News / Arts & Entertainment

Children Learn to Play Music by Listening in Suzuki Method

Children Learn to Play Music by Listening

x
Children Learn to Play Music by Listeningi
X
Deborah Block
July 10, 2012 6:48 PM
Children can learn to play an instrument before they even start school. That's the philosophy of the Suzuki method of teaching music. The child first learns to play music by hearing it, rather than reading musical notes. VOA’s Deborah Block watched the progress of some kids taking violin lessons in Alexandria, Virginia.

Children Learn to Play Music by Listening

Deborah Block
Children can learn to play an instrument before they even start school. That's the philosophy of the Suzuki method of teaching music. The child first learns to play music by hearing it, rather than reading musical notes.  
 
Five-year-old Hannah Mei Steury started violin lessons two months ago. Her teacher, Stephanie Flack, says “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is the first song children learn to play. 
 
“It’s a very simple tune that’s easy to learn by ear.  And then they learn the elements of how to hold the violin, the bow.  We put it together slowly and then they’re playing music right away," she said. 
 
Hannah Mei’s mother, Judy Steury, is amazed at her daughter’s progress.  “I think it’s great, and she does love it, and she’s humming it in the car," she said. 
 
Flack was a Suzuki student herself as a girl, and is not surprised by that. “Our method teaches pieces from the beginning," she said. 
 
Her daughter Shannon plays more advanced pieces. She says she likes classical music. “In classical, you can change things up and play it how you want to play it.  I usually change the tempos just a tiny bit and the loudness," she said. 
 
The Suzuki method was founded more than 50 years ago by Japanese violinist Shin’ichi Suzuki. He believed all children could learn to play music. His method was later was adapted for other instruments. 
 
Rhonda Cole became one of the first Suzuki teachers in the United States forty years ago. She trains violinists to be Suzuki instructors, but says teaching children to play is inspiring. “They’re more sensitive to musical sounds," she said. 
 
Gradually, children learn to read musical notes and eventually perform complex music. Divya Kumaran recalls it opened a new world for her. “It feels good after you’ve completed a song and after it’s perfect," she said. 
 
The Suzuki method discourages competition among the children and encourages them to play together, including public performances.  
 
Even if their parents don’t have a musical background, they’re expected to provide support and encourage their children.  
 
Kathy Adams accompanies her son Jared on the piano as he practices each day. “I have such an appreciation for what it is to listen, to truly listen to the music. Jared’s a great example. He has an amazing violin ear," she said.
 
Jared says he was awestruck when he recently got an autograph from Joshua Bell, one of the world’s top violinists. "I think he’s absolutely brilliant. This is the first time I’ve actually walked up to him. I’m not sure if I said hello or not but it was just amazing," he said.
 
After nine years of teaching, Stephanie Flack is still excited to see her students progress. “Their love of music and seeing how much they enjoy it is just really is rewarding for me," she said. 
 

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."