What is an average time for students to complete book 1?

Julia Evans said: Aug 30, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
Lebanon, PA
3 posts

Is memorization expected for all songs?

Jennifer Visick said: Aug 30, 2012
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1072 posts

Usually, Suzuki teaching involves memorization of all pieces in book 1. However…

Depends on the personality of the student, the physical age at which they started, intellectual & emotional maturity of the student, the physical/mental/emotional limitations on that particular person, the quality of practice, the frequency of practice, the regularity of practice, the amount and type of family support for the lessons, the quality of instruction, the frequency of lessons & group class attendance, the goals of the teacher, the goals of the student, the goals of the parents, the frequency of listening, the quality of listening, the frequency of listening/watching other students practice, the exposure to professional musicians, either in person or via recordings or live concerts, whether or not the student likes and connects with the repertoire, etc., etc., etc.

Irene said: Sep 2, 2012
Irene Yeong160 posts

another parent asked me if my daughter is in book 1. I said, yeah. then she commented, “‘oh she’s in book 1 for so long , she learned so long already and still in book 1, how old is she,, ? That’s so slow.. ‘. “
My daughter started learning since 2 and she just turned 4 last month. She just started Minuet No. 3. We are progressing slowly, but we enjoy practising and playing violin together during practise. We also review the old pieces which our violin teacher says is very important. Dont understand the point of blasting through the suzuki books, we are not aiming for the Yehudi competition.
Sometimes the comparison, comments can be so unwanted.

Anita said: Sep 3, 2012
 40 posts

Don’t, don’t, don’t compare your child to anyone else—not even a sibling. Especially not a sibling!

Each child has his or her own path to travel in life. Honor that.

So long as she enjoys playing, who cares how long it takes!??? (Providing you can afford the lessons, of course!)


Carrie said: Sep 3, 2012
 60 posts

I have learned that a student needs to learn book 1 thoroughly in order to be prepared for book 2. I’ve had a few students who have internalized music before they showed up for lessons and every time they walk by a piano, they play it. Those students usually complete book 1 in about a year. My “average” students learn in it about 1 1/2 to 2 years. I have one student who is preparing for her book 1 recital who started lessons 3 1/2 years ago at age 7. This student had no music internalized and therefore had much more to learn. Now she is playing as beautifully as those for whom learning music was easy. Her younger brother is learning more quickly because of his exposure to his sisters playing for 2 1/2 years before he began taking lessons.


Merietta Oviatt said: Sep 3, 2012
Merietta OviattViolin, Suzuki in the Schools, Cello, Viola
Stevens Point, WI
107 posts

First of all, I am sorry that happened to you. No matter how you look at it, that was a snide and rude comment. I am sorry that happened to you and she was very wrong! Second, your daughter is 4 years old and on Minuet 3!! That is absolutely amazing! I teach in a school program and have 10 year old’s who are not playing at that level as they did not begin until they were—10. Thirdly, anything that you teach to a two year old takes time. Across the board when I teach an older student they go VERY fast in the beginning and then slow as they get more advanced—in comparison, students who begin early start at a slower pace but get much faster as they go.

Most importantly, you NEVER compare and progress is determined upon the student…you go at the pace of the student! We are here to teach and learn music, but more importantly we are here to develop a whole child. Your daughter is doing just fine, please do not listen to that mother and only compare your daughter to your daughter.

Dr. Merietta Oviatt
Suzuki Specialist
Viola/Violin Instructor
Aber Suzuki Center, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
[javascript protected email address]

Irene said: Sep 3, 2012
Irene Yeong160 posts

Thanks to everyone for your replies and kind words. Sorry, Julia, didnt mean to hijack your post. I can always count on ppl in this forum.
When ppl make unwanted comments about my daughter ’s progress , I usually just keep quiet, the last thing we need is me asking about her daughter’s progress, start comparing and two mothers quarelling in group lesson.. That would be disastrous.. :)
I think my daughter is doing fine at her own pace, I beam with joy when she tells her teacher that she likes this piece and that piece, almost all of the pieces in Suzuki Book 1.

Celia Jones said: Sep 4, 2012
72 posts

I have heard a range of 1 to 5 years to complete Book 1 Violin. Rarely less than one year. However, in Hong Kong where Irene lives it is astonishing how fast some of the youngest kids progress. In America and in Britain, it is more normal to take 3 to 5 years starting at age 5—few British teachers will teach children under 5.

Julia Evans said: Sep 4, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
Lebanon, PA
3 posts

Thank u everyone for your input. I am a teacher as well as a parent of a Suzuki violin student. I feel confident about my teaching, but I did compare myself to a well known teacher in the area that seems to move students along faster than I do. I was just curious about if I was expecting to much from students. After reading your answers, I feel even better about my teaching.
Irene, I am glad u were able to get some positive feedback through my post. I was always taught to not compare students by where they r in the repertoire. Society can make it very difficult for parents to not compare their child to others, but I am glad that the Suzuki Method still believes in treating children as individuals.

Carmen said: Sep 6, 2012
 13 posts


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