What is the Suzuki method?

“Whatever field your children may go into in the future, fostering strong seedlings now will help them succeed in their chosen paths. Even if they don't become musicians, those who have developed so beautifully will be people who demonstrate fine abilities in many areas.”

— Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

 A method of music learning developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in the 1950s, “Suzuki” (as it is often shortened to) has been adopted by music schools throughout the world. There are now thousands of Suzuki teachers and students who have embraced this joyful way to learn. At Buchanan’s House of Music, we have two teachers who are trained in the Suzuki Method; Tricia Snell (flute and recorder), and Beverley Shaw (violin). Why? Because:

  • It is a fun and sociable way to learn,

  • It embraces the whole child as s/he learns and grows, and

  • It is very, very effective!

Many professional musicians today started out learning their instruments the Suzuki way.

Yet, the ultimate goal of Suzuki is to help children develop character and skills that go beyond simply learning an instrument. The idea is that the development of beautiful tone and musicality leads to the development of a beautiful heart and a lively mind, attributes that provide benefits throughout life.

Suzuki embraces these ideas and elements:

  • Every child can learn to play music, just as they learned to speak (Dr. Suzuki called it the “mother tongue method”)

  • Playing “by ear” (without written music) is natural and easy, especially when it comes before learning notes and musical theory

  • Starting learning on an instrument early in life (age 4+) offers huge advantages in terms of the speed and depth of learning (though older learners should not be discouraged! no one is ever too old to learn!)

  • Parents and caregivers play a vital part in their child’s musical learning, attending lessons and practicing with their child at home between lessons.

  • Daily listening and practicing are the keys to developing talent. So are trained Suzuki teachers and thoughtfully sequenced Suzuki repertoire.

  • Games and laughter as well as group classes and events play a big role in motivating your child to continue learning.


For more information on Suzuki-inspired music education,
visit The Suzuki Association’s
biography of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki or its overview of the method.