Suzuki-Traditional Studio

Mary Lou Hoskin said: Jun 9, 2012
Mary Lou Hoskin
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Prince Albert, SK
1 posts

Do any of you teach both Suzuki and traditional piano? I have moved to a town where they’ve never heard of Suzuki, and at first I thought I would be the new trend-setter. Not so. After a year I have 3 Suzuki students and have taken 3 traditional as well. I used to have a mixed studio years ago, but one 11 year old traditional student wouldn’t play in public performances because she said “the Suzuki kids are way better than us”—maybe that reflects my personal preference, or maybe it shows my stronger training. Any comments? How do you manage a good balance between two different approaches?

André said: Jun 9, 2012
André AugensteinViolin, Piano
55 posts

Hello Mary nice to meet you,you can use the traditional method to assist or
supplement the Suzuki method…
this topic is o important to be discussed…
because it is necessary to become a professional violinist
have knowledge of the 42 studies Kreutzer ,wich is owned by the traditional
method,it`s just a good example…
i hope t have helped…

Violin Student(International Suzuki Association) in Germany 1987
Violin teacher (International Suzuki Association) in Dublin 1995

Sue Hunt said: Jun 10, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
390 posts

It sounds like your heart is with Suzuki, so why don’t you give your “traditional” students an open invitation to transfer to the Suzuki Method. No matter what they are learning, you can still “Nurture with Love” and encourage listening and review.

I have one student who is exam driven, so for part of the year, we focus on exam repertoire, but the rest of the time we continue through the Suzuki books. I am the same teacher and use the same teaching philosophy, whatever he is studying.

You can apply aspects of the Suzuki Method to anything that needs practice. A friend, who is the husband of a Suzuki teacher, is even learning Suzuki golf.

Cleo Ann Brimhall said: Jun 10, 2012
Cleo Ann BrimhallTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
West Jordan, UT
39 posts

I agree with Sue—the Suzuki method is not the repertoire—of course the repertoire has been chosen carefully to incorporate all of the skills needed in being proficient in the selected instrument. Suzuki said the method is “the easiest most natural way to produce the most beautiful tone”

Our mentor teachers (especially those from Japan) have shared the results of their research with us. It is our task to keep researching on our own.

To the point—if we teach all of our students with the same careful approach to natural and beautiful tone there will be less differnece among them. That can include listening. There are many methods and solo books pupblished now that include CDs. And all students can listen to the music of the best pianists.

As a side to Sue—I play Suzuki golf—I only count the good strokes. Sometimes I get a hole in zero.


Jennifer Visick said: Jun 24, 2012
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

Here’s what I put on my “advertising”—that is, my website—about “non” Suzuki lessons:

“I do not necessarily require that students learn Suzuki repertoire or attend Suzuki group classes for these types of lessons, nor is parent participation required, although I may recommend any of those “Suzuki” components if it is appropriate to the student’s goals and situation. I do request that all students participate in an appropriate group or ensemble whenever one is available to them and my basic teaching philosophy for these kinds of lessons is still grounded in Suzuki teaching principles.”

The reality is that while I may not be using the Suzuki repertoire with every student, I’m still a Suzuki-inspired teacher in my methodology. I still use the same tricks and tips that I’ve picked up from observing at all those summer institutes, and I use nearly the same sequence of building blocks to learn skills, with not very significant variations, and I’m still interested in nurturing the student as a person, and in recruiting parents or other significant & loving adults in the child’s life as practice partners & fellow nurturers, I’m still interested in creating beautiful tone and in cultivating the ear before the eye, I still insist that students utilize the latest technology to bring professional performances into their home every day in order to create a musical environment and help them acquire a taste for all kinds of good music, and driving my students to musical stardom is never the bottom line.

But Piano may have some challenges that other, more portable instruments don’t face. I know at least one excellent “traditional” piano teacher who loves Suzuki ideas for violin (this person was responsible for getting my parents to enroll me in Suzuki violin lessons as a pre-schooler!) but feels that there are significant differences in piano that make Suzuki ideas less appropriate for piano than for string players. I know another excellent Suzuki piano teacher who says that Suzuki methodology works for piano teaching, and this person wouldn’t teach any other way, but who also says you have to be uber-committed to making it work—more so than for other instruments.

Sue Hunt said: Jun 25, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
390 posts

Bravo RaineJen. The Suzuki method is not just repertoire, but a collection of valuable components. This approach can be used to learn virtually anything. I know someone who is learning “Suzuki Golf” and my daughter teacher “Suzuki Dog Training.”

Emily said: Nov 27, 2013
 59 posts

You could use aspects of Traditional Method and add it to the Suzuki Method or use aspects of Suzuki Method and add it to the Traditional Method, Either way, you would come out with well-balanced lessons and beautiful music.

Emily Christensen
Music Teacher & Writer

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