It’s the birthday of Shinichi Suzuki, born in Nagoya, Japan (1898). He’s the man who developed the Suzuki Violin Method, a way of teaching very young children to play classical music by listening and imitating, the way they learn to speak. His father had a violin factory, and he and his brothers and sisters thought that violins were like boxes, that they were just toys; they never heard anybody play them. When Suzuki was 17, he heard a recording of Mischa Elman and was flabbergasted. He took a violin home and started to teach himself to play it by listening to other recordings and trying to imitate them. He began to feel that it ought to be possible to teach anyone to play that way, and the little children he taught became proficient enough to make some listeners suspect he had gathered a bunch of prodigies together like a circus act. He felt strongly that he was not just tutoring musicians, but nurturing souls, and he encouraged his students to listen to other people as carefully as they listened to the notes on their violins.
I learned violin using the Suzuki method and am very grateful to Shinichi Suzuki for his brilliance. Does anyone else have thoughts on Suzuki?
Thanks so much for reading! Reading/writing blog posts does take significant time and we all know that time is in short supply. You and I will both get much more out of my blog posts if they lead to discussion/dialogue. If you found this post useful and wouldn’t mind leaving a brief comment/sharing on social media, that would be great. Thank so much! Best regards, Phil