One day when I was in the middle of a very busy period in my life, I heard the sound and saw the amazing technique of some young Suzuki violin students performing. I was struck by their completely relaxed and confident performance from memory of the Concerto in A minor, by Bach. This group of children were probably no older than 10 years old!
They played their violins as if they were having a conversation with each other; it was that easy for them. Their beautiful and resonant tone and musical phrasing were far ahead of any student I had heard at this age. What a joy to observe!
My first thought was I want to have students like this. I want my students to know how to play with this confidence and proficiency and beautiful singing tone.
And so I began my Suzuki Teacher Training. I had finished my music degree at the Victorian College Of the Arts in Melbourne and I had been working as a professional musician and teaching at a prestigious private school.
I remember being moved many times by the positive and caring environment of the Suzuki method, during the Suzuki Teacher Training. It was not that teaching the violin was not important, but the main philosophy of Suzuki Method was the development of the child’s character. How could this not be so when teaching such small and sensitive young children. I thought back to my own up bringing with the teachers I had gone to. It had been a very different experience for me as a young child.
Part of the teacher training was to observe lessons given by experienced Suzuki teachers. I remember one lesson in particular, where a young 4 year old was having a lesson in front of a big group of Suzuki teacher trainers. How positive and warm the teacher was with this young girl! Small steps were implemented for the child to achieve in a fun environment. The child had her mother by her side observing and recording the lesson, enjoying her child’s responses of laughter.
As an advanced trained Suzuki Teacher I have been teaching the Suzuki method for many years now. Many of the students that come to the studio, begin at the age of 3 years of age and go through to do music for V.C.E. This builds the lovely community of Suzuki families in the studio who grow up together. Teenage students have said how confident they are giving talks in front of their peers. I remember one high school student who had become the school captain saying she felt like she was in her element when giving a speech to the whole school, because of her music education. Parents also experience the rich rewards of their commitment to their child’s musical education. Being a Suzuki violin teacher has been a very enriching journey, and seeing the wonderful development of young children and their musical talent is inspirational.
– Chantal Jones