For those deciding to start their children's formal piano, guitar, or violin instruction, choosing a Suzuki instructor should be informed by more than proximity and cost. The right teacher at the right time can provide the best type of instruction. For very young students, a nurturing, motherly, cheerful approach is likely best. At this stage in their development, young music students need to have the love of music, the instrument, and the daily practice to be instilled in them. As they progress, they'll be able to rely on this love and longstanding habit to keep their momentum.
Once these young musicians progress to the next stage, their technical skills must be developed. At this point, it's crucial that students be encouraged to strive for excellence and attention to detail. Young pianists, guitarists, and violinists are not permitted to cut corners at this level, in order to better establish high caliber performance as a habit, and not as a singular event. This requires teachers to shift their focus from a cheerleading role to more of a coach position.
After young instrumentalists have established sharp technique, they can then be encouraged to develop their sense of artistry. This involves knowing and understanding the rules, and being encouraged to even occasionally break these musical rules for the sake of artistry. The best teachers will be able to meet students on their level and help build their skills from where the students are starting.
It's critical that each young pianist, guitarist, and violinist studying classical music be met where they are - not where the music teacher is. Only then can music lessons offer them the support that they need in order to grow organically and aid in the emotional, mental, and artistic development of young people.