The Triangle: Teacher – Child – Parent
In the Suzuki method the triangle; teacher – child – parent is one of the basic elements.
The parent participates at the lesson and takes notes about the homework. At home the parent helps the child to practise.
Before the children start to play, there is a parent course for 8 weeks. In this course the parents learn the basic elements of the Suzuki approach, ergonomic knowledge for playing and how to read music. The parents also learn to play the variations on “Twinkle twinkle little star”, which are used to teach the basics for the instrumental technique.
The child starts to play
The child starts to play, and the teacher put very much emphasize in the Twinkle-variations, and how to teach the child the right relaxed moves.
The expression of the music is the most important thing. The technique gives the qualification, but the expression makes the music. On the organ, the tonalization is primarily a combination of attack, release and articulation. These are important tools to give the children for the variation and expression of the music.
The Suzuki method is built in the same way as we learn our native languages, by listening and imitate. The mother tongue the children hear constantly in their environment. To imitate this circumstance, the parent put on a CD-record every day, with the music from the organ school. The sound from the CD should be in the background, so the child unconsciously learn the music it later will play.
Teach step by step
The Suzuki teacher plays small parts at the time, and the child imitates. It is important to just play a few notes, to make it easy for the child to remember and not find it to difficult.
In organ there are three tunes to coordinate. Right hand (rh), Left hand (lh) and Pedal (p).
These parts must be taught separately. An organ piece could for example be taught like this:
rh / rh + p / lh / one bar rh + lh ……
In this way the teacher build the piece step by step, until the student eventually can play both hands and feet together.
Repetition is the mother of the knowledge
By constantly repeating old pieces, the children have a repertoire that come to maturity along with the increasing technical knowledge.
Group lessons and concerts
Beside the individual lessons, the children also have group lessons where they get to play for each other in a safe environment. The children get a sense of community, and we can make games for note reading. The group lessons are perfect preparations for concerts.
To give the students possibility to meet and play in summer courses is incredible inspiring and fun. These gatherings can be very important to bring the joy for practising during the rest of the year.
The method is as good as the standard of teaching. Therefore it’s incredible important that the teacher is well trained, both in methodology and as a musician. A well trained experienced teacher know how to deal with all kinds of children with different problems and conditions.