Suzuki Violin #1 (book & cd)

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Elmer said: Dec 7, 2015
 2 posts

I just received my Suzuki Violin School I book & cd today. I mistakenly thought that the “book & cd” would allow me to learn on my own without any other instruction (self paced). Have any other adult learners been successful with this route?
The tracks on the cd are just labeled “track 1, track 2, etc.” without any instruction(s). Any suggestions for this Old Geezer as I start my journey finding my way around the Suzuki Violin School 1 book & cd?

Marian Goss said: Dec 8, 2015
Marian Goss
Suzuki Association Member
41 posts

I’m sure you will get much feedback from trained Suzuki teachers on this topic. As a Suzuki teacher for more than 25 years, I can tell you that there is much training involved to be an actual Suzuki teacher. We had had dozens of hours of observation, years of classes (i did long-term training), videotaped lessons, recorded auditions, etc. If this method was designed so that children could learn “on their own” (aka “do it yourself”), we would be out of a job. We have worked so hard to set ourselves apart from those that just teach the songs from the book (and not HOW to play the violin using the pieces) and then call themselves Suzuki “trained”. To answer your question, no, this method is not a do-it-yourself method. In fact, until just recently, when the books were revised, there was very little instruction printed in the actual book. It was frustrating for the parents to take so many notes at lessons at the teacher would explain in detail the teaching points of each piece and how to execute them. At least now, the book provides some exercises and insight for the parents. But this is by no means a substitute for a qualified teacher.

If you enjoy playing the Suzuki pieces and want to learn more, I would suggest you search out a teacher trained by the SAA. But if you are looking for a method book that teaches you all about playing the violin in 12 easy steps, there are plenty of method books that do just that….Essential elements, Strictly Strings are just a few examples of such books.

Good luck on your journey and I hope you are able to find success in the method with a trained professional.

Eva Brodbeck said: Dec 9, 2015
 21 posts

As far as I know it’s extremely difficult to learn to play violin by oneself, unless the person already has plenty of knowledge and exposure to violins, like Dr. Suzuki was brought up in a violin factory. It is one of the few instruments that needs hand to hand instructions, that means you need some experts to physically guide your hand to learn. Just like that, physically correct your posture and hand positions. Otherwise your learning process would be very difficult, if not impossible.

Elmer said: Dec 10, 2015
 2 posts

After looking at the book, I can tell that instruction is needed. I couldn’t grasp the idea of reading the music without any basic music theory. I’m going to hang on to the books & cds (1-3) incase I run into any qualified instructors, but I still am going to try and wing it on my own at least at first and see how it goes.

After watching a ton of videos, I was able to put tape on my finger board tonight. I’m excited about that milestone. I hope to find some fiddle players in my area who I can pick up some pointers/tips in the near future and then hopefully maybe take a few lessons…

I now realize that this forum probably isn’t the forum that I need to be own since I misunderstood the methodology of the Suzuki program, so I will look elsewhere for other avenues as I continue my journey. Too bad I didn’t know about the Suzuki method when I was a “knee high”. I appreciate the insights you have given.

Libby Felts said: Dec 10, 2015
Libby FeltsSAA Staff
Forum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
37 posts

Hi Elmer,

While the Suzuki method is most often used to teach children, it is absolutely appropriate for any age! You can see if there are an SAA-registered teachers in your area at this link:

Good luck with your studies, whichever path you take!

Anita Knight said: Dec 10, 2015
Anita Knight
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Kent, WA
26 posts

Dear Elmer,
Is there any reason not to find a teacher? You may find it very fulfilling to be effectively coached as you take on this new adventure in your life!
You can request a ‘trial lesson’ with several until you find just the person you need!
I acknowledge you for taking on your dreams! Well done!

Anita Knight
“Joyful Sound Violin Studio”

Alan Duncan said: Dec 11, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
81 posts

It is absolutely possible to use the graded Suzuki repertoire as an adult.

Much of what constitutes talent education according to Suzuki are more pertinent to children, e.g.:

  • Early initiation of playing
  • Integral parental involvement
  • Listening before reading

However, the repertoire is brilliantly constructed to add techniques and challenges in a stepwise, graded fashion—so taking advantage of that would be helpful.

I’m sure that there are self-taught students out there; but it would be tough without any skilled feedback. Having a teacher also creates a sort of obligation and commitment to practice. I’d find a teacher.

Gloria said: Dec 11, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

I agree with

However, the repertoire is brilliantly constructed to add techniques and challenges in a stepwise, graded fashion—so taking advantage of that would be helpful.

I teach piano, and I have re-started enough adults, as well as brand new beginners, all ages, with excellent results.
You may be a bit of an autodidact, but it is also important to understand what an expert can bring to the process.
Good luck!

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