“All Japanese children learn to speak Japanese!”
This simple idea came to violinist and pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki one day during a string quartet rehearsal. The other players looked at him as if he were crazy, but Suzuki knew he had hit on something with profound implications.
Suzuki reasoned that if children of all cultures could learn to speak their native languages fluently through listening and repetition, music instruction could work the same way. He believed that all children could learn, and everything depended on environment. Suzuki began applying this philosophy to his teaching in Tokyo in the late 1940’s. It proved very successful, and he began training other teachers in Japan and abroad. His teaching philosophy became known as the Talent Education Approach, also known as the Suzuki Method in the West. Important elements of this philosophy include:
- Step-wise learning
- Nurturing environment
- Parental support
- Individual and group instruction
Today, there are teachers of the Suzuki approach in all corners of the world, including here in Montreal. To learn more about the Talent Education, please visit the Suzuki Association of the Americas.