PLAY & READ
Now available from Alfred Publishing, I designed this program specifically for Suzuki Piano Volume 2 students. This innovative reading program is based on the simple principle that students learn to read music most naturally by reading pieces they already know how to play. The six lessons in PLAY & READ utilize selections from Suzuki Piano Volume 1 to assist students with developing their music reading skills by actively singing, playing, pointing, speaking, and writing exercises. PLAY & READ is available directly from Alfred Publishing and through your local music dealer.
My Teaching Approach champions the following instructional dynamics —
- I consider students as independent musicians who have their own connections with music right from the very beginning. My responsibility is to help students be successful from day one. I develop students’ own musical voice and expertise while having lots of fun.
- I draw from my own extensive musical background to guide students’ musical explorations. It’s up to me to pass on the many and varied musical tools students need.
- I encourage parents to be interested in their children’s musical development. It’s well documented that parents’ loving relationship with their children has the largest impact, even greater than musical knowledge or experience.
- I foster active student participation by being especially attentive to their creativity, emotions, imagination, and authentic involvement. It’s all about uncovering which comforts and challenges are most meaningful in genuinely empowering students as independent musicians.
Language learning serves as a practical model for learning to play a musical instrument —
- All children learn to speak because they’re surrounded by language and because of their desire to communicate. So it makes sense that music students thrive when I generate a positive learning environment in their lessons and advocate for parents to create a supportive musical nucleus at home.
- Children achieve fluency with a huge spoken vocabulary through vast amounts of repetition and accumulation. So I get creative in using repetition and accumulation to help music students develop musical fluency. I encourage students to master the many layers of musical performance at their own pace, sometimes moving in small steps and sometimes by leaping ahead.
- Just as learning to speak naturally precedes learning to read, I intentionally establish students’ aural and instrumental skills before introducing learning to read music. This means students learn to successfully play by ear as the foundation for subsequently learning to play by reading.
- Similar to the way language learning is a community affair, I incorporate various layers of personal interaction. Students benefit from meaningful interactions with their peers during group classes where their enthusiasm and commitment for music may inspire other students. At concerts and performances, it’s remarkable how they may learn from more advanced students. For parents, their own parent peers may often provide the most practical understanding and resources.
Music contributes to students’ holistic personal development —
- Through the joys and celebrations, the frustrations and disappointments of musical study and performance, my purpose is to help students deepen their understanding of life. By exploring the safety, challenges, and rewards of music, students learn that who they are and what they do have a direct impact on music.
- Musical explorations are fertile opportunities for students to actively develop generosity, compassion, humility, wisdom, and confidence in themselves. They experience what it means not only to care for music, but also to care for themselves, for others, and for life.
- Authentic character development plays a vital role in musical explorations. My purpose is to nurture students’ authentic self, to engage them in musical explorations that build on and develop their integrity, and open spaces for them to become more of the unique individuals they already are.
- I’m dedicated to fuelling authentic and independent student musicians right from the very beginning.
- Words for Volume 1 Melodies
- Triggering & Holding Onto Students’ Interest
- Thank You Suzuki Parents
- Parents as Motivators
- Understanding & Nurturing Parents
- Peers, Tension, & More
- Authenticity, Shinichi Suzuki, & “Beautiful tone with living soul, please”. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 24(2): 170-190. DOI: 10.2979/philmusieducrevi.24.2.04.
- Practical & Personal: An Inquiry into What Teachers Do. American Suzuki Journal (46)1.
- Triggering and Holding onto Students’ Interest. American Music Teacher. August/September: 26-30.
- Going Beyond Yet Through the Repertoire. American Suzuki Journal, 43(3).
- “Don’t rush, but don’t rest”: Reflections on Dr. Suzuki’s Affirmative Guidance. American Suzuki Journal, 43(1).
- Tone and More Tone: Reflections on the
Matsumoto Talent Education Institutional Theme. American Suzuki Journal, 44(1).
- Understanding and Nurturing Parents. American Music Teacher, February/March: 25-29.
- Peers, Tension, and More: Reflections on Working with Suzuki Parents. American Suzuki Journal, 43(2).
- Pictures of Suzuki Parents. American Suzuki Journal, 44(2).
- A Question of Independence