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Suzuki method- what do you think?


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: But surely if the rest of the world is so bent on nothing more than flashy technique and not paying much attention to artistic creativity, we should all the more be striving to put it right?! Surely we should be trying even harder to show people the great value of artistic creativity, and trying to show them that flashy technique isn't everything?!

: As I said in one of the other messages I posted, I'm a bit more technical than I am musical, and I'm desperately trying to develop and increase my musicality, because after a while, sheer technique gets a bit dull. . .

Well, you know, with the musicality issue, it seems to me that although I can play musically with the music, it is when it is memorized and internalized that I really can focus on the way I want it shaped. I practice with my music much of the time -- at least when I am woodshedding, but even so it is memorized. In fact, the first step of woodshedding a difficult part for me is to memorize it. However, it is having it memorized that frees me up to become more musical.

And, it is the Suzuki training which has endowed me with the ability to memorize very very quickly.

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I agree with you on Suzuki, I found it very useful when I started playing the violin.

Chris.

: The Suzuki method is excellent for some, but isn't for everyone. I think Dr. Suzuki did a wonderful thing by making very good music readily available to millions of students. Don't forget Rachel Barton grew up on Suzuki. She's an excellent violinist. I dare you to call her up and tell her your thoughts on Suzuki!

: -Michael L.

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Come on, it's not THAT bad!!! There are lots of rewarding careers out there. I'd in fact guess that the career opportunities within music just about equal the TALENTED people with music. You don't have to be talented (i.e. the next Heifetz) to enjoy music. But as in every other professional field - if you both enjoy what you're doing and have a talent for it you can be professionally successful. There is so much out there from teaching to playing - remember chamber music and orchestras, we don't all have to be playing the Brahms concerto with the Philadelphia orchestra to have a good career... - to music therapy to... the possibilities are endless because nearly everyone who can hear can enjoy music.

I agree with what Laurel said about the Suzuki method being meant to produce great human beings as opposed to musicians, and with overloading little kids. Doesn't every little kid get told stories before learning how to read them?

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I really would like to stop getting in arguments with people here! Our opinions on Rachel Barton can only be described as the difference between oceans and deserts, night and day, OOooo and myself etc...

You may think whatever you like, but I personally think she is a splendid violinist, and I am looking forward to being instructed by her when I am at music camp this August.

-Michael L.

P.S. DISCLAIMER: Mention of OOooo in this posting does not imply further quarrelling. It is simply in the context of pointing out that we are two entirely different people, neither greater nor less than the other, but original in our own ways.

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: But surely if the rest of the world is so bent on nothing more than flashy technique and not paying much attention to artistic creativity, we should all the more be striving to put it right?! Surely we should be trying even harder to show people the great value of artistic creativity, and trying to show them that flashy technique isn't everything?!

And you fall for the line of all the teachers who can't play anything more than Mozart!!!! Wake up! Years ago everyone could play virtuostic music - with a crispness and clarity sorely lacking now. Musicality was EXPECTEd friends - what in the *** do you think "music" implies. Those who didn't have that sensitivity didn't do it. Is the whole world brain dead?

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Lighten up? This is what happens when people feel that they can follow their dreams. You get down, right??? Then you "lighten up" and continue working on becoming the best you can. Then you get the shock when you audition for job after job. So you start a chamber music ensemble that no one wants to hear and you make $25 - $100 for playing to a bunch of drunks who don't care what you play, just fill the air. You hang out your shingle and start teaching and carry on the line to your students about how they can become big stars some day. HA. With all that time spent - you could have easily become very good at a profession which would allow you to have a house instead of living in some roach infested apartment. Maybe you were lucky enough to net a good income off of your students - or whatever, but most live hand to mouth and I know quite a few. Suzuki - yeah a lousy "method" for producing proficient musicians but good enough for squeaking out a few tunes for personal enjoyment.

Oh yeah, by the way - if you want to make it in this business you gotta get connected - and young. Now one who plays exceptionally well makes it now. You know why??? Because it's called job protection - if everyone is mediocre, everyone stays employed. Hear the NY Philharmonic lately???? The dissonance is incredible, and the struggle to keep it together. No wonder audiences are leaving, even the ones who used to like the symphony.

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Actually, I don't even like Mozart that much, but never mind about that. . . What I'm saying is that it seems to me that most people are lessed impressed nowadays by musicality than by flashy technique. In fact, from my experience, most people don't even seem to realise the existence of musicality! Maybe I'm only the person who's finding this, which is the problem. . .

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I agree with you that memorising music can help one loosen up and be more musical, I find that too. By no means am I saying that what the Suzuki method gives to those who learn by it is no good, I appreciate very much what it gives me, but I do think that the method in itself doesn't actually encourage that much own interpretation or that sort of thing. I don't really know that much about this, but I reckon that you have adapted the method, perhaps without meaning to, to make it more balanced, and more effective. Just my opinion though!!

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: Lighten up? This is what happens when people feel that they can follow their dreams. You get down, right??? Then you "lighten up" and continue working on becoming the best you can. Then you get the shock when you audition for job after job. So you start a chamber music ensemble that no one wants to hear and you make $25 - $100 for playing to a bunch of drunks who don't care what you play, just fill the air. You hang out your shingle and start teaching and carry on the line to your students about how they can become big stars some day. HA. With all that time spent - you could have easily become very good at a profession which would allow you to have a house instead of living in some roach infested apartment. Maybe you were lucky enough to net a good income off of your students - or whatever, but most live hand to mouth and I know quite a few. Suzuki - yeah a lousy "method" for producing proficient musicians but good enough for squeaking out a few tunes for personal enjoyment.

: Oh yeah, by the way - if you want to make it in this business you gotta get connected - and young. Now one who plays exceptionally well makes it now. You know why??? Because it's called job protection - if everyone is mediocre, everyone stays employed. Hear the NY Philharmonic lately???? The dissonance is incredible, and the struggle to keep it together. No wonder audiences are leaving, even the ones who used to like the symphony.

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: : Lighten up? This is what happens when people feel that they can follow their dreams. You get down, right??? Then you "lighten up" and continue working on becoming the best you can. Then you get the shock when you audition for job after job. So you start a chamber music ensemble that no one wants to hear and you make $25 - $100 for playing to a bunch of drunks who don't care what you play, just fill the air. You hang out your shingle and start teaching and carry on the line to your students about how they can become big stars some day. HA. With all that time spent - you could have easily become very good at a profession which would allow you to have a house instead of living in some roach infested apartment. Maybe you were lucky enough to net a good income off of your students - or whatever, but most live hand to mouth and I know quite a few. Suzuki - yeah a lousy "method" for producing proficient musicians but good enough for squeaking out a few tunes for personal enjoyment.

: : Oh yeah, by the way - if you want to make it in this business you gotta get connected - and young. Now one who plays exceptionally well makes it now. You know why??? Because it's called job protection - if everyone is mediocre, everyone stays employed. Hear the NY Philharmonic lately???? The dissonance is incredible, and the struggle to keep it together. No wonder audiences are leaving, even the ones who used to like the symphony.

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Yes, of course it's easier to play music having heard a recording, and I absolutely agree that it's very frequently not possible at all. It's very common to go to a chamber group rehearsal and be expected to play the music with the other musicians before being given a chance to even look over it first.

However, it is not necessary to start the violin with sight reading and everything else all at once! In fact, the student is better off getting comfortable with the position of the violin and the bow-hold first. The recordings help the student to develop a good ear for music. Dr. Suzuki introduces sight-reading gently by merely requiring that the student looks at the music while they play, to get used to associating the notes on the staff with the ones on the fingerboard. Eventually, the student will learn to rely on the music. If the student is at an advanced level and still struggling desperately with rhythm and notes, they need to practice sight reading by going back to the beginning books and reading through them, getting simple sheet music material and reading that. If the student doesn't practice enough, it's their fault, not the method's.

If you have just begun studying the violin and your teacher expects you to sight-read like pro, then you need more guidance from the teacher and suggest that he or she learns more about the method they're teaching.

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You are right when you say that we are different people. And the difference is that you fail to see that Rachel Barton is a hack!

Listen to her play and you will hear the truth. Rachel Barton has less control over her bow than Katherine Hepburn over her neck. And the disease that causes her spasmatic play is undoubtedly the Suzuki method.

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No, the major difference between us is that I am not trying to control your opinion, but you are trying to control mine. I heard her play, in person. I thought and still think she sounded very good. You are absolutely entitled to your own point of view, but you cannot change mine, so bug off!

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