“We engage in human education through music so that children will grow with beautiful hearts and high sensitivity, through an unparalleled, uniquely musical approach.” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
LMC Music Studio follows the Philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist and teacher, who believed in nurturing the unlimited learning potential of all children from a very early age.
Dr Shinichi Suzuki was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1898. He was the founder of the Suzuki Method which he developed over many years of observation and commitment.
He devised an approach of music education based on his observations of the way children learn to speak their mother tongue from a very young age.
He believed that all children have ability and that their potential for learning is unlimited, given the same nurturing conditions in which they learn to speak from birth.
He believed in total human education and in the power of music in educating the whole child across the developmental domains (socio-emotional, cognitive, physical, linguistic, creative and spiritual).
The Suzuki Method of teaching music to young children is often referred to as the Mother Tongue Method, because our teaching strategies and pedagogy are founded on creating the same conditions in which a baby learns to speak - beginning early, with plenty of repetition, surrounded by a familiar environment of love and encouragement where parents are the child’s first, most important teachers.
The Suzuki Method is not just the teaching of music to children. It is a combination of musical, social, spiritual and emotional development education, or, in other words, ‘life education’.
It aims to enrich the lives of children by developing the whole child through the medium of music. It is a method that helps to develop a loving, balanced, confident and happy child.
The Seven Concepts of Learning
There are seven key concepts within the Suzuki Philosophy which are used to enhance our programmes in Suzuki Music Education. These are:
1. Every Child Can Learn
“Every child has the potential to develop amazing ability” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners (EYLF, 2009)
Suzuki educators see children as dynamic, strong, and capable of much learning. In the words of Dr. Suzuki, they have unlimited potential. Their skills, abilities, knowledge, interests, feelings and dispositions for learning grow and develop in environments of respect and sensitive responsiveness from families, carers and educators.
With the right amount of support and encouragement at every step of the learning journey, building on familiar material and routines, children feel safe and supported to experiment and try new things.
In this way, they develop independence, agency, resourcefulness, creativity, courage, purpose, imagination, persistence and curiosity.
2. Ability Develops Early
“For the sake of our children, let us educate them from the cradle to have a noble mind, a high sense of values and splendid ability” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
“From before birth, children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children’s first and most influential educators." (EYLF, 2009, p.7)
Neuroscientists tell us that the first 3 years of life is the period of the most lasting influence in a child’s learning and development.
Genes, environment, interactions and experience all have a part to play in shaping how a baby grows and learns across all developmental domains (cognitive, physical, socio-emotional, linguistic, creative and spiritual).
The early years matter because a baby’s brain forms many new connections every second and by the age of 3, the brain has reached almost 80% of its adult size.
It is never a case of starting too early in providing a stimulating, rich and supportive environment within which a child can feel safe and secure enough to respond, experiment, play and learn.
3. Environment Nurtures Growth
“If a child hears good music and learns to play it himself he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.”(Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity (EYLF, 2009)
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world (EYLF, 2009)
Suzuki Educators know learning starts in the home environment and see parents as the first and most influential teachers of their children.
We work closely and collaboratively with parents to encourage positive learning experiences in ways that suit each individual child. Ability development is unique to each child in contexts of their family and culture.
A sharing and understanding of the diversity of cultural background is crucial in the provision of quality education for young children.
When children feel safe, secure and supported, they are able to respond whole-heartedly and genuinely to learning opportunities which in turn benefits them socio-emotionally, cognitively, linguistically, physically, as well as spiritually and creatively/aesthetically.
Dr. Suzuki said, “Beautiful tone, beautiful heart.”
4. Encouragement is Essential
“Encouragement is required to nurture our ability properly, and every person can succeed.” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Young children thrive on positive responsiveness from parents, caregivers, their peers and educators.
Feeling respected and valued, they are more inclined to try again and again, each time gaining in confidence and courage while working towards greater independence in the acquisition of skills and knowledge.
Nurturing learning based on a good understanding of child development as well as respecting the unique way each child develops, ensures good learning outcomes.
Suzuki Educators see each child in terms of what the child can already do, what he or she needs to be able to do as well as what he or she has the potential to do.
Working together with parents in ways to support, encourage and share the joys of learning in small steps ensures a developmental journey that is positive and meaningful.
5. Parental Involvement is Critical
“An unlimited amount of ability can develop when parent and child are having fun together.” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Suzuki Educators respect and value parents and families as an integral part of the teaching and learning process.
As the primary care-givers in the lives of very young children, parents are involved at every step of the way, from before birth and through the stages of growing independence that accompany increasingly greater physical mobility such as crawling and walking.
Parental involvement in Suzuki Education takes the form of active participation and modelling in class, attending lessons, guiding home practice and coming to understand more about the way children grow and learn.
6. Children Learn from One Another
“What children enjoy most is the group playing. They play with children who are more advanced than they are, the influence is enormous, and is marvellous for their training.” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Learning is a social activity. Babies and young children learn so much provided with regular opportunities to play together.
They watch, listen, reach out and imitate.
They join in and experiment with language, and the social skills of sharing, co-operation, turn-taking and communication.
Surrounded by children both older and younger, they respond and develop sensitivity, caring, patience and pride in their accomplishments.
Suzuki Educators do not see children as limited by age or in terms of what they can do at any one time, but rather in context, with unlimited potential to achieve given the social support of other children around them.
This explains the opportunities in our Suzuki Violin Group Programme for our students to play together in groups with others of different ages and abilities.
7. Success Breeds Success
“Praise them when they do as much as they can. Then their incentive will become much stronger.” (Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing (EYLF, 2009)
Building strong dispositions is important in the early years in order to develop solid foundations for a future of successful learning. If a child can be helped to feel good about what he or she can do, then a sense of pride and confidence will develop to support the next step of development.
Enjoyment of rich and positive musical experiences, where every small step is celebrated together with parents, educators and other children, fosters feelings of wellbeing, happiness and joy of learning for life.
“If a child is brought up to have a beautiful heart and wonderful abilities, with love for others and the happiness of being loved, then the mission of a parent is ended. The way will open up for the child later. Parents do not need to worry whether or not their children will succeed."
(Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)