Pictures/Photos to Suzuki Pieces


said: May 19, 2009
 145 posts

I did a kodaly training a few years ago, teaching early years and we used pictures for the children to learn the words of the songs. Does anyone have suitable pictures for the Suzuki Pieces ? I am thinking for about 3-4 yr olds when it is useful to sometimes use words to learn the pieces.

Gabriel Villasurda said: May 19, 2009
Gabriel VillasurdaViolin, Viola
81 posts

You speak of “words to the songs”; do you mean lyrics to the actual folksongs?

The central tenet of Suzuki Method is SOUND FIRST (and last). Children hear the sounds of violin/piano/etc. first then begin to attach these sounds to certain motions/bowings/fingerings/etc. that reproduce these sounds.

I for one do not spend a lot of time with lyrics. As a violin teacher, I am more likely to have the child sing “E 2 2, 3 1 1, A 1 2 3 E E E ….” for Lightly Row. I have the student move the proper fingers of the left hand in the right order and on schedule: it connects the ear and the brain with the fingers. This, of course, transfers to fingering on the fingerboard.

The use of pictures is to me, a very foreign concept.

It’s always good to come back to the “Mother Tongue” concept at the root of the Suzuki Method. No child learns to speak by looking at pictures.

If you want to teach lyrics, get a good recording of a good singer singing the appropriate folksongs. Of course, once you get to Allegro, the pieces no longer have lyrics.

Gabriel Villasurda

Gabriel Villasurda
Ann Arbor MI

Jennifer Visick said: May 20, 2009
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

I have seen people use pictures to help students remember what the twinkle rhythms look like—

for example, if you call Suzuki’s Variation A “peanut butter sandwich”, and then print the rhythm very large and put a picture of a peanut butter sandwich on the same page? Susan Kempter’s handbook “Between Parent and Teacher” has pictures like this that you can photocopy.

The only other use I can think of for pictures would be in talking about musical form. Instead of calling ternary form “part A, part B, part A”, you would name them “apple, banana, apple”—and then it may be easier for a young child to “recognize” a form if they think of it as a series of pictures one following another.

-Jenny Visick-

Barb said: May 22, 2009
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
678 posts

This doesn’t exactly fit words to songs, but I thought the pictures on these colorful posters for Bk 1 might be helpful for some students to relate an image to a song.


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