Sunday, September 21, 2008

Suzuki Method for Young Children

The information below is what I have derived based on the information which I can find about the "Suzuki Method" which is a method that is used to expose a young children to music, and developing the talent in each child. This method is "invented" by Suzuki based on his observation on how young children learn their mother tongue. And using the same concept, the "Suzuki method" has been developed.

Many young children now are using the "Suzuki method" to expose them to music. This method is used for children who are below 5 years old, when their attention span is still very short, and it is almost impossible to make the young child sit beside the piano for anything more than 15 mins. Older kids (those who are above 5 years old) will usually start to use the traditional method (which is reading scores) to learn an instrument when their attention span is substantially longer.

My personal view is that we can always expose a young child to music through the "Suzuki method" from 3 or 4 years old until they are 6 years old, before moving them to the traditional method, where it will involve taking the graded exams, reading scores and writing scores.

Suzuki Method works on the fact that children learns through copying the actions of the adults, listening and repetition. Hence, the focus is on playing the music which the children are always hearing, play music by ear, let the child learn how to play an instrument by showing how the adult does it. This is the same way how a child learn to walk and talk before able to read and write.

When a child learns to speak, the following factors are at work:
# Listening

# Motivation
# Repetition
# Step-by-step mastery
# Memory
# Vocabulary
# Parental Involvement
# Love

Encourage the child to keep perfecting the song with emotion and expression, and after they have mastered a piece, slowly move on to another one by one. The main thing is to ensure that the learning is fun.

Although there is no statistics to show that children who underwent the "Suzuki method" will turn out to be musicians when they grow up, but they will typically be able to appreciate and music when they grow up even if it means playing for leisure only.

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