Parents’ Guide
Help your child
practice and listen at home.
Get the most
out of each lesson.
Efficient practice and listening at home.
Sufficient preparation and focus in lessons.
Practice

At home.

The most important idea about joining a Suzuki Method Program is the commitment to devote time every day to home practice and listening to the recordings. Suzuki parents support and encourage each other in this endeavor.
Practice

Repetition is the key to learning.

This means successful repetitions after you can play the part correctly. Repetition is most useful if you repeat a short segment many times in a row. It may take ten tries to get it correct five times, but you will probably take only five or six tries to get five more correct. These last five correct attempts are the most valuable. If you only repeat the part five times correctly, you lose this benefit. If you practice each spot until you can do it ten times correctly each day, you will not easily forget it and you will get more benefit from review of old pieces.
Practice

Review previous pieces. Continually.

Mastery and continued review of earlier pieces lay the foundation for more advanced pieces. Review of easier pieces helps to teach greater refinement of bowing and musical expression. This is very important in developing your child’s ability to a high level.
Practice

Play along with the accompaniment recordings. Every day. With musical sensitivity.

The most important thing that you can get from music study is the ability to play with musical sensitivity. This means more than just playing correct notes at the right speed. It means playing with phrasing, dynamics, articulation, and expressive changes in tempo such as speeding up a little at the climax of the phrase and slowing down a little at the end. It includes a concept of the musical idea that the composer is trying to express. The meaning of music is essentially social and we play because we want to say something to someone else musically. Listening to the recordings many times each day teaches these things in a natural organic way that becomes an integral part of the child just as in their native language. Playing with the accompaniment recordings daily reinforces this lesson, developing confidence and a high level of ability.
Listening

Develop sequencing and auditory memory.

Suzuki calls his method the mother tongue approach. The key to learning music successfully is listening. Listening develops more than just memory of specific pieces; it improves the ability to learn by developing your overall sequencing and auditory memory, which is the ability to reproduce a series of tones in the same order that you hear them. When these skills are highly developed, you can learn to play back the example that the teacher plays much more quickly and learn new pieces faster as well as at a higher level.
Listening

Frequently. At least five times per day.

By listening to the recordings of the pieces you are studying at least five times a day, you will learn the pieces much faster than just listening a couple times per week.
Listening

At home.

Listening in the car can be beneficial, but it is not as helpful as listening at home.  By listening at home, you also help to develop the home environment.
Listening

Only one piece at a time.
Repeatedly and consecutively.

Consecutive listening of the same piece is much more effective than practicing or listening to different pieces one after another.
Lesson

Arrive early.

Parents need to plan to arrive early, spending a few minutes of quiet time with the child together. Find out about your child’s day at school and encourage them to share their feelings about things that happened.
Lesson

Recall key points over the week for follow-up.

Parents should recall the key points that the child has been practicing. Talk about any behavioral goals that you have for the lesson and any rewards for meeting them.
Lesson

Be open-minded. Stay focused for each teaching point. One teacher at a time.

Let the teacher correct your child at the lesson. Having more than one person teaching at the same time is confusing even if they are both teaching correctly.
Lesson

Take notes for each teaching point. Pay attention.

Pay attention to what your child is learning. Take notes at the lesson and ask questions if you do not understand what the teacher is saying. Practice after the lesson, it helps to review while the teaching points are still fresh in your mind.
The Suzuki Method

Mother-tongue approach.​
11 special features.

Learn more >
Dr. Suzuki’s Speech

Listen to Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s
general comments about his students’
graduation recordings in 1985.
Simply inspiring.

Learn more >