Shinichi Suzuki believed that any child could be trained to play an instrument extremely well.
“Talent Education has realized that all children in the world show their splendid capacities by speaking and understanding their mother language, thus displaying the original power of the human mind. Is it not probable that this mother language method holds the key to human development? Talent Education has applied this method to the teaching of music: children, taken without previous aptitude or intelligence test of any kind, have almost without exception made great progress. This is not to say that everyone can reach the same level of achievement. However, each individual can certainly achieve the equivalent of his language proficiently in other fields.”
—Shinichi Suzuki, (Kendall, 1966)
In this video Suzuki’s violin students play a difficult concerto. They don’t just play it though, he challenges them to stop and start again after he claps his hands at random times. Amazingly, the kids do it without missing a beat. Right now I’m in the midst of a Bach project (which you can read about here) and I have to say that it is impressive that these children are able to play with such clarity despite the challenge set for them by their teacher.
At the Summit Academy of Music children learn to play music using the Suzuki method. While the goal isn’t necessarily to produce prodigies amazing things can happen when children are given the chance to enjoy music!