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Friday, April 1, 2011

Mother Tongue Approach to Teaching Music

The renowned violin pedagogue, Dr. Shin'ichi Suzuki, realized that if children could learn something as immensely complicated as language from such a young age, the same thing must be true of music, and that the results could be similar - i.e. that children can develop the ability to play an instrument with ease and fluency just as they eventually speak their native languages with ease and fluency.

If we always keep the analogy of language development in mind as teachers and parents working with the Suzuki philosophy, we can avoid many frustrations along the way, and have the patience to work through whatever frustrations we can't avoid.

I will discuss the following points in later posts.

  • Every Child Can learn language. Every Child Can learn music.
  • Children learn language by ear
  • Children learn to speak first and read later
  • Children learn best when working with a group of peers
  • Parental interaction is vital in language development, as in musical development
  • Repetition is essential
  • Progress is very slow at first
  • Children are not self-conscious about learning to speak
  • Children respond to positive reinforcement

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