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Posted by Teresa Lyudvigovna Kotlar, Suzuki Piano Teacher Moscow, Russia on 12 October 2017

«Character first, ability second»
  Shinichi Suzuki

The Suzuki Method™ uses the same tactics as one does when learning one’s own language.  How do we stimulate a child to begin talking?  The answer is quite clear: we do it unconsciously, as he/she can constantly hear us speak.  We don’t go by accident; we know exactly that the child will talk.  We communicate with our children throughout different periods of time, before and after they start talking. These periods do differ a lot, don’t they?

Then we teach our children to be polite, they learn how to communicate and to set limits… But that’s not in the first place.  Here it comes, the child’s first word: «Mama»!  If your child has pronounced it with different intonation than that you’d wanted to hear, will you be disappointed? No – your child will call everything around “mama”, and you will be thrilled and definitely won’t correct it.  Next step: he/she’s just says “drink”, and you’ll know from the start what is meant by it.  And again, we don’t criticize our children. We know exactly that it is one of the few “steps”.  You need to wait to hear them saying it otherwise.  They will soon learn how to say “Give me some water, please”.  Each age has its limitations, and when we know it, we can be calm.  The music is no different. This is the core of the Suzuki Method

How to make a child want to learn to play an instrument?  We give him/her lots of possibilities to dive into the music, to listen a lot to it: how his/her mother plays the instrument, while learning, how the teacher plays, how other children play.  We don’t expect the child to become a genius, as his/her way in music shouldn’t turn into some kind of “Olympic race”, we ensure that the child moves slowly but steadily toward what the final goal is.  What it is, I hope, you can understand after having read my article.

My dear friends!  Roughly three years we have embarked on a wonderful journey – guided by the Suzuki Method™.  The road may have been bumpy but it was worth while!  Doing our first steps, we couldn’t even think of what would be in store.  There are so many amazing surprises, new ways and possibilities, offered to children and adults by the European Suzuki Association!

03b2a328 9983 4e29 b737 7b5610171bd10There was learning, travelling to teacher’s invaluable master-classes and to international music camps, but the most important part of the process was to meet our colleagues, teachers.  To be able to get in touch with them in personally and musically was a great opportunity.

I myself, being a grown-up and a seasoned professional and having lots of experience, have suddenly realized I had so much more to learn! 
I’m ready, I’m open for new knowledge, I’m engaged.

My parents are also teachers, and “the bacillus of music has always plagued my family (G. Neuhaus)”.  Since my early days I have witnessed their enthusiasm in work, the passion in their eyes (those who know them will agree at once).  They have always worked, guided by the principle “a teacher is someone who can turn hard things into easy and clear ones”, so I have also borrowed it from them.  The more joy I had finding the same values in teachers who brought the Suzuki Method™to Russia. 

A teacher is a person who can make time stand still, who can “lift you up”, shake you up, and captivate your mind. After the lessons with such a teacher you feel so inspired and full of power, you see your potential and know where you are going to.  I hope that you are lucky enough to have it all in your learning process. 

 Our Teachers

Helen Brunner ESA Violin Teacher Trainer UK is a unique personality.  Her philosophy is so captivating, being so forward-thinking and measured, as she always knows to give each of her students exactly what they need.  Helen is one of Shinichi Suzuki’s pupils, graduate of the London Academy of Music, and a mother of four children!  She has “lived” the method within her family, and I dare to say, is quite an experienced teacher.  In her lessons I understand: there are lots of good educational books, but no book can replace a good teacher, since there is experience involved that should be applied under the care of a knowledgeable person.

Kristinn Örn Kristinsson ESA Piano Teacher Trainer Iceland is the first piano teacher who brought the Suzuki Method™to Russia.  He went to educational institutions in Akureyri and Reykjavík, graduated from Southern Illinois University and the Saint-Louis Conservatory of music in the USA.  Philip Jenkins, Margrét Eiríksdóttir, Ruth Slenczynska and Joseph Kalichstein were among his teachers.  Now he is accompanist at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, and the headmaster and teacher at the «Allegro» music school.  

Kristinn is so patient!  There are so many big and small secrets he is always open to share with us!  He makes us immerse into the method, being measured and quiet, even when we ask hundreds of questions every second, trying to argue.  Such a humble man, he hadn’t told us about his teachers until the moment we have passed the exams.  By having opened the Suzuki Method™ for us he accomplished a great deal of work.  Goethe said: «I hate everything that merely instructs me without augmenting or directly invigorating my activity».  A lesson with Kristinn is the point where knowledge turns into action.  The action relies on knowledge, so the material consumed by the pupil is clear, understandable, and well-illustrated.  Only what was good in the lesson, is later honed at home, which is exactly the core of the Suzuki Method™. Little musicians should not only feel but also understand.  Heinrich Neuhaus said: “One of the main things I demand from my students, to achieve artistic beauty in their performance, is to be simple and natural”.  The same goes for the pupils of Kristinn.

Simona Chernomorskaya (a review)
I have always reviewed only things from my own experience, what I have witnessed or tried myself.  It has been 20 years from the moment I only started to get to know the Suzuki Method™ to the point when I decided my granddaughter would be taught according to this method.  With my own father being a headmaster of one of the Soviet music schools, I have seen many times that once having the music education finished, children forgot about Music forever.  Why did it happen that way?  I think because they were forced to learn… the Suzuki Method™ is based on making the pupils engaged and make the most of their creative thinking. In the process of the lesson, the children are not forced but motivated, and even if they are not seemingly involved, they are listening anyway… To be substantive: my granddaughter can easily recognize any of the songs she hears during her lessons, just by few first notes.  Recently I had a very nice proof of it: my girl was playing in her room, and suddenly there was “Little star” on the radio, and she gladly announced it to me, even though I didn’t ask.  That alone speaks volumes: my little girl not only recognized a familiar melody, she did it in the completely different environment... I’m not the one to overpraise people I know, but I’m glad to praise a Teacher I’m not acquainted with.  Just by looking at Helen Brunner, and seeing the sparkle in her eyes when she looks at her pupils, you know from the start: here it is, the Truth!  Children can later decide whether to become professional musicians or not, but they are bound to love the Music!

Our Children

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Generally, we are sure we know all about them.  But there are so many pictures and sights we don’t even get to see. Children can want something we would never imagine they’d want, or dream of things we wouldn’t imagine them to dream of (and let’s remember ourselves at young age).  The "one-size fits all" approach doesn’t work here.  The Suzuki Method™is aimed at building the children’s self-confidence and preserving their inner world.  A teacher can see the potential and accept his pupils the way they are.  Does this approach work?  Of course!

The majority of people splits the world around in two: good and bad, white and black, wise and stupid.  But let’s remember that these two facets are not the only ones, and there is something more in between!  Something more, where everything is possible!  It is difficult for many of us to get there, because of our narrow-mindedness and the power of stereotypes.

People often ask me, whether all the children who are taught by the Suzuki Method™come to their moms begging to have a new lesson as quick as possible?  There are different situations, certainly.

It is a journey to the core of the sound and of the silence: from the first lessons we try to develop in the children the taste for hearing music, for hearing sounds.  So, our little musicians can perform our tasks with astonishing ease.  While working on the first book’s compositions, they love discussing them, at the same time getting their musical language closer to perfection, so that it is well-developed and clear.  They learn, first while playing, then seriously, to solve different problems and succeed in it.  The goal is achieved, when they see themselves able to do what they considered impossible.

Pushing back: why do children do that?  What do they want to show by doing it, and what do we want from them at that moment?  There is always an option, how to ease the pressure.  But it’s the switch of attention and not suppression of the child’s mind.  Who knows how many fears could come and how much the trust will be hurt with pressure.  We aim to teach the children to be able to work carefully.  But first the parents should learn to be patient.  There is a firm succession of skills in the learning process: first you learn to stand, then to walk, then to run, and not otherwise.  And it is hard to learn when the gradual approach can’t be applied, when the child is overloaded with information, when the real skills are ignored.  Then the children are lost, they are confused, lose the track, the actions don’t make sense any more – that’s how the world of music stays closed for them.  But turn it around, and the confidence will lead to freedom. «Those who don’t have enough willpower, are not able to play convincingly», said Neuhaus.  So please, don’t break our child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.  Be patient, and the lessons will bring joy and warmth to their hearts, as well as discipline, the sense of purpose, and a great mood.

Another important thing a teacher would be incredibly happy to see in his 3-year old student is a relaxed hand.  Remember how firm is the hold of your child on your fingers?  They have strong fingers and a relaxed hand!  So you don’t have to persuade your child to relax.  Everyone knows that, like in any other sport, for example (you can’t throw a ball or make a pass in tennis etc.), without having a relaxed hand you won’t succeed.  If you don’t have it, you can’t produce pretty sounds, you just crumble on the keys.

For Parents 

  • First think about your child, then about the instrument
  • Building your child’s self-confidence is very important
  • No one likes doing something they have trouble doing, so be patient to move in small steps
  • The aim is to make the children self-consistent, while at the same time building their inner motivation and their potential
  • It’s utterly important to engage the children, and not just say: «Learn it».  Then you get them involved into the process, and the evaluation of results
  • During the lessons we work on “training” the child’s hearing to distinguish the differences between what is really good and what should be reworked
  • Music lessons and exercises as a whole are filled with life lessons, and life has a whole lot more challenges and difficult moments, so we have to prepare the children to handle them, working step by step to achieve that

Practicing at home, with your child
If you constantly patronize your children, they soon become unable to think. There is no use in telling them what to do!  Don’t say: «Let’s do what the teacher told us to do», better ask the child, maybe he/she remembers it anyway.  Practicing at home is very important.  If during the lesson I usually ask the parents not to interfere, as then there is only one teacher (keep in mind that children don’t like being told what to do by their parents and their teachers simultaneously), then when studying at home, I should highlight, parents are the most important teachers and authorities for the children!  So, parents who follow the recommendations and the Suzuki Method™ excel – their children move forward with no stress and pressure, fast and with confidence.  Children have two or three lessons a week with teachers, and at home, in the beginning, you don’t have to practice for more than 3 to 5 minutes a day.  Sure, with time home-schooling schedule takes other shapes, and the tasks become more complicated. 

The time for lessons can never be «convenient»

  • It’s easier to study at a certain time each day, so you don’t have to discuss it with your child – just like brushing your teeth
  • Keep the atmosphere as positive as ever, enjoy the lessons
  • In case of having problems, consult the teacher immediately, ask them questions, and they’ll help you
  • During the lesson the children shouldn’t feel any pressure
  • If children constantly hear remarks, they “button up”. There are, though, many ways of avoiding it, so be aware and feel free to consult the teacher!
  • If someone near always says you do everything wrong, chances are you’ll never be happy being around them
  • Follow the teacher’s guidance.  Parents often tend to make their own decisions in teaching, especially when they are musicians themselves, which can be quite inefficient
  • During the lessons the teacher finds the problems and sets the goals, splitting the main aim into lesser steps, while teaching the children to be happy with every little victory!

Question: Do you want to learn the first book faster or slower?
Answer: If the answer is “slower”, don’t use the CD.  If not, listen to it attentively.

Yulia Solovova (a review)
The Suzuki Method™ means for us a whole lot more than just an approach in teaching children to play music instruments.  It is a large part of our lives, and the magical key that can enter the door into the wonderful world of Music.
The method’s philosophy is based on enormous respect towards the world and each person in it, be it a grown-up or a child, and this is crucial for understanding the Suzuki Method™.  A real Suzuki teacher, which we were lucky to meet, treats a beginning musician like a person, building a trusting relationship.  Such individual approach makes it possible not to push the children to their limits, ignoring his character and personality, but to find the means to make them engaged, willing to try new things that later transforms into a very sincere wish to make music. You can definitely force a child to do something, but force them to want to do it you most certainly can’t.  Though an adult might find it stupid and unnecessary, but it can be crucial for children to have their favorite toys sitting on top of the piano, or to play dressed as a knight or wearing a quad bike helmet, or put a spaceman’s label.  We tend to make up words for each musical piece, so that the children don’t play some random notes, they play something they can relate to: their family, a walk in the rain, their favorite characters.  And we sing these songs not only during the lessons, but the whole day long.  So the attitude of the children is very personal, which is priceless, because the children then ask to play, saying they have something important to say, or start to play with their fingers on a cushion, on the table, on their knees.

What is equally important, is that the teachers are unconditionally sure every pupil is exceptional, so they just have to be patient during the training, as there are no “not gifted” children.  Such patient attitude is especially important in the beginning, because then it helps the students not to become disappointed when they face some failures, and not to rush the process in order to get the results as quick as possible.  For example, my child had been learning the “Little star” for six months, but then swallowed almost the whole first volume in the next few months.  It’s important to be happy with every little step of your child and be understanding about the situations when something goes not the way you have planned.  Every child has their own character, their own pace, some particular things, and an individual level of concentration.

But there is more to such patience of the teacher, there is also perfectionism: the children learn to play not just notes, but also work out the details like hand position, rhythmic pattern, ending of the phrases etc.   It was a revelation for me that a three-year-old child can pick up such nuances.  The pieces are chosen in the way to work out the basic techniques and this is how you build the base of your future virtuosity, just like that, in no hurry.

Equipment for lessons

  • As we work a lot with the sound, you will need a real acoustic piano
  • A chair with adjustable height
  • A footstool (a different one for each height of the child)
  • The «Suzuki Piano School» book (New international edition)
  • The book’s CD (Suzuki Piano School)
  • A notebook (as the teacher often recommends to write down important things!)
  • During the lesson children kind of videotape everything they hear or see, and if they understand, they are happy.  But they tend to forget this at home, so there should be some sort of code between them, their parents, and the teacher.

Kermen Mikhalyaeva (review)
We didn’t have much choice in finding the music school, as there are virtually no schools that accept children at two and a half years.  But we got lucky to find out about the Suzuki Method™. Having studied for only a month, we have taken part in two concerts.  I chose the word “we” deliberately, as I have always found the “teacher-child-parent” principle the most reasonable and efficient.  It is utterly natural for a parent to participate in the life of their children, especially when they are very little.  Being parents and grandparents, we have to concentrate, condense our experience from living in this world, so that we don’t make mistakes in developing our children’s attitude.  But this is our direct responsibility in life!  I was amazed during the first lesson by incredible emotional and physical charge of the teacher, by the willingness to give. Every (!) child was given the necessary attention, and the parents felt like they also participate in the wonderful process of involving the children into the world of music.  The teacher’s work is colossal, something akin to self-sacrifice.  So, we, adults, are bound to become students, too: in music, and in trying to fix the new-found abilities in our children.  Considering that we are not devoid of parent’s vanity, willing to force the progress, willing to achieve the results in the quickest way possible, the teacher’s subtle guidance can prevent from breaking the subtle system of learning, trusting, and creating interest for music.  Teresa Luydvigovna sure is a seasoned professional, she is very delicate with children.  She is never tired of giving herself completely to her students, in attempt to sparkle an emotional and intellectual light in the children’s hearts. Then, it becomes their revelation, a part of their soul.


55230a42 df0e 4bf0 a334 dd8e46e1d20aElena Bogachyova (review)
I asked Yulia about her impressions of the concert.  She said: "I’m over the moon!  So happy to be part of such a beautiful and soulful event.  I have performed for the first time on a large stage where everything is for real: a great big grand piano and celebratory mood in the concert hall.  When I sat at the piano and started playing, I was overwhelmed completely by the music. Even my back straightened itself reflexively, and I had such an easy way of playing!”  The situation was akin to a therapy session, since Yulia exercises her back everyday and knows she should sit straight, but she isn’t always able to do it.  At that moment, she was raised by music and relieved from pain.  She still remembers this sensation.
I advice her not to forget it. Thanks to all of you again!

The final goal is in our method not so typical since the exams as they are don’t exist here, although one still has to move step by step (from Book 1 to Book 7).  Surprised?  The exams take for our students the form of countless concerts, and having completed a level means taking part in a concert.  The first concert means entering the big stage for the first time, having the first nice round of applause, being inspired and willing to share your art with people. Children know what should be heard by people who have come here to hear them play, and it is always something very precious, very deep, different from everyday feelings, thoughts and emotions.  There is no place in it for carelessness, indifference and weak willpower.  A concert opens the door to a whole new world, filling the performers and their teachers with joy and enthusiasm!

Elena Gorevaya (review) 
I have always dreamed of a teacher who could not only teach my child to play the instrument, but also help to appreciate the music, to learn to hear music.  Our teacher, Teresa, opened for us the Suzuki Method™, so fine, mellow and deep.
 A lesson is a collective effort of the teacher, the parent, and the child, in learning, enjoying the world of sounds, feeling the joy of little successes, and facing the way with enthusiasm!  It is also a fun game, but this game is serious at the same time, it is a hard and diligent work of a real musician!  Thanks to a parent’s participation in the lesson, it is easier to find out how big a work it is for the children and how important is supporting them on their way!  Concerts are one of the crucial parts of the Suzuki Method™ because they transform learning music from a duty, or, instead of that, a child’s play to a serious deal, and even the most little students think of music like professionals, willing to learn, so that they can share the beauty of sounds with the world.  Our teacher explains to me and my daughter how to understand and to appreciate music, as well as the act of communication between us.

The teacher should notice good qualities in the student, and define the tasks.  He should teach the child to hear the resonance, to find out how a note should sound and fade out.  Experienced teachers know how to rouse love, how to increase knowledge and to chase indifference, how to make the student adore the music and be willing to learn.

The first steps are the following: wait, prepare yourself, play.  It is hard, but important.  For a three-year-old child it is extremely hard to learn to sit patiently, to take it easy and to wait (children always want to push all the keys at once).  But it is no surprise the children get standing ovations when they have mastered this art.  From their first steps they get to know the right techniques.  The experience of our colleagues in Europe shows that, though we don’t try to make professional musicians of our children, by 12 years old they develop such efficient technique that they can easily choose this path in life.  One of the outstanding examples of that is Ásta Dóra, a student of Kristinn Örn Kristinsson, who at 10 years old could play not only the whole seven Suzuki books, but has also mastered lots of other musical pieces.

It is so nice to see the successes of little Suzuki students all over the world.  But you should do everything right from the beginning, as it is hard to fix the errors later.  The teacher has to foresee the errors, and by such I don’t mean bum notes.  When children listen to the CD, they can hear the inaccuracies in advance and correct them on the spot.  The parents should be patient, because first steps should be accurate and measured. This is the rule every Suzuki student knows by heart.

Maria Kavkazskaya (review)
As early as two years ago, even though I loved music, I would much prefer to give the piano… away.  I have said to myself “No way I’d sit by this instrument”.  I wouldn’t say that my early years in various music schools were awful, but I remember the stress, the feeling when your hands won’t do what they should, when you’re scared to fail.  When you don’t like it all.  It should all be natural, like breathing.  I didn’t understand how it could be possible. I wanted to know, when to begin lessons to have the interest and the technique.  Then, I must have thought very little about the wonderful gift of playing the piano.  Which resulted in… abandoned lessons. But I was fortunate enough to come across the Suzuki Method™ and I was put wise to piano-playing.  Yes, it is possible to learn the technique without COMPROMISING it in attempt to learn quick.  It is necessary to hear and replicate through the instrument the beauty and the accuracy of the sound.  Sure, it requires a lot of work, tireless rehearsing and repeating, polishing the technique.  But, thanks to the Suzuki Method™, the learning process becomes easier and more interesting.  I have found out about the method only a few years ago, being a student of the University of Modern Arts.  I remember entering the classroom for the first time, thinking I would be told to get out and to never come back, since I played and studied in such manner that was terribly wrong.  I knew that.  But, instead of being sent out of the door, I actually understood, how it should be done.  I knew I could do it!  The main problem was my viewpoint! So I learned to believe in myself.  We are not all the same, we think and feel in our own ways. Each one of us needs a special time to achieve the goals.  Moreover, each one of us requires an individual approach.  There is no need to hurry, better be conscious and curious, be willing, and you’ll get there!  I have accomplished what I thought would be impossible! When I went to one of the Suzuki concerts, where I saw little and not so little children who enjoyed and found a special pleasure in playing tiny violins and pianos, I got the real point of the method.  They were not afraid to play! They were completely relaxed and performed lively, with interest!  I saw 3-year-olds who played piano like pros!  They weren’t just playing it, they knew what to do, they had the right hand positions, they were involved)

I also loved group lessons, when the children get to know the secrets of music-making for the first time, by playing with their parents who return to their inner “children” at these moments. Having near the teacher AND the parents is such a big deal for children!  They should be sincerely interested in learning something new, they should be eager to come to the next lesson. The Suzuki Method™ helps one to become a professional, it develops musicality – in children, and in adults, too. More importantly, from now on I’ll never part ways with my instrument!  I can be lazy sometimes, but I am willing to learn.  I’m interested and engaged.  I want to be able to play again – thanks to the Suzuki Method™ and thanks to people and events that helped me to discover it.

Marina Bekker (review)
Music makes an important part of our family life.  It’s a close friend that guides us through life, filling our souls with beauty from the early age.  It sets the mood, helps to relax, or, vice versa, to unleash the energy, it inspires, calls for creative work and makes us think things over.
We dreamed of making our baby a very talented musician, so we began her musical education as early as during my pregnancy.  After she was born, we took her to various developing lessons, but, from our experience, there are not so many professional teachers willing to give their knowledge, to bring joy and to lead the child to a whole new World of colorful sounds and wondrous melodies.
What a beautiful surprise, what a revelation it was for our family to discover the Suzuki Method™!
It sure is amazing just by itself, being based on lots of things like psychology, teaching, building a careful attitude towards music as a whole, caressing the instrument for the first time and getting to know some fine details of the sound.  Each step is well-calculated, which is very important for children’s lively minds.  But the method doesn’t work out right, if it is delivered in the wrong manner.  Practical aspects are much more complicated than we think they are!
Little children are the main subject of work for the teacher, because every one of them needs an individual approach, the teacher should establish some kind of emotional rapport with children, to show interest in them, be patient and understanding.  It is important to support the children in their training, moving forward slow but steadily.  This is a task that only a really seasoned pro can handle!  Such teachers are really special, they can easily and correctly give the material in form of a game, following the Suzuki Method™ and they have pupils who are interested, engaged and really enjoy the lessons, are happy to work at home and eagerly await the next lesson.  With such teachers, time flies.  They flutter around the children, patient and kind, not asking for anything in return.  They are wise, always have something new to say, are well-read, well-educated, and well-experienced, so that they can be of great use for the parents, too. Which makes them even more precious!  Such a teacher seems to play her own music of life, filling the melody with happy moments, shared with her little “Suzuki” pupils, surrounded by her musical family!  Such a teacher, who is willing to share with us sincerely all the secrets of the Suzuki Method™, is quite real. Her name is Teresa Kotlar.  Best wishes and best regards!

What matters the most
I’m happy to see insightful, understanding, and serious parents, but they are not necessarily the same.  Telling a parent about their children’s attitude is a very touchy issue.  It helps sometimes being not only a teacher, but a mom myself.

There are parents who love test lessons that are usually alike to exhibition performances: it’s a good show, but you can’t see a lot in such environment.  It can be shocking how many of the parents are aimed at the “client-service” set-up.  They are serious about their right to be ignorant, saying all they need is that their child doesn’t get bored and cry.  But, as for a one-year-olds a lesson is something like the first society model, preparing them for what they will face later in life on the everyday basis, the little tasks formulated by their teacher will turn into well-measured and well-advised steps towards each other.

It isn’t so hard for a good teacher to turn the child into a “convenient and orderly” student.  Our goal is, however, not that, but building the character, developing respect towards others, establishing and maintaining the lesson’s atmosphere.

Parents often get distressed that their child gets an “ordinary” bell, instead of the “cherished” triangle.  For some of them this is the end of the lesson, as children run out in tears, followed by their angry parents, unable to fix the situation with the child and unable to let the teacher do that.  Of course, I will still teach the class, but what about those parents?  What will they do tomorrow or the day after...? And a year after? I hope that someday you will understand the importance of making a connection with your child.

You have entered the classroom, and for the next hour this environment will be ours, and we will set the mood here, we will be quiet and stormy, happy and sad, just like the heroes of our musical pieces – we will become the almighty ones.  These are the moments the atmosphere is created, and it is in these moments that the children learn things nobody can take away from them, since they are planted deep in their hearts.  They become able to see more, to notice little things, to feel, to understand, to learn about themselves through art.  Everything surrounding the children becomes subjects to their examination and emotions.  Everything around them helps them to build up their vocabulary and experience for the world they live in – it can all become reference points.

The outer world comes from the outside in different ways.  There is a whole industry replicating the adult world for children, with its cars, rockets etc. But the child’s need to imitate grown-ups wasn’t dictated by the toy-making industry, it isn’t artificial but reflects the child’s desire to grow up.  The core of the Suzuki Method™is the engagement of both children and their parents.  You can repeat a thousand times what the children should do, but they will only repeat after you.  So be serious about it because now the music will “hold” you firmly by the hand, even if it has never been a true “friend of yours” earlier.

What establishes the base of the real world in a child’s mind?  Who will help the children to do that?  We should first of all notice what surrounds them.  It matters a lot, what our children touch, hear, see and feel.  Since they are literally babes in arms, it is of utter importance to know what they have to deal with.

First group musical lessons are aimed at preparing children to learn to play the instrument, which demands concentration, precision and the ability to analyze what you hear.  They become patient and willing to get to the core of the process.

I’m happy that in the studying process my little and grown-up students try to answer such questions for themselves:

  • For what purpose I am studying music?  
  • To become a musician?
  • To better understand this art form?
  • To hone my skills and perfect them, while discovering new?
  • To understand the teacher?
  • To understand yourself?

 «Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart»
Shinichi Suzuki

«Talent Education» by Shinichi Suzuki
«The Art of Piano Playing» by Heinrich Neuhaus
Lecture notes of Kristinn Örn Kristinsson, Christophe Bossuat, Helen Brunner

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 Teresa Lyudvigovna Kotlar is a Suzuki Piano teacher and teaches at the University of Modern Arts, Moscow, Russia.  Teresa uses classical and modern music teaching techniques in her work.