|Every Child Can Learn
More than forty years ago, Suzuki realized the implications
of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their
native language with ease. He began to apply the basic
principles of language acquisition to the learning of
music, and called his method the mother-tongue
approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving
encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the
special features of the Suzuki approach.
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the
musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with
the child and serve as "home teachers" during the week.
One parent often learns to play before the child, so that
s/he understands what the child is expected to do.
Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes
and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin
at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it
is never too late to begin.
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds
of times by others. Listening to music every day is important,
especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the
child knows them immediately.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an
instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music
and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or
repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated