Suzuki Violin Program

Heritage Music Academy is proud to be the first music school in Markham to offer a Suzuki-style Program for violin. The focus of the program is to provide students, from an early age, musical proficiency to facilitate competent violin playing. Beginning to play an instrument when young invariably means increased technical dexterity, including co-ordination and fine-motor skills, and greater aural aptitude.

The Program is designed to develop students’ listening skills, memory, and practicing routines, while improving self-motivation, initiative, concentration, work discipline, confidence, and interaction with others.

To enhance learning, parents receive guidance in how to assist their child’s study at home, between scheduled lesson times.

Heritage Music Academy offers two introductory Suzuki group programs depending on the age of the child:

  • Heritage Suzuki Junior Pre-Twinklers (ages 4-6, beginners)
  • Heritage Suzuki Senior Pre-Twinklers (ages 6+, beginners)

Program features include:

  • weekly individual violin lessons
  • biweekly group lessons
  • numerous performance opportunities throughout the year
  • graduation recitals (after completion of Twinkle variations, Book 1, Book 2, etc)
  • option to participate in local/national music competitions
  • option to participate in RCM examination program

Our Program incorporates the philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki (1898 – 1998) with aspects of pedagogical insights of some of the great methods of violin and piano playing.

Dr. Suzuki began to teach himself the violin in his late teens, by listening to recordings of performers such as Mischa Elman. At about the age of 26, Dr. Suzuki travelled to Germany to be taught by the violin teacher Karl Klingler.

The experience of not being able to study the violin at an earlier age influenced Dr. Suzuki in articulating a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of the learning environment, and the impact of encouragement, support, and constructive counselling in achieving positive learning outcomes. He also identified an analogy between learning a musical instrument and acquiring a mother-tongue.

Dr. Suzuki took the view that “man is the son of his environment”. He also believed that “where love is deep, much will be accomplished”, and "if a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance".

In more practical terms, Dr. Suzuki devised a system of early childhood music education, utilizing group lessons where children learn the violin by listening, observing, repeating, and memorizing musical pieces and compositions as taught by their instructor.

The idea is to apply principles and processes of language acquisition to learning music and a musical instrument, bearing in mind that children have little difficulty learning to speak their native language as, from birth, they are continuously exposed to the sounds and inflections of their mother-tongue. Reading musical notation is postponed until a basic level of technical ability on the violin, or piano, is achieved.

In keeping with the philosophy of Dr. Suzuki, the Heritage Suzuki Program seeks to develop the innate talent and musical potential that each child possess through the provision of a proper environment for learning and musical training. Involvement of parents at instrumental lessons, group classes, and at home with the child is encouraged, and the importance of regularly listening to recordings of music being learned is stressed.

Children who are enrolled in the Heritage Suzuki Program are offered weekly individual violin lessons, as well as weekly group lessons on their instrument.

The Suzuki repertoire is taught in conjunction with individually tailored technical works, etudes and studies, as well as compositions that may be suitable in addition to the material contained in the Suzuki literature. At the option of participants in the Heritage Suzuki Program, students may also receive instructions from our teachers in preparing for Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.

Further information about the Suzuki Method, and the philosophy of Dr. Suzuki, may be obtained by reading his books, for example, “Nurtured by Love” or “Ability Development from Age Zero”.

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