What do you know about the Suzuki Piano Method? I think many of us think of students who play by ear…but there’s a lot more to it than that!
The Suzuki Piano Method takes the view that just as kids learn to talk before they learn to read, they should learn to play piano before learning how to read music. Students can begin at as young as three years old, with lots of parental involvement. Parents sit in on all lessons, and learn the repertoire alongside the young student so that they can be the coach at home.
Rebecca Martin has been teaching using the Suzuki Piano Method for about 40 years, and loving it! I’m so excited to have her on the podcast today to explain the Suzuki approach, the logic behind it and how it works.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- What the Suzuki piano method is
- How and why rote teaching is used in Suzuki
- The parents’ role in the Suzuki method
- How Suzuki incorporates complex rhythms from the start
- How Suzuki teacher training works and how you can find an institute
- The sense of community in a Suzuki teacher’s studio
- How Rebecca mixes Suzuki and other resources in her studio
- When reading is introduced in the Suzuki method
Items mentioned in this podcast:
- Suzuki Association of the Americas
- Suzuki Association Summer Institutes
- Suzuki Music Australia
- British Suzuki Association
- Rebecca’s studio website
Thank you for Tuning In!
There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.
Being a full-time teacher myself, I know how busy teachers are and how much time, effort and passion we put into our students. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do in our time off is listen to more piano teaching stuff! So, well done for using this time for self-improvement.
Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons.
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Do you have any experience with the Suzuki Piano Method?
What do you think of the ear training and rote teaching aspect? Does any aspect of this method particularly appeal to you?
Loving the opportunity to listen to all of your podcasts and such wonderful knowledgeable guests! Thank you
Excellent interview, Tim. I’m a Suzuki teacher and glad to hear the conversation. But, I was sorry she left out Dr. Haruto Kataoka who developed the Suzuki Method for Piano in collaboration with Dr. Suzuki. She was his accompanist for the violin students and together they extended the method to piano. Dr. Kataoka spent years traveling to the US and other parts of the world teaching Suzuki Piano to Teachers and Students. While you can attend Suzuki Institutes around the states and receive teacher training, to be certified in the method you must travel to Matsumoto, Japan where Suzuki is headquartered and receive formal instruction from the Japanese teachers there. Usually takes years of intense training and teachers live over there for awhile or travel back and forth until completed. Suzuki is also noted for Ten Piano Concerts held in Japan and California annually. This is where ten grand pianos are on one stage and the Suzuki students play their recital pieces in unison with nine other performers. an amazing feat and great comeraderie. These are called graduation concerts and happen after students complete any level Suzuki Piano Book. Dr.Kataoka died in 2004 but the teacher organization is Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation. Just my two cents.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Laura – great to hear about some more important history and names and how it works. I encourage people to do some Googling for more details 🙂