You are here:Home/What is Suzuki Early Childhood Education?
Newborns – Age 3: Music, movement, language, & more
Suzuki Early Childhood Education is a mixed-age weekly class for a parent (or grandparent, nanny, guardian) and baby or toddler ages 0- 3
Each class is taught by a team of two registered Suzuki Early Childhood Education instructors.
This is a pedagogically based year-long curriculum in a weekly hour-long class of music, movement, language, and more.
Suzuki Early Childhood Education is not a franchise; our instructors are able to give each child and parent individual attention, supporting the growth of that child.
“And don’t forget the babies” – Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
ABC’s of the Suzuki ECE Curriculum
Authentic musical instruments — Such as the xylophone, glockenspiel, triangle, and wood block.
Carefully developed Curriculum — Musicians and pedagogues Dorothy and Sharon Jones spent many years to arrive at the current curriculum which remains purposefully consistent.
Character development — The class emphasizes a calm, consistent, positive, and nurturing experience. Character is a basic goal in Suzuki philosophy, and our children learn patience, turn taking, respect for others, respect for instruments, and leadership.
Child directed — Children develop at their own unique pace; there is a natural time-table for each child. Class should be a non-stressful experience for both parent and child.
Cognitive and language development — We use counting, memorization, good listening, ability to follow directions, and lots of vocabulary, both music and other.
Environment — A Suzuki ECE class is specially designed to be calm, nurturing, and respectful where children can be themselves with no one judging and nopressure. The atmosphere in class is calm; as Sharon Jones says, “Without calm there is no learning.”
Mastery — This is a key part of the program (as it is with any Suzuki music program). The curriculum is based on consistency and repetition which leads to mastery through a lot of fun songs, rhymes, movements, and music. Appropriate instructional “layers” are added as children become more confident, giving them little surprises over time which allows them time to process.
Musical skills — These are developed using concepts and language woven into the activities such as timing, dynamics, diatonic and chromatic, pattern recognition, ascending and descending, pianissimo, fortissimo, retardando, composition, melody, harmony, and singing in tune. Learning the rudiments of music prepare the young child for eventual instrument classes.
Motor skill development — We see development of fine and gross motor skills through keeping beat with hands and arms, marching to the beat, learning finger, hand and arm movements, finger counting, anticipating a beat, and free dancing.
Mixed ages — A very deliberate decision to include infants and toddlers together; infants teach toddlers how to be compassionate and patient, and toddlers act as role models for the babies.
Overall Skill development — Many interactive opportunities using songs, rhymes, circles.
Parent (caretaker) participation — Celebrate! First and foremost parents should experience joy with what is going on with their child. Parents will act as guides and models, enacting no pressure on child only encouragement with loving words, smiles, and hugs. The parent has many opportunities in class for interactive activities, key to baby developing the skills to interact with the world. We show parents positive redirection, not correction. The parent (and teacher) will always look for what the child did right, not what he didn’t do in class.
Parent (caretaker) & Teacher partnership — A strong parent-teacher relationship is key, collaborating to try strategies to help child learn.
Structured class — Based on the circle where activities begin and end.
Two teachers — Each class is directed by 2 teachers, trained and registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas as Suzuki ECE teachers. Our teachers trained at the American Suzuki Institute with Sharon Jones, one of the developers of the program. Eric Davenport has completed Stage 1 and 2, for 60 hours of training. Jeanne Davenport has completed Stage 1 for 30 hours plus 4 hours of observations.
Parent – Child Bonding
Pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton says that “the opportunity for bonding at birth may be compared to falling in love—staying in love takes a long time and demands hard work…Strong long-term attachment is the goal.”
We believe our classes provide that opportunity to increase bonding and are a spring board to doing the same at home.
Our ECE classes provide you with the opportunity to get to know your child as an individual — strengths, vulnerabilities, temperament, and even coping style.
Read more about Suzuki Early Childhood Education here.