The Suzuki method is an approach to learning to play a musical instrument inspired by the concepts of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. His ideas about how children learn were well ahead of his time. Dr. Suzuki recognized that all children learn to speak their mother tongue; as a method of learning, it is a guaranteed “no-fail”! A child learns first by listening to his parents speak and is thus motivated to learn to speak himself. The ability to speak leads naturally to learning to read and eventually to write.
This microprogram begins with a one-day course called Every Child Can! (ECC) to introduce registrants to how the mother tongue approach plays out in working with young children and their parents in learning to play a musical instrument. Dr. Suzuki believed that a key factor in developing a child’s ability is in creating a supportive environment so that every child can learn effectively. Working with parents to help them work with their children at home is a significant part of Suzuki teacher training.
A course called Unit I Suzuki Piano follows, which takes place over three 3-day weekends. In Unit I, a pianist participant who has passed an audition requirement and has become a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas learns how to begin a Suzuki piano program. Participants learn how to teach beginners as young as 3 or 4—and their parent or caregiver—to play the piano. The child learns the first steps in developing piano technique through learning traditional folk songs by ear. To facilitate learning by ear, the students listen at home to a recording of the songs they are to learn, but the teacher is the “live” model of the sound of the piano at the weekly lesson.
Learning by ear is a stepping stone to learning to read music. Students internalize the sounds of Book 1 of the Suzuki Piano School as they acquire their basic technique and musical skills. Suzuki teachers understand how to bring about the transition of ear to eye while taking advantage of the students’ experiences throughout Book 1.
Through the study of the teaching points of the pieces in Book 1, participants in this microprogram will learn effective techniques for teaching piano. An additional and very valuable part of the course is observing lessons of young students taught by the trainer or other experienced Suzuki teachers.
Musicians and music educators (please check pre-requisites)
The first day of the micro program is a general introduction to the Suzuki method. Unit I, which follows, is the first level of the successive pedagogy courses sponsored by the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA). The courses are offered by teacher trainers designated by the SAA. Once the course has been completed, participants will be registered with the SAA. You are invited to visit the SAA website, www.suzukiassociation.org. For specific details about SAA course pre-requisites, go to https://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/training/audition/
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