Suzuki Method (Talent Education)

The Suzuki method, (sometimes called Talent Education, the mother-tongue method, or the Suzuki movement) is a way of teaching, or educational philosophy which strives to create "high ability" and beautiful character in its students through a nurturing environment. It is most often used in learning to play music. The term "Suzuki method" is also sometimes used to refer solely to the sheet music books and/or audio recordings which have been published as part of its music education method.

It was invented in the mid-20th century by Dr. Shin'ichi Suzuki, a violinist who desired to bring some beauty to the lives of children in his country after the devastation of World War II. Dr. Suzuki noticed that all children pick up their native language very quickly, and even dialects which adults consider "difficult" to learn are spoken with ease by people of 5 or 6 years. He reasoned that if a person has the skill to acquire their mother tongue, then they have the necessary ability to become proficient on a musical instrument. He pioneered the idea that any pre-school age child could begin to play the violin if learning steps were small enough and if the instrument was scaled down to fit their body. He modeled his method, which he called "Talent Education", after the process of natural language acquisition. Dr. Suzuki believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of a high level of musical achievement. He also made it clear that the goal of such musical education was to raise generations of children with "noble hearts" (as opposed to creating famous musical prodigies).

The Suzuki method was first developed in Japan. It spread from there to other Pacific Rim countries, and then to Europe. The method has also begun to be taught in a few places in Africa. Although it originally used the study of the violin to achieve its goals, it has also been adapted for other instruments: flute, recorder, piano, guitar, cello, viola, bass, organ, harp and voice. In addition, there are a few "Suzuki Preschools" which have adapted Dr. Suzuki's philosophy to use in the non-musical disciplines of early childhood education.