Sign in to follow this  
Kallie

How do they mass produce violinists?

Recommended Posts

I also wish people would stop knocking the Suzuki material. There is nothing "wrong " with it. Bach is Bach.

 

 

 

People don't knock the Suzuki material - some people knock the Suzuki method because it tries to teach violin the wrong way. By which I mean, there is something missing and it's missing right at the time when it's easier to learn and get right.

 

The Suzuki material is probably just stuff collected from various sources. Myself doubt it is as good as an established method but I see no reason why it might not do. Given ample supervision and practice time, one could start learning violin with the Brahms concerto.  Maybe nonsensical but surely not an impossibility.

 

I can articulate exactly what the problem with the Suzuki method is, by the way. But I won't get into that. Will L had recently a very nice post where he outlined the issue pretty nicely.

 

But we should not generalize. I am sure there are Suzuki teachers of exceptional caliber out there. I wish one of those would pop in and explain what's all about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took that from cj's post:

...his brother Alex had this to say: "My teacher did use the Suzuki material …I'll never forget that feeling of “graduation” when I began to work on the Bach A minor and moved away from the the Suzuki material...

And I have heard that sort of thing before...people "mocking" or putting down certain pieces because they are in method books...or are student pieces...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/11188226/Violin-teacher-Suzuki-is-the-biggest-fraud-in-music-history-says-expert.html

 

 

"""According to the British Suzuki Institute, there are currently more than a quarter of a million Suzuki students being taught by 8,000 teachers worldwide.

Minette Joyce, the institute’s administrator, said: “The idea behind the Suzuki method is people can be taught to play an instrument to the best of their ability. It isn’t designed to turn out professional musicians but to enable children to play regardless of their ability and to increase their enjoyment of the music.”"""

 

 

 

I am sure they can be taught but I question that the Suzuki method is the right way to teach them to the best of their ability. Unless that's the ability when they start. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could ask, what does everyone have against the Suzuki method? People keep saying it is wrong to teach a child that way, but WHY do you say that?

Im not for or against it. I dont have enough info yet to decide yet. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL...that was actually rather cute! :D

 

I hope there were no dark closets involved... :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could ask, what does everyone have against the Suzuki method? People keep saying it is wrong to teach a child that way, but WHY do you say that?

Im not for or against it. I dont have enough info yet to decide yet. :P

 

Because in order to play, the Suzuki child must remember where the fingers go and eventually (?) the melody. 

( give deep thought before disagreeing :) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could ask, what does everyone have against the Suzuki method? People keep saying it is wrong to teach a child that way, but WHY do you say that?

Im not for or against it. I dont have enough info yet to decide yet. :P

Connie thoroughly covered all the usual objections  :) .  Mine is that I mentally associate the unbearably cute mass photos of thousands of little Suzuki victims sawing away in unison with what I know of the incredibly competitive nature of Japanese education and school admissions ("Hey lookee!  My 4 year old play violin!!!), and suddenly want to upchuck.  :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suzuki's work is really a fundamental philosphy about how children learn and how they can be taught to play the violin or learn music in general.  Some teacher's employ those concepts well and other's do not.  Some just take a specific aspect - so do not get the 'holistic' effect of teh entire philosophy; for instance, 'Suzuki' students are supposed to learn to read music integrally with learning to play by ear, both are valuable and as most violinists cannot play by ear it would not be a bad skill set to add to the violinists training, but if kids come out of a studio not being able to read msuic, that is only the fault of the teachers, not of a 'method.'   One of the greatest values for a child to learn to play the violin is the amount of physical and mental demands it places on them.  Coordination, fine motor skills, and mental focus - any advancement in these adds value to the childs life and raises their chances of success in whatever they chose to do. Being forced to stick with something is also not a bad thing as it teaches something about what it takes to become skilled and hopefully also teaches them that its the hard things in life that give us the greatest sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.   

I bristle at those who say that this method or that method "just produces a bunch of robots,"  with obvious disgust.  The way I see is is someone came up with a way (be it Suzuki, or Galamian) to teach kids, who may not be musically gifted, at least the physical skills to play the violin proficiently.   That is something amazing to me (and community orchestras around the world benefit from their skills).   I sincerely doubt any of these methods suppress any musical talent that a student posesses, but it might give someone who is musically talented - but perhaps a little lacking in the phsycial skills - a path to develop the skills needed to express their musicality,   I sure wish I had had a Suzuki program to enter when I was 4, with a skilled teacher to show me the correct way to hold a bow and an instrument, but it did not exist here. 

 

About forcing kids to practice:  to a point and within reason it is good parenting.  It is a rare individual who will say, as an adult, "Gee, I wish my parents had not made me practice so much".   Quite the opposite for most, my mother reminded me to practice but never made me do it.  How I wish she had been more insistant.  My kids did not take to it, but while they were taking they had to practice.  They were given points at which they were allowed to opt out, but not until after significant time and effort wrere expended.  Both regret it today, but also remember that every effort was made to encourage them to stick with it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent post, Dr. S. Last night I was thinking about Michael Rabin and the price he paid emotionally and psychologically for the musical accomplishment that might just as easily have been fostered through a more loving approach to both the child and the violin. He would likely still be alive today. I have little doubt that had he studied with a good Suzuki teacher (which, of course, would only have happened if his parents had been less competitively driven), he would have achieved a career that would have lasted a long time. We'd have many more recordings, and he undoubtedly would have fallen into the hands of Mr. Galamian eventually, anyway. Highly talented kids pass through the Suzuki curriculum very quickly.

 

We live in a small town with four small high school orchestras. From my daughter's graduating class of 200, two of the students have already achieved genuine professional musical success, one in one of the top US symphonies, and the other in a top, prize-winning, internationally-known string quartet. One is a product of "traditional" teaching; the other is the product of an excellent Suzuki studio. It's such a silly argument to dismiss any obviously successful introduction of children to music. And in truth, I have never met a Suzuki student who couldn't read music at the proper time. It's important to realize that most kids can't read till they are four or five, anyway.

 

I am not involved in Suzuki as a student, parent, or teacher, but the many benefits of it seem obvious. Among them:

  • Many, many more young people who might not otherwise be engaged in private violin lessons successfully now are.
  • Even parents who know nothing about violin are engaged and involved in the educational process.
  • Kids get to play with other kids--it's like being in a club. This is especially valuable to the less motivated or less talented kids. It helps them understand that there's more to music than winning a competition or audition. It helps them understand that music can be fun and socially engaging. 
  • Public schools are not getting the job done musically any more, and Suzuki steps in as an alternative to the all-or-nothing approach that is typical of traditional approaches.

So many talented kids never gain access to quality musical instruction simply because their parents don't appreciate or value it. Suzuki helps fill in for those kids who don't have the environment cultivated in their home. 

 

So while I know that a lot of kids--whether Suzuki-products or traditionally trained--ultimately quit music, I think the Suzuki approach may leave them with more positive experience to reflect on.

 

Just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suzuki's work is really a fundamental philosphy about how children learn and how they can be taught to play the violin or learn music in general.  Some teacher's employ those concepts well and other's do not.  Some just take a specific aspect - so do not get the 'holistic' effect of teh entire philosophy; for instance, 'Suzuki' students are supposed to learn to read music integrally with learning to play by ear, both are valuable and as most violinists cannot play by ear it would not be a bad skill set to add to the violinists training, but if kids come out of a studio not being able to read msuic, that is only the fault of the teachers, not of a 'method.'   One of the greatest values for a child to learn to play the violin is the amount of physical and mental demands it places on them.  Coordination, fine motor skills, and mental focus - any advancement in these adds value to the childs life and raises their chances of success in whatever they chose to do. Being forced to stick with something is also not a bad thing as it teaches something about what it takes to become skilled and hopefully also teaches them that its the hard things in life that give us the greatest sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.   

I bristle at those who say that this method or that method "just produces a bunch of robots,"  with obvious disgust.  The way I see is is someone came up with a way (be it Suzuki, or Galamian) to teach kids, who may not be musically gifted, at least the physical skills to play the violin proficiently.   That is something amazing to me (and community orchestras around the world benefit from their skills).   I sincerely doubt any of these methods suppress any musical talent that a student posesses, but it might give someone who is musically talented - but perhaps a little lacking in the phsycial skills - a path to develop the skills needed to express their musicality,   I sure wish I had had a Suzuki program to enter when I was 4, with a skilled teacher to show me the correct way to hold a bow and an instrument, but it did not exist here. 

 

About forcing kids to practice:  to a point and within reason it is good parenting.  It is a rare individual who will say, as an adult, "Gee, I wish my parents had not made me practice so much".   Quite the opposite for most, my mother reminded me to practice but never made me do it.  How I wish she had been more insistant.  My kids did not take to it, but while they were taking they had to practice.  They were given points at which they were allowed to opt out, but not until after significant time and effort wrere expended.  Both regret it today, but also remember that every effort was made to encourage them to stick with it. 

 

In red what I disagree with. Blue , what I agree with. :)

 

1. I don't think we can call "Suzuki's work" a fundamental philosophy. It's a bit much. It's a system, a way, a method even. Stolyarsky had a fundamental phylosophy. Suzuki was a self taught amateur with little or no comprehension as to how certain mishaps in the beginning of one's learning damage badly one's chances to achieve professional excellency.

 

2. What do you mean exactly by "learn to read music" ? What IS in your opinion or experience, "reading music" ? 

 

3. You may bristle with disgust but your " I sincerely doubt any of these methods suppress any musical talent the student possesses" tells me two things, one of them being that you might want to have a few talks with established and competent violin teachers who struggle to teach and "repair" former Suzuki pupils whom while being talented have non the less failed to learn certain things right and at the right time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I am not involved in Suzuki as a student, parent, or teacher, but the many benefits of it seem obvious. Among them:

  • Many, many more young people who might not otherwise be engaged in private violin lessons successfully now are.
  • Even parents who know nothing about violin are engaged and involved in the educational process.
  • Kids get to play with other kids--it's like being in a club. This is especially valuable to the less motivated or less talented kids. It helps them understand that there's more to music than winning a competition or audition. It helps them understand that music can be fun and socially engaging. 
  • Public schools are not getting the job done musically any more, and Suzuki steps in as an alternative to the all-or-nothing approach that is typical of traditional approaches.

So many talented kids never gain access to music simply because their parents don't appreciate or value it. Suzuki helps fill in for those kids who don't have the environment cultivated in their home. 

 

So while I know that a lot of kids--whether Suzuki-products or traditionally trained--ultimately quit music, I think the Suzuki approach may leave them with more positive experience to reflect on.

 

Just my opinion.

 

Excellent points. If I may ask, what do you as negatives in the Suzuki method ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do they mass produce violinists?

 

Simple.  By excellent teaching that excites children and enables to play well at an early age.  Suzuki was one of the world's great teachers, and many excellent teachers in the U.S. were influenced by him and adopted many of his ideas.  A good number of those students went on to become top professionals, some of them internationally known artists.

 

I would be a much better player if I had had access to that kind of teaching as a child.

 

That kind of success is also why so many teachers later used the books or adopted the method -- at least in name.  Keep in mind that even incompetent teachers can use Suzuki methods and materials -- or claim to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who are the Internationally renowned ones? Just curious...when I look someone up I generally read their bios...but not all the time. ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some include Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Koh, Nicola Benedetti, Brian Lewis, William Preucil, Jr., Rachel Barton, Leila Josefewicz, Lara & Scott St. John....others?

 

(I don't know how far each continued in the program, but they began with it.)

 

Add: Sarah Chang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some include Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Koh, Nicola Benedetti, Brian Lewis, William Preucil, Jr., Rachel Barton, Leila Josefewicz, Lara & Scott St. John....others?

 

(I don't know how far each continued in the program, but they began with it.)

 

Wikipedia :

 

"She began playing the violin one month before her fourth birthday in the Suzuki Program of Baltimore's Peabody Institute. She participated in a Suzuki class for a year"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  A good number of those students went on to become top professionals, some of them internationally known artists.

 

A good number of GREAT players started with their daddy / mommy who was either a professional player or an amateur. The Daddy Method is better than the Suzuki Method. Think Heifetz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what happens to the musically gifted child whose Daddy isn't a violinist? Are you proposing the Daddy Method as the exclusive path to greatness? And is being GREAT the singular goal or purpose of playing the violin? And what if Daddy (or Mommy) is pathologically driven at the child's expense, like Rabin's?

 

I wonder why so many prodigies burn out...... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what happens to the musically gifted child whose Daddy isn't a violinist? Are you proposing the Daddy Method as the exclusive path to greatness? And is being GREAT the singular goal or purpose of playing the violin? And what if Daddy (or Mommy) is pathologically driven at the child's expense, like Rabin's?

 

I wonder why so many prodigies burn out...... 

 

It was a joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!

BTW...am I the only person who has no interest in actually going to see a child prodigy in a performance?

I actually really enjoy recitals...I like seeing how kids learn...and I like watching YouTube recital clips of the occasional youngster as I happen on them while surfing for other information ...

But I wouldn't pay to go listen to a child specifically...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!

BTW...am I the only person who has no interest in actually going to see a child prodigy in a performance?

I actually really enjoy recitals...I like seeing how kids learn...and I like watching YouTube recital clips of the occasional youngster as I happen on them while surfing for other information ...

But I wouldn't pay to go listen to a child specifically...

 

Nope. I couldn't be bothered either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have the patience to wade through all the things written here, which means I really should NOT even chime in at all. :)   But I would like to ask this:

 

Is anyone saying—or could it be said—that Suzuki used the violin as a means of producing better, happier children, rather than merely teaching the violin?

 

And, it seems to me that the real way to judge any method— whatever one wishes to call it—needs to be done in relation to all other methods:  Given 100 Suzuki students and 100 Maia Bang students, which gives better results.  Is there a better way to look at it?  If I'm a parent, of course I don't want my kid to end up damaged, but I want him to play as well as his talent will allow.  So I'd be looking for accurate information about the various available methods.

 

I suppose it's not that simple, of course, since perhaps one method might be stronger in certain areas. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have the patience to wade through all the things written here, which means I really should NOT even chime in at all. :)   But I would like to ask this:

 

Is anyone saying—or could it be said—that Suzuki used the violin as a means of producing better, happier children, rather than merely teaching the violin?

 

And, it seems to me that the real way to judge any method— whatever one wishes to call it—needs to be done in relation to all other methods:  Given 100 Suzuki students and 100 Maia Bang students, which gives better results.  Is there a better way to look at it?  If I'm a parent, of course I don't want my kid to end up damaged, but I want him to play as well as his talent will allow.  So I'd be looking for accurate information about the various available methods.

 

I suppose it's not that simple, of course, since perhaps one method might be stronger in certain areas. 

 

Good question ! Let's see - is this Suzuki ?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Is anyone saying—or could it be said—that Suzuki used the violin as a means of producing better, happier children, rather than merely teaching the violin?

 

 

 reedman said something like this in post 19 of this thread. Since I know little about Suzuki, I found it to be one of the more enlightening posts on this thread:

 

"Any GOOD Suzuki teacher augments material from Book 1 on. Everyone continues on beyond Mozart, and that is where Suzuki ends, so OF COURSE they go to "traditional" lessons (whatever those are). And not having your child participate in music because they don't want to? What 5 year old wants to do something that is hard? Is that going to carry over into other subjects also? What are they ever going to do? I think the parent ought to take responsibility for the child they have brought into the world, and give them the guidance to do music because it is GOOD for them. And asking them to become excellent in their playing will carry over into other areas of their life too. Isn't that just being a responsible parent? Encouraging your children to be better? Heck yes! Glad that all of our children did well in music (and are still doing well)? Absolutely! Did we force them into music? Absolutely not. And they are great people, and music is one thing that has made them what they are. And yes, they are all Suzuki kids."

 

I sometimes think that the early stage of music education isn't much different than youth sports: the absolute most important thing is that the kids have FUN doing it. In the process, they become used to the hard work required for further success. For some, the discipline continues to be focused into music (or sports)--but for others, it begins to be applied in other endeavors that satisfy a deeper passion. That's what happened to me, anyway.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sometimes think that the early stage of music education isn't much different than youth sports

 

The music parents are less likely to start fights in the stands.  :)  :lol:

 

Also, I haven't yet heard of competition over orchestra slots that led to mothers murdering each other.  :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.