Sometime in the first half of the 20th century, Japanese educator Shinichi Suzuki had the massive realization that “Japanese children can all speak Japanese!” Now this might seem kind of ridiculous; in fact when Suzuki shared this insight with his friends he recalled that they looked at him suspiciously and said “of course they do.”
Even though children speak fluently and with great ease, people take it for granted. However, “if an American children spoke Japanese as well as Japanese children do, it would be called brilliant language ability.”
Suzuki realized that if he could harness this method of instruction or “mother tongue education” he could teach very young people to play beautiful music. This insight was the seed that Suzuki used to teach music effectively to young people. Music teachers across the world have benefited from this discovery as well.
How does this work?
Suzuki collaborated with parents to help cultivate environments at home that allowed for children to develop ability naturally.
In his book, Ability Development from Age Zero, Suzuki poses a scenario: what if Mozart, instead of the fine training he received from his father, had heard an out-of-tune recording of lullabies continuously? Would Mozart have turned out to be the genius he was to become? No, absolutely not, he would have become what some people call “tone-deaf.” Mozart would not have developed the fine ability he had to compose some of the finest music of classical era.
On the flip-side, with the help of a qualified Suzuki teacher, any parent can create a rich environment, similar to the one in which Mozart was raised. Is the point of this environment to create another Mozart? Maybe… Maybe not… While your child may develop a strong ability to play music, Suzuki’s aim was to help parents raise virtuous, admirable, and talented people. Music is an excellent vehicle to achieve those goals.
Children who are virtuous, admirable, and talented will find their own way in the world. “If a child is brought up to have a beautiful heart and wonderful abilities, with love for others and the happiness of being loved, then the mission of the parent is ended… Parents do not need to worry whether or not their children will succeed.”
Teachers at The Summit Academy of Music use the Suzuki Method to develop children’s ability to play guitar. Feel free to contact us at anytime to find out more about how Suzuki guitar lessons can help your child grow through music.