As the director of an early childhood music school that lays the foundations for playing an instrument, I am often asked about the Suzuki violin method for kids. I am also a mother of a 5-year-old who studies violin at a local Suzuki school and I previously taught Suzuki violin so I have a pretty good handle on it and am happy to share my insights here!
What Age Can My Kiddo Start Suzuki Violin?
The Suzuki violin method can be started as early as 3 or 4 years old.
What Exactly is The Suzuki Method?
The method was created by Japanese teacher Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) when he realized that every child can learn to speak their mother tongue with ease. He decided to apply the same principle to teaching violin. Every child can learn music, he reasoned, if they are given the same tools as when they learn a language: constant repetition, parental involvement, a musical community, patient encouragement, and a lot of listening.
The Suzuki Method involves a weekly private lesson as well as a weekly group lesson with other learners who are at the same level/age.
How Will I Get My Child to Practice Violin?
First off, practice might not look exactly like you think it does. A violin practice, especially with very young learners can be as short as 5 minutes a day and can encompass many different small activities that look more like games than practice. The biggest thing you’ll need to get your child’s practice going is an open mind, patience and a nimble game plan.
My Child Can’t Sit Still/Focus - Can They Still Learn an Instrument?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is, not all music teachers are created equal. If you know your child is working on developing focus, you’ll want to make sure you find a teacher that knows their stuff when it comes to young kids. Sometimes a teacher will give your child a 15 minute lesson in the beginning, sometimes they’ll break up a longer lesson with singing and rhythm games, and sometimes you might be amazed at what a teacher can accomplish when rapport and routine have been established over a period of time.
How Do I Find A Suzuki Violin Teacher in Toronto?
Get in touch with your local Suzuki school and request an opportunity to observe some of their teachers in action. It is common practice in the Suzuki Method to observe a few private and group lessons before starting so don’t be shy. Upper Beaches Music School (east end) and the JCC Suzuki program (mid-town) are both great local options.
My Child Is Too Young To Start Violin - How Can I Prepare?
Enrol in a group music class like Lovenotes School of Music. Our Suzuki based classes for 0-5 year olds in east-end and mid-town Toronto offer your child solid musical foundations as well as opportunities to work towards developing focus and self-control.
Do you have more questions? Leave them in the comments!