Scott Clarke

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  1. Thanks for not restating your points, which remain unsubstantiated, erroneous, and appear to have been based on very limited actual experience with the Suzuki methodology or any experience whatsoever with Suzuki programs.
  2. Philip- Based on your observations I have a hard time believing that you have any real experience with contemporary Suzuki programs and I wonder if you really are familiar with the repertoire. As for the latter, what is it you find so lacking? Bach Double? Vivaldi Concerti? Is it Mozart 4 and 5? The Dvorak Humoresque arrangement? Perhaps the Handel sonatas? Really? As for the method, hopefully you are aware that it’s not a static thing - it continues to evolve as its strengths and weaknesses are better understood. The Suzukis teachers I’ve observed over extended periods of time (dozens) invariably supplement the method with other traditions, repertoire, and methodology. As the parent of two Suzuki students, I’ve spent the last 10+ years watching hundreds of kids of all descriptions thrive, fail, succeed, and occasionally triumph (they all do all of these things). I’ve continuously observed the growth of many kids for 10 years and counting. I’ve watched my own two very different children benefit in very different ways. Crucially, these benefits don’t always have anything to do with music. As you must know from the reading you’ve done, Suzuki’s objective was to “make good citizens.” I wouldn’t have spent the last decade of my life practicing with my kids every day, taking weeks off to attend institutes with them every summer, attended hundreds of lessons, and spent every Saturday morning of the academic year with them at group classes if the results were purely about music. Your contention that Suzuki students fail to imbue their playing with emotion is demonstrably false.. I hear that it’s false on a daily basis as my son works his way through book 4 (playing those Seitz movements that you must despise) and when I hear my daughter play the first movement of Mendelssohn . I heard it last week when I listened to a violist play her last performance here, 13 years after starting in the program with a violin made from a macaroni box and a paint stirring stick. She’s off to NEC in the fall, following a second stint with NYO this summer. I heard it two years ago just before another left for Juilliard, and I hear it in kids that will grow up to be teachers, scientists, doctors, and others that simply go on to appreciate music and pay the salaries of people like you.