Responding To Suzuki Method Comparisons
Found in: Other Methods
If any teachers have first hand knowledge in handling Suzuki objections, please lend me some tips. Here’s the scenario, I will soon be presenting FIS to an entire school district faculty of music educators approx. 20-25 teachers and administrative staff. They rely on Suzuki for teaching strings. Currently piano is not taught, It will be SM and me. Of course they are all Traditionally educated. I’m confident in my ability to present our method, but am insightful to expect objections to be thrown at me from an audience of Super Hero Teachers. I’m aware of the psychological darts that can be shot at me during Q and A. So I need some extra quivers to line my pouch to conquer and overcome brilliantly when Suzuki arrows come my way. The rest of the spears thrown, I know any of us SM teachers can handle with ease. So Any feedback, I’m all ears.
Carol B. California
As a former Suzuki piano teacher, one of the main reasons for me to switch to Simply Music was the reading program. After that was the deciding factor, there are still many more: 1) the variety of music (Suzuki is only Classical after book 1), Suzuki puts a lot of emphasis on technic and performance instead of enjoyment. Depending on the teachers, there usually isn’t much room for creativity, it is very cut and dried from how you sit at the piano to how you hold your arms and hands. Suzuki is a playing based method, and that is about where the similarity stops.
If you would like to talk to me more about this, I would be glad to discuss my experiences with you.
I’m a product of Suzuki! I finished Book 4 of Suzuki as a child. It was a great method. I took well to the ear training. I was always an impressive pianist amongst my peers…but I never learned to read notes despite my teacher’s best efforts. Also, I had SUCH anxiety at our recitals. They were very formal with bowing and all. I would panic! I had a very nice repertoire of classical music under my belt with my Suzuki training. I still remember all of my music by heart.
There were, however, major limitations. I could have learned other styles quite easily, but I was just never exposed to them. I was able to secure a music scholarship to a small private college, and it was only during college that I learned the fun of accompaniment. Once I understood chords I found a whole new world available to me.
Suzuki is very technical. It is also totally limited to the classical genre. It has its merits, but I find such depth and breadth in the Simply Music program. You can hold your head high!!
Kerry V. AU
Congratulations on being able to present SM in this forum. I do not know much about Suzuki and don’t hesitate to tell people this. However, instead of going into a conversation about something I don’t know, I would talk about what I do know – SM and how it works.
I too, am a former Suzuki teacher. I would stress that SM is for EVERYONE, every learning style and every ability. I had a student who, no matter how many times she listened to her cd (tapes back then) could not translate that to her fingers. The method didn’t work for her. And she didn’t have a learning disability. Also many SM teachers have had success with special needs students.
I would stress the positives –
1. Anyone/everyone can learn this way, because so many learning styles are addressed – auditory, tactile, observatory, visual, with the added benefit of repetition as needed via the Student Home Materials.
2. The variety of styles
3. The ability to play lots of music without a book in front of them
4. Single thought process
5. Playing freedom – the freedom to experiment, change, add, delete, combine
I have been a church organist for over 40 years. I am now happily filling in on piano whenever they need me. I have newfound joy in my playing, as my abilities have been stretched through SM, accompaniment and jazz programs in particular. In high school I still remember a friend who played “When Sunny Gets Blue” in a jazz style. I was so taken by that, the sounds of the chords, the little riffs. I didn’t know it was possible to play that way. Now I am beginning to understand.
Good luck with this. What an opportunity you have to educate music teachers!