Dr. Suzuki believed in the great potential of music to enrich children’s lives. He developed a method of music education to enable children to play music to their highest possible level of ability. His method was derived from his observation of the ease and facility with which young children learn to speak their own language. He analysed and adapted these precepts of language development into a system of music education which was aptly named the ‘mother tongue’ approach. He began to teach using these methods and soon set up an institute of music in Matsumoto, Japan. In 1964, Suzuki took his first group of musicians to play in the United States. The musicianship and confidence of these young students playing demanding solo repertoire astounded the audiences who heard them.
Today, there are more than 8,000 Suzuki teachers with over 250,000 students across 40 countries.
“A person with a fine and pure heart will find happiness”
Suzuki ‘s goal was not to create musicians. The fact that an increasing number of the world’s professional musicians started their study via the Suzuki method is a benefit of Suzuki’s approach, not an intention. The benefit of studying music, to Suzuki, was an increase in sensitivity and understanding that would lead to a better, more enriched life.
“Talent is no accident of birth”
Suzuki also believed that given proper training and the right learning environment, ALL children can acquire what most people call 'talent' but Suzuki preferred to call 'ability'. Being a violinist himself, Suzuki applied his educational theories to music. He began to teach the violin and eventually started 'The Talent Education Institute' in Japan.