The Suzuki Method
The Suzuki Method was developed more than 50 years ago by Shinichi Suzuki in Japan. Today, it is widely used both in the United States and Japan and is rapidly spreading throughout the world. The Suzuki Method is not only a method for teaching music, but an educational philosophy whose goal is to develop both character and musical ability. As all children have the ability to learn their native language, so all children can learn music given the correct environmental conditions. The environment must stimulate and nurture the child’s musical interests just as it did in the early years of their language acquisition. Children learn to speak from hearing language constantly at home; as they begin to speak, everyone praises them and encourages them to continue. The parents function as their teachers of language. Once children can speak fluently, they start learning how to read.
With the Suzuki method, the parent similarly creates an environment that will nurture the child’s musical ability. Every day, the child hears at home a CD of the pieces she or he will learn. The parent attends the child’s lessons and practices with him/her at home, offering support through constant praise and encouragement. The teacher trains and guides the parent in performing this role. The child learns by ear with help from the parent. Once the child can play well with good tone and good posture, he or she will learn to read music.
A basic attitude of the Suzuki method is that every child is talented and any child can learn to play an instrument with a high level of ability if the child has a skilled teacher, a supportive and dedicated parent(s) and willingness to work hard.
Jal Feldman offers Suzuki piano lessons in Seattle at the Music Center of the Northwest, located in Greenwood near 96th St. and Aurora (Hwy. 99). Students participate in a combination of private and group lessons, as well as recitals. Group lessons offer the opportunity to learn as part of a community of students, frequent performance experience, and the “Music Mind Games” system for teaching music theory through enjoyable games.
Suzuki students in this program gain high-level music performance skills. They regularly perform well-prepared solo and ensemble pieces in recitals and give 20- to 30-minute solo recitals to celebrate completion of the various levels of Suzuki repertoire. High quality audio recordings of performances are created as part of the lesson process. High school seniors preparing to graduate can record an entire CD of their piano music.
Beginning students start between the ages of 4 and 7.
Students who studied the Suzuki Method in another city or with another teacher can often very successfully transfer into the Jal Feldman studio.
Music Center of the Northwest is an assessment center for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. Students can have their musical development and skill tested and evaluated according to standardized measurements at different levels of advancement.