Some interesting information for you

Celena Firick said: Oct 10, 2019
 1 posts

I would like to hear from parents and teachers whose students have asked to take a break from the Suzuki repertoire. My 9 year old is nearing the end of book 5 violin and mentioned the other day that he might want to take a break from the Suzuki books. He said he’d liked to play some other music before starting on book 6. I am not sure what he has in mind but I can guess that it might involve fiddle tunes and maybe even the theme song to Star Wars or the Empire Strikes Back—he is a nine year old boy! And I think he would be fine with classical music but not more baroque music. He has also done some chamber music this year and loved being part of a small ensemble where he is responsible for playing his own part and very much enjoys making music with kids his own age. He truly loves to play his violin so he isn’t asking to quit but just to take a break from the repertoire.

I do wonder though whether or not he’ll want to go back to the Suzuki books once he experiences playing other kinds of music. Would it be a terrible missed opportunity if he does not end up returning to the Suzuki repertoire after taking such a break? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Christine said: Oct 11, 2019
Christine GoodnerInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
94 posts

Personally, at that level, I like to add in supplemental music for my students based on their interest in different types of music. It can be great for note-reading skills, ensemble playing skills, and intrinsic motivation to provide opportunities outside the Suzuki books.

It doesn’t have to be either or and I always encourage learning music that gets my students excited to get the instrument out of the case and to play and make music.

What if you came up with a plan for learning a piece or two outside the books before diving into book 6 and then how to incorporate regular supplemental pieces on an ongoing basis in Book 6?

Christine Goodner

Blog: The Suzuki Triangle

Suzuki Licensed Book: Beyond the Music Lesson: Habits of Successful Suzuki Families

“When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished” ~ Suzuki

Jodie St Clair said: Oct 15, 2019
Jodie St Clair
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Eugene, OR
19 posts

I agree with Christine! I would usually add in something like Star Wars with a Bk 5 student. Your son can continue to advance his technical skill while playing something else. Star Wars, fiddle, and theme songs will be fun and easy for him.

Sometimes these supplemental pieces can provide a great motivation boost!

Adventures in Suzuki Parenting
www.suzukiparenting.com
Eugene Suzuki Music Academy
www.eugenesuzukimusic.com

Mengwei Shen said: Oct 16, 2019
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
199 posts

I would suggest discussing with your teacher. What crosses my mind if a student “doesn’t want to go back to Suzuki” is: skill progression is necessary if you want to improve as a violinist and if not via Suzuki repertoire, then a structured progression of other etudes and repertoire. How would your teacher accommodate this request, or not?

This page may also be interesting for you:
https://suzukiassociation.org/news/suggested-supplementary-repertoire-for-revised/

Barbara Eadie said: Oct 16, 2019
Barbara Eadie
Suzuki Association Member
Flute
Victoria, BC
29 posts

Another advantage to using supplimental material is you can buy time. If a student is finished one book, but not really ready for the next one, supplimental material is great for filling the gap. Extra work on note reading, etc. can also be done at this time.

Kelly Williamson said: Oct 16, 2019
Kelly WilliamsonTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Flute, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Cambridge, ON
298 posts

FYI The revised Suzuki flute books (from Volume 2 onwards) will have a list of recommended supplementary repertoire. It is recognized that we all use supplementary repertoire as and when appropriate for each student’s needs, but there is sometimes confusion about « best practices ».

Kelly

Christine said: Oct 17, 2019
Christine GoodnerInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
94 posts

Good point Kelly—there is also a list available (but not part of the books) for Violin Books 6-8. I think a well-balanced “musical diet” includes supplemental music as students get older and more experienced.

I also encourage any music that makes them excited to play their instrument—if it gets them motivated to play, then I’m all for it and we add it in for note reading, ensemble experience, or just for something fun to play at the end of a practice session.

Christine Goodner

Blog: The Suzuki Triangle

Suzuki Licensed Book: Beyond the Music Lesson: Habits of Successful Suzuki Families

“When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished” ~ Suzuki

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services