Meaning of dotted lines in Suzuki Piano book 1 in Cuckoo

Kristin Wilde said: Jun 17, 2019
 2 posts

I am wondering what the dotted lines mean that follow the right hand notes in Cuckoo? It is in the 1978 edition of Volume 1. Thank you.

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 20, 2019
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Los Angeles, CA
140 posts

Sorry, can’t help you there. That book totally fell apart years ago! LOL

Stephen said: Jun 25, 2019
 6 posts

I am a Suzuki piano teacher, and I only ask the parents I teach to look at the book to check the fingering (which is quite essential). The child will learn aurally so will learn everything in the music from hearing the CD ( and not through interpreting notation), so the book is for the parent’s use.
Because the child will be learning from the CD (and the model of tone and technique, phrasing etc. the teacher provides in the lesson), any slurs, or other markings are not so important at this stage, as they can be caught by the student from the recording, from the teacher’s playing, and in a more global sense through listening to other music outside of the Suzuki repertoire.
For the record, a dotted line can mean different things, in a more general sense, depending on the composer, period of music etc.

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 25, 2019
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Los Angeles, CA
140 posts

Ditto! There is teacher training available.

Kristin Wilde said: Jun 25, 2019
 2 posts

Thank you,

We discovered this book amongst some old piano books given to us. We play violin via the Suzuki method and orchestra groups but only dabble in piano. I wish photos could be included here to show what it looks like. I wondered if the dotted lines that follow the right hand notes were phrasing or when to do a drop-roll at the end of a phrase. It doesn’t appear in the newer editions of Suzuki Piano. The page has just the right hand of Cuckoo printed twice on one page in parallel and the second line has the dotted lines following the notes and stopping at the end of each line except for the third line of the song where the dotted lines break in the middle of that line—I suppose to show two shorter phrases? So I was wondering what technique that introduction to Cuckoo was trying to teach before the song was printed on the following page with left and right hand parts.

Malgosia said: Jun 25, 2019
Malgosia LisInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
West Hartford, CT
17 posts

I can’t locate the book but from what I remember they are there to emphasize the directions of the notes, going either up or down.
My best guess.

Gail said: Jun 26, 2019
Gail GebhartTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Farmington Hills, MI
13 posts

My guess would be the same as Malgosia’s. It was probably a preview for the right hand , to indicate the shaping/phrasing of the melody.

Susan Crosser said: Feb 29, 2020
Susan Crosser
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Comstock Park, MI
14 posts

This a little late to respond, but I felt the need to chime in.

Kristin Wilde said: “The page has just the right hand of Cuckoo printed twice on one page in parallel and the second line has the dotted lines following the notes and stopping at the end of each line….”

This is a noble attempt to show physically on a page what Suzuki meant by “tonalization.” Dr. Suzuki invented this term for “Listening to a beautiful tone.” He intended it to be used as a way to describe for piano what singers do when practicing “vocalization.”

The 1978 edition states: “The word “tonalization” is a new word coined to apply to violin training as an equivalent to vocalization in vocal training. Tonalization has produced wonderful results in violin education. It should be equally effective in piano and all instrumental education.
Tonalization is the instruction given the pupil (by the trained teacher) as he learns each new piece of music (in Suzuki Piano book 1), to help him produce a beautiful tone and to use meaningful musical expression. We must train the pupil to develop a musical ear that is able to recognize a beautiful tone. He must be taught how to reproduce the beautiful tone and fine musical expression of the piano artists of the past and present.”

On page 15 of the 2010 New International Edition, the Practice Plan for Remainder of Volume 1:
1. All subsequent pieces should be practiced hands separately as a “tonalization” and then studied hands together.

This statement is placed directly after the Twinkle Variations and Theme for RH and LH are completed. The Twinkles represent in a nutshell how we are to play our instrument with the best sound possible using the best technic which allows us to have the best tone. Tonalization is one of the main concepts we Suzuki piano teachers are called to accomplish with our new students during the course of learning Suzuki Piano book 1.

This brings up for me the question of acoustic instruments vs digitals. Is it truly possible to teach this quality of tone on a digital instrument?

In this ever increasing world of technology and digitization, we are quickly losing the acoustic piano to a world that loves digital keyboards for, among other reasons, its mobile portability, easy storage and no need to be tuned..

Dr. Suzuki realized the beautiful capabilities of an acoustic piano with the need for a real live teacher to demonstrate to students how to create a beautiful tone. In my opinion, as much as keyboards have been improved over the years, they still are only a reproduction of the real acoustic piano.

To develop this ear, takes time … the entire book one on a real piano. Developing this ear for listening to beautiful tone is developed right from the start.

Tonalization cannot be learned by looking at a page with dots. But this older edition did somehow bring attention to the fact that we teachers are responsible for working with our students on developing this “musical ear.”

Susan Crosser

Barbara Eadie said: Mar 1, 2020
Barbara Eadie
Suzuki Association Member
Victoria, BC
33 posts

I love the tonalization exercises in the flute method. They fix tone production issues fairly quickly. I do them in echoes with my students at each lesson. I play first, then the student echoes me. We do them in 1 or 2 bar increments depending on the exercise and the level of the student.

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