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A Word From Dr. Suzuki

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The beautiful passage below appears as the Foreword to Revised Edition of the Suzuki Violin School, Book One. We quote it here, although it is not specific to Kindermusik, because it is a compassionate statement about the highest and best aims of both parents and educators.

Shinichi Suzuki was a visionary. And while Kindermusik is not the Suzuki Method, nor is affiliated with it any way, Kindermusik educators share many of the same philosophical and pedagogical views with our Suzuki Method colleagues.

We honor and revere Dr. Suzuki’s memory.

“The Destiny of a Child is in His Parents’ Hands”

Education begins the day a child is born. As an infant’s body grows day by day, its powerful life-force absorbs all the stimuli it receives externally, developing in the process of acquiring ability. Without stimulus to the life-force, there will be no development in the child. Under conditions of neglect, nothing can grow.

For more than forty years of experimental pedagogy, I have come to know without a doubt that ability is not inborn. Please raise your child to be a fine human being. Heart and ability depend entirely on the manner of nurturing. Everyone knows how important it is to cultivate seedlings with care, yet some parents are inattentive and indifferent to their children’s development. Without exerting any effort, they resign themselves to the thought that, “My child was born this way.” I hope you will not repeat this lamentable mistake from past eras of human civilization.

Please consider the fact that your child is developing the ability to speak with complete ease and that children the world over develop the wondrous ability to master their own native language. Does not every child develop marvelous abilities? Similarly, a child properly nurtured will develop abilities in other areas besides language acquisition. From my research of the pedagogical methodology of mother-tongue acquisition, i have created an educational approach known as the “Suzuki Method.” Just as every child has the potential to develop tremendous abilities in the mastery of his mother tongue, each child has been imbued with the potential to develop musical abilities. Please do not fail to nurture your child. It is a mistake to think that your child’s future is only a matter of heredity or inborn qualities. In response to the skill and ingenuity of the nurturer, any child can be fostered to achieve a high level of ability.

Children will grow according to this “Law of Ability.” Everything depends on the method of nurturing. The same method may yield different outcomes in different children. Every child has the potential to develop ability in any field, at least to the level of his ability to master his mother tongue. Every child is a wonderful creature, a precious being. Please give your child the opportunity to be nurtured, and please explore the best ways to nurture him.

                                                                                     Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998)

The Five Conditions for Ability Development

  1. An early start
  2. A superior environment
  3. A commitment to practice
  4. A superior instructor
  5. A thorough teaching method

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