What was your vision when you enrolled your child for lessons at our school? Out of your own love of music, did you wish to bring beauty into your son’s or daughter’s life? To develop his or her artistic potential?
Please consider that the process of studying music within the Suzuki Method potentiates a wealth of long term benefits. I list below six examples of life skills that are supported by Suzuki study.
1. Problem-solving skills.
Every aspect of study -- molding posture, refining technique, learning and polishing pieces-- requires problem solving. The teacher is the problem solver, supported by the parent. Over time, the student takes on responsibility and develops the ability to listen, analyze, practice and improve.
2. Self-awareness and self-discipline
In the process of self-correction and self-improvement, a student must develop the integrity to know when to go beyond just playing, and to start practicing with care and self-awareness.
3. Training in the ability to focus
Teacher and parent are calling upon the child to attend to details in lessons and in home practice. This process is refined as study continues. The ultimate focus is required in performance, for which all previous attention to detail has profoundly prepared the student.
4. Confidence in public presentation, speaking, and performance
In contrast to traditional music study, the Suzuki method is structured around students playing often for one another and with one another. Solo recitals provide learning opportunities for finding their poise and centering their intention in public. After having performed on a musical instrument, students often find that public speaking is much less daunting.
5. Goal Setting
The Suzuki method of study is uniquely structured for goal setting. The graded repertoire with reference recordings, recitals, and group classes all contribute to a vision of the path forward.
The graded repertoire allows student (and parent) to look ahead to advancing progress. As your teacher assesses technical and musical readiness, your child experiences polishing pieces and beginning new ones, gaining understanding of accomplishment. Group classes and recitals allow students to see where they have been and envision where they will be.
6. Expressive Outlet
This last category may seem obvious, but there are times in one’s life when communication is difficult. Being able to play an instrument is like having a friend for life. Feelings flow through a musician and the instrument speaks back in a language of understanding and beauty.