A Suzuki program based on the work of Shinichi Suzuki

This is the Suzuki Method

— A very early beginning  as early as 2 1/2 years old in some cases.

Parent attends each lesson with the child and becomes the home teacher for practice. For the first few years, most of the learning and skills flow from teacher to parent to student (Suzuki Triangle)  In the beginning, the parent-teacher relationship is crucial.

Listening — The child’s environment is enriched with music for the child to hear daily.  Ideally, even an infant will hear beautiful music in the home.

Play by ear — Listen to the repertoire daily so that when they are ready to play a piece, they know exactly what it should sound like.  This allows them to focus on playing the violin without having to learn to read music in the early stages.

Focus on tone, posture, and intonation — Playing by ear allows the student to develop these important skills early.

Smallest possible steps — Very young children can learn to play this difficult instrument because skills are divided into very small steps, each of which is mastered through repetition.

The “building block” principle — Skills are added one “block” at a time through the Suzuki repertoire. Once the skills are firmly established in early pieces and books, later pieces use those skills. Then learning takes place more quickly.

Frequent review — Students master the repertoire and review often.

Positive environment — Teacher and parent are always encouraging.

Individual potential — The Suzuki Method works in an environment that encourages each child’s skills. Competition is not a part of Suzuki.

Reading music — Taught separately from the violin until ear training has taken place and basic playing skills are set.

Suzuki Studio is a Suzuki family — supporting each other.  Group lessons and frequent group performances help create the family environment.

All Suzuki students are a family — Since all Suzuki violin students follow the steps through the same 10 books, they can join any Suzuki group and play music together.  Suzuki students from different studios can gather for a “play-in” with all students enjoying the experience of playing together.  Or they can attend Suzuki Summer Institutes in any state or country, and everyone can play the same pieces.

The Suzuki Story in Brief

There is no better way to start violin lessons than with the Suzuki method.  This revolutionary way to teach the violin to very young children was created by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki.

Every Child Can

Suzuki was an inventive pedagogue in music education.  Not only did he invent a method to teach violin, but also he believed that the violin could be played by any child, not just those who showed talent to do so.  To state that any child could learn to play such a difficult instrument was astonishing to many.  Suzuki’s story is one that motivates most anyone who is interested in how learning takes place.

The Beginning

Suzuki’s father owned a violin factory in Japan. When Suzuki was about eighteen, he started to teach himself to play the violin by listening to recordings and later taking lessons.  He spent some years in Europe on further study.

Mother Tongue Method

Upon returning to Japan, he declared that since all Japanese children can learn to speak Japanese, why couldn’t they learn to play a musical instrument in the same way they learn their native language.  When he was about 48 years old, he started a music school where he continued to develop his methods over the next 15 years.

By the 1960’s American violin teachers took notice of his revolutionary method and many studied with Suzuki in Japan.  In 1964, he brought a tour of Japanese children to the United States, and  in 1972 to Europe, to demonstrate how young children could play the violin and play it well.

For more information please see the Suzuki Association of Americas page About the Suzuki Method.

If you would like more information about the Davenport Suzuki Violin School, please email Eric Davenport at  info@suzukidavenport.com or call 703-282-8837.