Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
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Music education - trad. vs suzuki?

allie kiwi 21 May 02 - 09:23 PM
hesperis 22 May 02 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,SharonG 22 May 02 - 06:22 PM
GUEST 22 May 02 - 06:40 PM
Bobert 22 May 02 - 09:01 PM
allie kiwi 23 May 02 - 04:31 AM
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Subject: Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
From: allie kiwi
Date: 21 May 02 - 09:23 PM

This topic began over at The Annex, here , when Mudcat was down a few days ago. You can see other replies by clicking the link if you like.

I'm pondering the musical education of my toddler. I began piano and violin lessons when I was in preschool. But now although I'm proficient at various instruments etc I'm not so good at playing by ear. In fact I rather suck at it. So I'm wondering - does anyone know much about the suzuki method? Do they eventually get to read the music, and when? Which instrument would it be good to start on?

My thoughts are more for learning the piano first - you get to learn both the base and treble clefs and in multiple keys... but should I go for the more traditional style, or this suzuki thing?

Anyones thoughts would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
From: hesperis
Date: 22 May 02 - 12:06 AM

Suzuki is great! I would definitely rcommend it, it is a very natural and complete way to learn music and musicality. Yes, they do eventually learn to read the music. When you learn that depends on when you start.

I took Suzuki Cello for a few months in high school, however I already knew how to read music, and already had a certain musicality of expression in other instruments. So the teacher treated me a little differently than she would have with someone just starting out in music.

The funny thing was, I had learned to sing from my mother, and didn't read a note until much later. (I quit "regular" piano lessons when they were trying to stifle my enjoyment of music with too much strict regimentation.) So it was almost similar to the Suzuki method. Not reading really does help develop that musical expression, then later on when reading music, the notes are not "wooden" sounding.

The other thing I like about Suzuki is that it really involves the parent in the learning process, for the younger kids. It would probably be interesting for you as well.

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Subject: RE: Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
From: GUEST,SharonG
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:22 PM

My 2 kids (now 14 and 12) started at about 6 with Suzuki (or mostly Suzuki) method. Both can pick things out by ear, but neither is interested in traditional music, so it doesn't come up much.

It is a very good method for kids- I'd recommend it.


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Subject: RE: Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:40 PM

I think it depends upon what you want them to learn, when you want them to learn it, and how much you value the ability to improvise vs the ability to read music. Mostly the latter. I'm guessing you are talking about giving your children classical music training, as this doesn't seem to be an issue that comes up with traditionally trained musicians who learn by ear.

I have a brother-in-law who went into music (now teaches) to follow in his father's footsteps. Dad both read and played by ear. Was Julliard trained. Son had to take a course in improvisation after college, just to feel competent. He was really ashamed of that fact, too.

It seems that losing the ability to play by ear goes very fast when you are put into the position of having to play reading music. IMO, you lose a lot when your ability to improvise goes. Whether Suzuki method helps to compensate for that, I'm not really sure. In my experience, it seems to depend on the player.

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Subject: RE: Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
From: Bobert
Date: 22 May 02 - 09:01 PM

Allie: I have no personal experience with the Suzuki meathod but understand it to be somewhat repetitive. If you just want to get your kids jump started, however, look into Orff music, which will expose your child to a lot more different aspects of music, voice and movement while providing an excellent background for other musical disciplines. My wife teaches Orff and I have seen what a wonderful approach it at it's foundation for involving kids in music...


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Subject: RE: Music education - trad. vs suzuki?
From: allie kiwi
Date: 23 May 02 - 04:31 AM

Many thanks for your suggestions, I really appreciate different viewpoints.

Bobert, I've never heard about this 'Orff' I'll have to read up about it and see if it s available in my small corner of the globe.


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