Suzuki Method

The Suzuki Method was founded by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist. Suzuki originally developed this unique approach to teaching music for his own instrument, the violin. However, materials are now available for viola, cello, bass, piano, flute, harp, guitar, recorder, organ and voice.

Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.”

There are some special features of Suzuki’s approach that differentiate it from traditional learning. Karin holds to each of these principles in her own teaching.

Mother-Tongue Approach

Lessons are based on the concept of teaching music as one would teach language. Babies are first introduced to language by hearing parents speak. They then begin to babble and eventually to speak themselves. We later send them to school to learn written language, after they can speak fluently. Similarly, the Suzuki Method teaches children how to play first after hearing what the music should sound like, and teaching them to read music later.

Learn about how the mother-tongue approach begins early here.

Learn the importance of listening to the music we are about to learn to play here.

Learn why Suzuki students do not learn to read music right away here.

Parental Involvement

As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. Some parents opt to learn to play before the child begins lessons, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Karin will often help parents learn what a student is learning during a lesson so that they can practice it correctly at home. Minimally, the parent should be able to explain back to Karin what is expected to be practiced at home.

Learn how vital encouragement is here.

Learn why practice does not make perfect here.


Suzuki has a set repertoire of seven books. The songs are a means to an end, tools to teach skills. Each song is tailored to teach specific skills. Therefore, progress is not judged by the number of songs the student can play, but by the quality of their playing. A high focus on technique and tone is applied from the very beginning so that the students can carry their sense of musicality with them as they go.

Learn about performing here.

Learn why repetition is essential here.