Shinichi Suzuki violin pedagogue

Learning Theories & the Suzuki Method~

Suzuki didn’t just randomly create a method for teaching violin.  His method is based on sound learning principles.

Learning theorists study how they think learning happens.  Shawn Riley created a slide show, Contemporary Learning Theories and the Suzuki Method (below), to demonstrate how Suzuki incorporated learning theories in the creation of his Suzuki Method for teaching the violin to all children.

Several Key points in Riley’s slides

  • A child’s brain from ages 0 to 3 is 2.5 times more active than an adult brain.
  • Proper stimulation at the beginning of life forms ability that can never happen again after the first few years of life.

The Parallels of Learning Theories and the Suzuki Method.

  • Play beautiful music for the very young child.
  • Violin instruction is deeply rooted in language development
  • Get an early start with the violin –before the age of 5.
  • Parent as home teacher
  • Nurturing, encouraging environment
  • Reinforcement
  • Spiral curriculum
  • Proceed at individual rates
  • Group Class
  • Recitals

Riley compares Suzuki’s method to the works of: Bloom, Piaget, Gordan, Bruner, BF Skinner, Thorndike, Vygotsky, and Bandura.