Request for feedback
Article on the Suzuki method

Connie Sunday said: Aug 11, 2015
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

This article is written with the greatest respect for the SAA and the people in this forum. Your input/responses would be very much appreciated.

**Reflexions Magazine: 0bjections to Suzuki Training and Teaching**
http://beststudentviolins.com/ReflexionStrings.html#081115

Your responses appreciated. Please email [javascript protected email address]; no responses will be published without author’s permission, and all responses may be anonymous. Thank you!

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Betsy Stocksdale said: Aug 26, 2015
Betsy Stocksdale
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Baltimore, MD
8 posts

Who is the moderator of this forum? Contact me, please.

Connie Sunday said: Sep 1, 2015
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

Please follow up on this if you’d like to read the feedback at the end of the article. Three very good responses, fair and balanced:

http://beststudentviolins.com/ReflexionStrings.html#Responses_SuzukiObjections

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Elise Winters said: Oct 29, 2015
Elise Winters
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Austin, TX
37 posts

Connie—Just a quick note to say here that I really enjoyed this article. Thank you for sharing your experience as a Suzuki teacher, and responding to perceptions about the Suzuki method (both valid and unfounded) in a frank, open and insightful way!!!

In my experience another concern parents have is wanting their students to learn note-reading much earlier. I think this is a fair concern … and many Suzuki teachers are addressing this in their studios. Growing up Suzuki I was very advanced (Book 4) before I began working on note-reading, and was completely at sea my first day in youth orchestra. I think this still happens … although books like I Can Read Music have greatly helped this generation be more musically literate. :)

Kelly Williamson said: Oct 29, 2015
Kelly WilliamsonTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Flute, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Cambridge, ON
248 posts

I am just reading this now. I think I am a little confused by not seeing an original post that prompted the response. I will spend some time reading it over again, and seeing whether I can find a link to that comment, so as to have a fair and balanced response. I very much appreciate that attempts are being made to speak to the many perceptions and misconceptions that exist about Suzuki teaching.

I have to say that my first response is dismay, coming from two things in the article. First, statements are made which are personal opinions and not generalities—such as, that American students are not going to bow at the beginning and end of lessons. These opinions are stated as fact. I think this is not helpful, because it is only one person’s perspective. My Canadian students do bow at the beginning and end of lessons, and for most of them, this practice is not part of their home culture. When we speak about these things, we should make it clear that we are stating our own opinion, and what works/doesn’t work for us. None of us can really speak on behalf of the whole community or the whole method.

Second, there are repeated references to the “SSA”. If anyone thinks that there are rigid (dare I say, fascist) elements to this approach, that moniker is sure to reinforce them!

Thank you for bringing it to general attention, and for inviting responses to the post. I do think that our best route to achieving clarity is through having our individual assumptions challenged—inviting others to respond to statements is one excellent way of doing that.

Kelly

Rebecca said: Oct 29, 2015
 19 posts

Very interesting article. These may be objections, but there are many good Suzuki teachers who have valid responses to these objections.

Kelly Williamson said: Oct 29, 2015
Kelly WilliamsonTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Flute, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Cambridge, ON
248 posts

Another comment regarding this statement:

“Mother Tongue” method & Parental Involvement: Children are taught by rote, the “Mother Tongue Method,” which means repeating what teacher does and endless listening of recordings. Suzuki suggested that students listen to the recordings 50 times a day, which I think is a form of child abuse if it were really followed.

Ignoring for the moment the reference to “child abuse”, please refer to Edward Kreitman’s ‘Teaching From the Balance Point’ for clarification on the place of rote learning in Suzuki teaching.

Thank you.

Kelly

Marissa Murphy said: Oct 30, 2015
Marissa Murphy
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Chevy Chase, MD
3 posts

Greetings!
This is an interesting article, and raises some interesting questions. The author clearly has strong convictions, and as Suzuki teachers we all know how important it is to listen to others and respect their right to express themselves. However, it is essential that the author stop referring to the Suzuki Association of the Americas as the SSA. The acronym is SAA, and I implore the author to make that correction as soon as possible. It is important to be scholarly and the negative connotation of the acronym SSA is inappropriate.
Sincerely,
Marissa Murphy

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