Suzuki Early Childhood Education Teacher Training

Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) is the realization of potential through active and reactive participation in the environment, which surrounds a child from birth. SECE is based on the premise that the potential for every child is unlimited. Believing that any country’s most important resource is its children, Suzuki Early Childhood Educators work in partnership with parents to create a stimulating learning environment. When the environment is rich and unpressured, Suzuki teachers observe that a child not only learns a skill but also gains a sense of purpose to life, an understanding of discipline, and an appreciation of beauty.

“Shinichi Suzuki called this ‘Talent Education.’ The word ‘education’ (kyoiku) in Japanese consists of the kanji Kyo (to teach) and iku (to foster). It means to teach and to foster until the material is absorbed so that it becomes inner ability. When there is inner ability as the foundation, the ability to think and organize develops. This enables children to spontaneously stretch towards higher levels. The skill of fostering that inner ability, I think, is the starting point of instruction. Dr. Suzuki explains in detail how to foster ability as well as how to train in a perfect score for everyone.”
Masayoshi Kataoka, Editor of Talent Education Journal, Spring 1989


  • Successful completion of Every Child Can! or Filosofía. This introduction to Suzuki Education is a 6 hour course and is a prerequisite for Suzuki Early Childhood Education training.

  • All training participants for all stages of SECE training must be active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas by the first day of the course. Join the SAA.

  • SECE candidates must be able to sing in tune, keep a steady beat and must have studied the songs and rhymes of the original English language version of the SECE curriculum CD. Candidates must be prepared to perform the songs and rhymes during the SECE training.

  • Recommended Prerequisite: Two years of Suzuki training on an instrument or college training in Early Childhood Education, with a minimum of two years teaching experience.

  • Note: Completion and approval of the SECE training for registration with the SAA, will be at the discretion of the teacher trainer.

Outcomes for SECE Teacher Trainees

You will gain confidence in how to develop a Suzuki early childhood education program.

You will participate in discussion of the following:

How to Set Up:

  • Suzuki baby classes with parental involvement
  • Short Term Prenatal Classes

How to Establish:

  • Team teaching
  • Parent Education

How to implement successful ongoing documentation:

  • Weekly anecdotal reporting
  • Reporting to parents

How to help parents in their critical role:

  • As the first and most important teacher
  • As a role model
  • As an observer of their children

You will take home examples of curriculum layering and book lists. You will find resources that will assist you, including baby recordings and books for parents, “hands on” materials, and handouts for parents.

Prenatal Through Baby/Toddler Years

The Suzuki Early Childhood Education: Prenatal Through Baby/Toddler Years courses include the prenatal and postnatal learning environment, the baby class curriculum and goals, music and equipment used in classes, prenatal class curriculum and parent education.

Each stage is a five day, 30 hour course including daily observation in Suzuki Early Childhood classes and pedagogy sessions. All teacher participants will have opportunities to assist in the teaching. Stages should be taken in order. It is recommended that teachers take Stage 1 and establish a class before Stage 2 training. After each stage, the teacher is expected to teach for one year before proceeding on to the next stage. As the SECE baby/toddler classes are team taught, teachers are encouraged to plan for a partner teacher before starting to teach SECE classes.

Prerequisite Reading

  • Suzuki, Shinichi. Nurtured By Love. Miami. FL: Summy-Birchard, Inc.
  • Suzuki, Shinichi. Ability Development from Age Zero. Miami, FL: Summy-Birchard, Inc.
  • Jones, Dorothy. Lullabies, Actions Songs and Rhymes. Handbook and CD.

It is recommended that SECE candidates have the curriculum memorized prior to Stage 1 training.

Stage One

This course emphasizes the development of a child from birth through age three. It introduces:

  • The importance of the Suzuki approach to early education
  • The prenatal and postnatal learning environment
  • The baby/toddler class curriculum and goals
  • The equipment used in class
  • The team teaching approach
  • The sequence of the baby/toddler class curriculum
  • Teaching strategies
  • A brief introduction to prenatal music stimulation

Daily class assignments are given each trainee. Each trainee has an opportunity to lead an activity in the daily baby/toddler class during the training week.

Stage Two

The second stage delves more deeply into topics and includes:

  • Study of the baby/toddler class curriculum and goals
  • The importance of the baby class sequence and key teaching strategies
  • Discussions of the skill level of babies and toddlers
  • An emphasis on parent education
  • An outline of a four week prenatal music stimulation program
  • Guides to prenatal resources

There is a minimum of one written assignment required during this week. Each trainee has an opportunity to lead an activity in the daily baby class during the training week.

Stage Three

This stage assumes teacher experience in the classroom and addresses how new ideas are developed. Study includes:

  • Baby/Toddler class curriculum and goals (including new ideas for stimulating more excitement in classes)
  • Discussion about how teachers can help parents to become excellent observers of not only their own child but the others in the class
  • Techniques for encouraging celebration of each small achievement.
  • Documentation and a brief look at the Reggio Emilia approach to documentation
  • Ongoing research in prenatal stimulation
  • Examination of the teacher’s own resources for Suzuki ECE

There is a minimum of one written assignment required during this week. Each trainee has an opportunity to lead an activity in the daily baby/toddler class during the training week.

Stage Four

In stage four training, teachers will begin a personal study of the history and research in Early Childhood Education relating Suzuki, Piaget, Montessori, Kodaly, Orff and others. Study includes:

  • Piaget’s careful and sensitive observation of his own children is compared with Suzuki’s similar observation of the very young children he taught.
  • Trainees are asked to develop a list outlining the ways to create a rich learning environment in their Suzuki baby/Toddler classes.
  • At home activities are suggested which can be shared with parents as part of the on-going parent education.
  • The baby class curriculum will be studied in terms of skill development, tactile/body awareness, posture and balance, auditory perception, visual skills, fine motor co-ordination and temporal awareness.
  • Further discussions will continue about Suzuki’s teaching model of “new idea every day” and its application in the baby/Toddler class.
  • Other topics will include a comparison of Montessori and Suzuki and a study of Masaru Ibuka’s book Kindergarten Is Too Late.
  • Literacy and the value of reading aloud to children from birth will be discussed.
  • Prenatal research and several real-life quotes from teachers and parents about their experiences with prenatal music stimulation are discussed.

Trainees continue to receive daily assignments for leading an activity in the live baby/toddler class. Trainees will also assist in the planning and delivery of a parent session or a prenatal music stimulation information session.

Stage Five

In stage five training, teachers will review the Suzuki concepts used to form the foundation of the parent education delivered during baby/toddler classes. Each trainee will research quotes which best reflect each concept. This work will be added to their own personal resource book. Study Includes:

  • An individual observation tool for use in the baby/toddler classes will be studied in detail. Trainees will use this tool during their daily observations of the live baby/toddler class.
  • The work of scientists Marion Diamond and Harry Chugani will be studied, particularly their studies outlining the link between thorough mastery and brain development.
  • The work of Dr. Laurel Trainor and colleagues at the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (MIMM) in Hamilton Ontario particularly as they relate to studies involving the Suzuki baby/toddler classes will be studied.
  • Prenatal resources on the internet and a session for expectant Moms called “A Loving and Nurturing Environment Before Birth and After” (We Can Do Small) will complete our study of prenatal music stimulation.
  • Trainees will prepare and lead a parent education session during the week. The topic will focus on a stimulating learning environment in the bay/Toddler class and the home. The trainees will discuss strategies needed to successfully deliver this session.
  • Trainees will work on their own “reading aloud” skills and will study resources promoting early reading aloud in the home.

Stage 5 completes the course work for the Suzuki Early Childhood Education Prenatal Through Early Years.

The Suzuki ECE teacher training courses are part of a comprehensive Teacher Training program approved by the International Suzuki Association (ISA). These courses will be registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA).

Upcoming Events

Prenatal and Early Years, Stage 1


Prenatal and Early Years, Stage 2


Prenatal and Early Years, Stage 3


Prenatal and Early Years, Stage 4


Prenatal and Early Years, Stage 5


Preschool Years


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