With the intensified interest in young children, and how they learn and grow—it is natural that the ideas of Shinichi Suzuki often come to the attention of concerned parents. This information is designed to help you, as parents, decide if you are interested in embarking on a musical and educational venture with your children.

First of all, we are making the assumption that you want to spend time with your child, so that both of you can enjoy and understand your relationship better, through music. Your interest goes beyond merely “exposing the child to music lessons.” It explores into the areas of mutual learning, home practice, attending lessons and recitals, and enthusiastic, continuing support for the process of learning to play an instrument.

The Suzuki approach relies strongly on the cooperative relationship of teacher, parent, and student, in a pleasant, yet disciplined, enterprise. It is not merely a violin, or cello or piano method, although it does require careful, patient, persistent study and practice on the instrument. Rather, it is a combination of philosophy, a technique, and a program of education.

The parent’s role involves the following:
a. Learning the fundamentals of playing the instrument and how to take care of it.
b. Doing preparatory “homework” – reading (see list below), discussing with other parents,       and visiting classes.
c. Attending each lesson with the student, taking notes, and practicing with the student at home.
d. Playing the recordings at home on a regular basis.
e. Helping to create not only a musical environment for the child, but also a total environment of         affection, support, encouragement, and understanding.

The parent need not be a trained musician in order to be a good “home teacher.” With the teacher’s guidance, the parent can help with fingering, posture, and later on, note reading.

Selecting a good teacher and a good Suzuki program are naturally of paramount importance. Not all teachers who use the name “Suzuki” are equally well prepared. Parents may wish to refer to the pamphlet, “So You Want To Be A Suzuki Teacher,” for guidelines in the selection of a teacher.

Finally, the most important single point for the parent, we believe, is the willingness to devote regular time to the project and to work closely with the teacher (and with other parents) in building a fine relationship for the sake of the children’s growth and development.

            Suzuki Association of the Americas – 933 East State Street, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850