Basic Music Theory-How To Read Write And Understand Written Music Suzuki or Not Suzuki …That Is the Question: A Discussion of Violin Study Methods

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Suzuki or Not Suzuki …That Is the Question: A Discussion of Violin Study Methods

Shakespeare’s Hamlet questioned, “Which is more spiritually noble, to endure the pelts and arrows of outrageous boredom, or to take up arms against the sea?” TwinklesHamlet spoke of Troubles, not Twinkles, but any parent who has attended Suzuki’s program understands why these words are confusing.

When Shinichi Suzuki introduced his method of teaching students how to play the violin, it was somewhat controversial. The idea was for students to learn to play musical instruments in the same way they learn to speak their mother tongue, the so-called “mother tongue approach” to music education.

Suzuki also explored a field that has come to be known as “talent education.” words “dicecan be translated in Japanese ability or tArendtHowever, it can also be used to mean the development of personal characteristics such as abilities and character. This is a seemingly balanced approach.

Suzuki introduced the repertoire and curriculum. Teachers from all over the world visited his laboratory in Matsumoto, Japan to learn his techniques. This method spread from violin to other instruments such as piano, cello, guitar and harp. More than 8,000 of his teachers worldwide support his methods and follow his curriculum. Over 250,000 students study music with the Suzuki Method.

The question looks like this:Is the Suzuki Method Right for You and Your Students?

A brief comparison of traditional violin studies and Suzuki.

Suzuki Method

* The Suzuki Method encourages parental participation and parent-student interaction. Parents are encouraged to take a few classes before the student’s learning begins and participate in the student’s lessons once the student has started learning. Parents are also the primary means of motivating students to practice and ensuring that they follow instructions once the lesson is complete and they go home. means actively participating in all practice sessions.

*The Suzuki Method emphasizes both active and passive learning. Students are exposed to the music they perform in the form of recordings before they touch the violin. These recordings are repeated over and over until they are completely “internalized” by the student. By doing this, students are believed to have a huge advantage in learning to play music they have already heard…in some cases hundreds of times. And for a while, all the students would play was “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

* The Suzuki Method encourages students to learn by following the example of other students and interacting regularly. Individualized instruction can be one-on-one with a teacher or in a ‘small group’. Here students actually receive hands-on instruction from the teacher. However, Suzuki students regularly participate in “group lessons”. In these group her lessons, students interact with other students in the teacher’s studio. they play together. they study together And hopefully they progress together. Either way, when there are other students who are not actively being coached, they are encouraged to sit down and observe what is happening.

* Private lessons often focus on one “teaching point”. Progress is made one step at a time, one area at a time. At least in the early stages of the learning process, the emphasis is on the student’s posture, technique, and tone production rather than playing recognizable pieces. In fact, many Suzuki students don’t even begin their violin careers with a real instrument. They first use a box they can bow to to learn the proper position.

*No emphasis is placed on reading music until the student has mastered the basic playing skills of the instrument itself.

traditional way

*Traditional instruction often has very limited parental involvement. Parents may be invited to participate in lessons, but the majority of instruction is usually in the presence of the parent. Parents are asked to monitor their students’ practice (or at least practice time), but are usually not part of the practice itself.

*Instructions are often conducted one-on-one with the instructor. Unless the instructor is part of a district program or is spearheading some ensemble of her group, the student does not normally interact with other students at her level of skill . When an ensemble is present, they usually focus on playing pieces together in preparation for a performance, in contrast to Suzuki group lessons, which focus on developing specific techniques together. I’m guessing

* Listening to music that is played may be encouraged, but is usually not an integral (or integral) part of the program.

* Emphasis on reading sheet music at a very early stage. See note. Learn notes. Play notes. This is common even right after the first lesson in the traditional method. After several weeks of instruction, students can already recognize the notes they play.

My Rating: Pox in both houses!

The traditional method and the Suzuki method have their pros and cons.

Suzuki focuses on teaching philosophies that can develop skills. Successful Suzuki students become good performers early on if they don’t play or listen to Twinkle over and over again. With good student-parent relationships, this can be a really successful method and create an even stronger bond. However, sometimes the intensity of parent-student involvement can be overwhelming.

Traditional approaches emphasize the development of skills, and through the acquisition of those skills, the recognition that practice and dedication usually lead to success. Because you can teach them the notes early on, you are much more likely to play recognizable pieces quickly.

solution?

Integrate the best of both methods and then add a little ingenuity! An integrated system of listening, observing, playing and enjoying seems like the best approach to me.

There is no doubt that listening to the works performed is beneficial. There is no doubt that repetition is very important in skill acquisition. There is no doubt that an early introduction to music theory provides a strong foundation for students to build their amateur (or professional) music careers. And there is no doubt that students learn from meeting and interacting with other students.

We need a single system that unites the entire violin world into a happy amalgam.

Why not start with Suzuki’s approach where the parent is introduced to the instrument and first understands the instructor and her expectations? Teach parents the games that Suzuki students play with the bow, and have them play the same way they do in the Suzuki studio.

But at the same time, why not let students work on note recognition while learning the craft? When showing the D-string, please also show the notation. Using the flashcards or “big book” approach used in our school, why not hold up a picture of the rest symbol when you want them to be quiet? Makes you see, not just hear. It seems to me that this embodies the very message of Shinichi Suzuki. In the same way that children are taught to use the written language early on without expecting them to communicate only verbally, students should be shown what they are playing rather than just listening to it. Just like our 4-year-old daughter ‘wrote’ stories by scribbling lines on a page, she could ‘compose’ songs by drawing on sticks. And if she had “discovered” that she could play individual notes, learn to read, and read and write her melodies herself, how powerful it would have been!

When it comes to fiddles, a kid who picks up a fiddle doesn’t particularly care if he’s holding it right. He doesn’t care if he can read staff notes. All he wants to do is play well and have fun. He’s very motivated and while others might actually want to plug their ears, I’m thrilled when I find out he can produce something that makes him smile. needs to get young students excited to pick up their instruments! We need young students who are reluctant to put their instruments down. We need our students to truly experience success with their instruments as soon as they touch them.

And let’s integrate listening in a real way! Don’t just let your students hear the music you play, but introduce them to local symphony orchestras and bluegrass groups so they don’t think the violin only exists on CD. please. Speaking of CDs, we develop a library of recordings featuring the violin in a variety of settings. Her CDs by Suzuki are fine if you just want to play them, but the concert fantasies of Sarasate that Sarah Chan recorded at Carmen when she was 9, and the jazz of Stephane’s Grappelli, who has her violin at home. What about Impari’s album? , and perhaps even an album by the all-female string quartet Bond.

There has been quite a bit of debate lately about how to teach and teach the violin. While the work of people such as violinist Mark O’Connor and rock violinist Mark Wood advocate new approaches, other music educators have challenged some claims (especially by Mr. O’Connor). ).

We need to find ways to motivate students to want to learn more about the violin. Maybe a daily visit to a motivational website can help! A t-shirt or other visual cues in the room will do the trick!

Theme parks, children’s television networks, toy companies, and fast food restaurants recognize that a multisensory approach is key to influencing children’s decision-making. We should be as wise as they are in our approach to our children.

Conclusion

Either Suzuki or traditional methods can produce competent violinists. However, if intense child-parent interactions frequently lead to tears for one or both parties, the traditional approach is probably better. make sure it’s good. Her three individuals pulling in different directions never make good progress. Finally, enjoy your violin. After all, I wouldn’t say “work” the violin… the verb we use is “play”.

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