Well folks, here it is…. page 1. 771 words. The paper needs to be 1500 to 1800 words, typed, double spaced with bibliography and footnoted references. Must include the statement “Every Child Can Learn” and show two specific way that Dr. Suzuki’s ideas are implemented in your studio. I haven’t made it to tone yet. That will take a whole page. Also needs a personal statement of what you see as the benefits of studying and teaching using Suzuki Philosphy.
It has been a while since I went to University and this is a rough draft. Any ideas are very welcome!!!
Here it is:::
Because I was raised in the Suzuki Method, the statement, “Every Child Can be Educated” has always been a simple fact for me. I have accepted the idea that all children everywhere can be educated to a high level point blank and without prevarication. I have known this to be true ever since my 5th grade teacher explained it to me. As I have taught various children all around the world, I have been consistently moved by their tenacity and their unwavering desires and abilities to grow and learn. The power of the life force of a child is truly amazing! 1
There was one time, however when I questioned this fact. This darling little girl was so amazingly slow to learn! Her speed and sensitivity were less than others in my studio. She was very difficult to teach and once I began to wonder why her mother even bothered to pay me for lessons. The thought only crossed my mind for a moment. I continued teaching her with all of my might with the belief that every child can grow. Through the years her enthusiasm to learn and her wonderful life force outweighed the slowness of her growth and recently, at age 21 she just performed her Book 10 graduation in January of 2007. Every child can be educated. 2
“Every child can learn” also means that I can learn. We can all learn! This includes everyone without any exceptions. This philosophy takes away useless competition and fosters a wonderful sense of community within a studio. The students and parents all help each other and encourage each other at group classes and between individual lessons. In Matsumoto where I studied, each student was cherished and nourished with respect. Each student’s struggle was honored. 3 Dr. Suzuki gave each of us equal amounts of his time, energy and effort to each student. I implement this in my studio as well and give each of the students my best attention and love.
Whatever we repeat often, we will learn and do well – this is the “Law of Ability”. 4 As we study, our abilities raise and we become better and better at what we do. This is true of character development as well. Talent is not inborn. 5 We all have a chance to learn and grow and we are all on a quest to become the best human beings we can possibly be.
From the very beginning, I focus on teaching the character of the child. 6 I teach them to be respectful by showing them respect. I teach the Pre-Twinklers Suzuki Quotes they (and their parents) learn Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy. This is in liu of the haiku that the children study a Yoji Gakuen (Talent Education Preschool) in Matsumoto. It helps their memory skills and pronunciation as well. The children learn to stand up straight on a little stage I have made for them and pronounce their quotes clearly from memory.
One Suzuki Quote is: “By no means on words or music but everything, good or bad, is absorbed by the child.” 7 When I studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan, the character development of the student was always was the thing he focused on the most. Violin study was a means to that end. He helped us all in a variety of ways and he was relentless in giving towards all people. Service was his most important point.
Today I try to model service for my students. Dr. Suzuki taught me to pick up things for people when they accidentally drop them and to arrange shoes neatly in an easier way for people to put them on again as they leave the house. 8 We have “Cookie Time” with chocolates and gum balls from a gum ball machine for the little ones. Dr. Suzuki taught me that this is very important for the success of a studio. “Chocolate makes wonderful tone” he would say. Cookie Time was very important in Matsumoto and it occurred every day immediately following group class.
1 Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education Shinichi Suzuki, Waltraud Suzuki page 11
2 Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education Shinichi Suzuki, Waltraud Suzuki page 37
3 The Magic of Matsumoto: The Suzuki Method of Education Dr. Carolyn M. Barrett page 8
4 Shinichi Suzuki: The Man and His Philosophy Evelyn Hermann page 203 My New Theory
5 Ability Development from Age Zero Dr. Shinichi Suzuki Page 8 The Life Force for Environmental Adaptation
6 Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education Shinichi Suzuki, Waltraud Suzuki page 7
7 See Appendix 1 Suzuki Quotes
8 Ability Development from Age Zero Dr. Shinichi Suzuki Page 60