The Suzuki Philosophy

The Suzuki method, known as the “mother-tongue approach”, allows for early beginning of music instruction. Children can start lessons as young as three years old. The method focuses on developing coordination, technique, memory and musicianship.

Children learn music through listening similarly to learning their native language. They are immersed in listening to the pieces that they are learning so they have an established model of the sound that they need to produce.

Thoughtful repetition of learned repertoire helps accumulate sophisticated repertoire from the very beginning. Children continue to play old pieces in order to master technique and refine musical expression. Technique is taught within musical context.

Parental involvement is the key to successful music instruction. Parents are present for all lessons and for taking notes on how to practice at home. They facilitate home practice and listening.

The reading skills develop slower than the playing skills and follow the literacy development of the children in their native language. Children develop vocabulary of hundreds of words long before they are able to read or write. Their reading and writing skills do catch up in the years to follow. The Suzuki method follows the same principle. Children develop music vocabulary then through a traditional method, they gradually develop music reading ability.

The Suzuki method not only provides children with ability and understanding of music but also many valuable skills beyond learning to play an instrument such as persistence, discipline, memory, coordination, and responsibility.

Dr. VanPelt offers weekly private lessons in Suzuki and traditional piano. In addition to lessons, students can participate in studio performance classes and recitals as well as local music events. Dr. VanPelt prepares students for the Royal Conservatory of Music assessments.

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