

My mom's friend wasn't crazy after all.

If I had done Suzuki as a miniature human, perhaps I would have a more capacious memory today. Wistful thinking, probably.

~Suzuki at Settlement~

~Suzuki at Settlement~