Pre Twinkle Suzuki Group Lesson

There are many misconceptions about the differences between Suzuki teaching and traditional music lessons.  Here is a point for point comparison which should clarify some of the basic differences.

Traditional 

•  In traditional instruction, parents are not always actively involved.  The parent is not usually present at the lesson.  The parent is requested to monitor the amount of time practiced, but don’t usually help out in practice itself.

Suzuki

•  Parents are always present at the lesson, so that they can be actively involved in practice sessions.  Weaning is sometimes difficult, unless there is already an element of DIY practice, which is gradually increased.

Traditional

•  Instruction is often only one-to-one with the instructor.  The student does not usually interact with other students at his skill level.  If ensembles do exist, they are usually focused on performing works together.

Suzuki

•  Instruction is through One-to-one lessons and group lessons.  Learning with peers develops ability and ensemble skills, with many performance opportunities, courses, workshops, master classes, summer schools and concerts.  Many firm, lifelong friendships are made between students and families.

Traditional

•  Listening to music that will be played, is not usually an integral part of the program and sometimes, it is actively discouraged.

Suzuki

•  Listening is a key part of the programme and makes note learning easier. Compare this with the way that children learns to speak their first languages.

Traditional

•  Emphasis is placed on reading music, not playing by ear.  See the note, learn the note, play the note is quite common.

Suzuki

•  The emphasis on tone and general technique.  Children learn to use their ears as they did when learning to speak.  Note reading comes later.

Traditional

•  Learn a piece, put it aside and go on to the next.

Suzuki

•  Review of previously learned pieces, is important.  90% of the content of each new piece is based on earlier pieces, which become internalized, through review. 

Traditional

•  There is not much common repertoire between teachers, which makes spontaneous music making difficult.

Suzuki

•  The Suzuki Repertoire for each instrument allows children from all over the world to play music together.

As I said, these are only a few basic ideas which have occurred to me.  If you think that I have missed out anything about the difference between traditional music lessons and Suzuki (and I’m sure that I have), please let me know in a comment.

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