Why so early?

1. Children prefer classic music to little kids’ songs against a common belief. On examining babies, Dr Suzuki noticed that they loved the sounds of classic music (5-month-old babies already love Vivaldi’s concert). In Japan there was created a nursery-school at one of the companies Sony, where the children were taught classic music. According to a survey on children’s choices, Beethoven Symphony No.5 turned out to be the most favourite music for them. Pop songs were ranked #2, while kids’ songs were at the bottom of the list. If children prefer one type of music, so why do we choose for them another type that we think is right? Why do we nurture them with some songs since their birth, but with classic music only from the age of 6, when their interest to classic music is already lost?

 

2. Music has a curative effect. The curative effect of music has been proven by many scientists. There also exists a notion “music therapy”.

 

3.Music develops insight. The conarium size in a baby’s body, the one connected to the hypophysis and responsible for intuition, is like a pea, while the conarium size of an adult or big children who do not develop their insight, is like a millet. The information received by the sense organs is often wrong and illusive. Comprehension is true only when it happens beyond the sense organs, with the help of intuition. Einstein was 16, when he arrived at an idea that eventually became revolutionary in physics, and he said later on: “That was an intuitive think, and its driving force was music. My break-through is the result of music perception”.

 

4. Early education is important, as the first years of a baby’s life are a crucial time to develop his/her operation of the mind and muscle synergy. Shinichi Suzuki wrote about himself: “I began to study how to play the violin, when I was 17, and I faced a problem – my little finger didn’t respond to me. When I held a note with my little finger, the vibrato was toneless, and that disadvantage was evident to all. I was trying as much as I could to make my little finger act not worse than the other fingers, and I had been practicing daily many years long. Forty years have passed, but even now it has not reached the required level. If we do not train a skill in childhood, when our body is still growing, later on this skill will be gained through pain and sweat. That became very clear to me, when I started to teach 4-/5-year-old children music. Their little fingers are being trained the same way as the other fingers, and I enviously observe how easy and precise they act”1.

 

5. An old Japanese proverb says: «You are the same at 100 as you are at 3». If you start late to study music, it will be more difficult to get that beauty of a soul that is so common for babies: “they don’t even think of how to betray themselves, they trust people and have no doubts about them, they can only love and know nothing about hatred, they love justice and follow all rules thoroughly, they enjoy the life, and their life is full of joy, they do not know fear and live with the feeling of safety”2. Children’s life is always based on love.

 

6. Age of two / three / four – the climax of a native language acquisition. A baby’s ear is for assimilating, mastering. The genius of Dr Shinichi Suzuki is in his find: every child can learn how to play the music instrument in the same way as he/she learns his/her native language. A brain of a child (and only of a child) can grasp millions of any possible languages. It is enough just to place a child into the right educational environment and to create relevant motivation, he/she will be able to learn anything. However, if a child is deprived of a possibility to learn a native language, to do this at the age of 6 will be a hard task. The same happens with regard to music: it is far more difficult for a 6-year-old child to understand music. Moreover, if a child is not acquainted with music, at the age of 6 he/she doesn’t feel it, doesn’t aspire after it, and sometimes starts to take classes without any interest, and only at the suit of their parents. Also, it is very difficult to master the ear of a big child.

 

7. Children often throw up music schools after a few years of education, as they have not been prepared since childhood to overcome difficulties. An enforcement method is widely used in many music schools. As per Shinichi Suzuki, “enforcement is the worst teaching method”. According to his approach, a child should say him-/herself: “I want it too”.
“In the beginning Suzuki allows children to do everything they want, but does not allow them to touch the violin. Quite soon a little student calms down and observes with pleasure how other children play. During two-three months a child is memorizing a piece of music played by his friend, and then he/she wants to try to play it him-/herself. A teacher waits for child’s impatience to be maximized, and only then he gives him/her the first lesson. The duration of the preparation level is different for each child. The longest – 6 months ” 3.

 

8. Music develops human capabilities. The goal of the Suzuki method is in development of all the capabilities of a child, in development of his/her potential with the help of music classes. A big child forgets about his/her purpose and moves towards the aims set by his/her environment. It is more difficult to lead a person nurtured by music astray.

 

9. Music develops discipline and perseverance as well as an attention concentration skill. Masaru Ibuka, a co-founder of Sony Corporation, an author of innovative concepts on nurturing and educating little children, wrote: “ In 1970 at Osaka fair there was a concert of little violinists to celebrate United Nations Day. It started at 11am, but most of the children, including those of 3-4 years old, had been standing on the square since 8am, despite cold weather, rehearsing and tuning their violins. I was amazed by the children’s commitment… Those, who have worked up the high degree of attention concentration, are excellent. The music school students are considered to be disciplined and well educated. You may think that the parents keep such children in strict conditions, and this can make them boring and serious from childhood. Not at all! They behave good not because their parents attend the classes, but because they can perform the high degree of attention concentration without any efforts. Study is easy for them, and they can do much more than other children can for the same period of time. Thus, they have more free time.
All parents, whose children visited Suzuki’s violin classes, affirmed that their children had never had troubles while preparing for the exams, that they had studied well without strain although they had spent much time playing in the yard with other children. Here appears a completely new type of an intellectual child: cheerful, bright and having nothing in common with a stereotyped pale thin pointy-head” 4.

 

10. Playing the violin develops the traits of a leader. . ”The ability to lead other people is considered to be a solely adult quality, and hence, this quality is nurtured in later life. In fact, leadership skills start to be developed much earlier than most of us think. It is observed that in any group of children there appears one child who starts to play a role of a leader. In his book “Child Psychology” Dr Yamashita says that a potential leader always focuses on his/her thoughts and actions, even if there are many other children around. While playing or doing anything else he/she always tries to create something new and is the first to put his/her ideas into action.

The same skills are nurtured by playing the violin. That is why there is nothing strange that Dr Suzuki’s students are cheerful, active children inclined to leadership, but not at all a pale genius. Sooner or later these children will become leaders in the society that always needs such people.

Many students of Dr Suzuki took up leading posts in the world most famous orchestras“ 5.

 

______________________________________________________________

1 Nurtured by love: The classic approach to talent education. Sh. Suzuki. – Minsk. ООО «Popurri». 2005
2Ibid
3Masaru Ibuka «Kendergarten is Too Late»
4 Ibid
5 Ibid

 

 

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