What is Suzuki? 

The Suzuki violin method was developed by in the 1940s by the Japanese violinist, Dr. Sinichi Suzuki. Dr Suzuki observed how easily children learn to speak their native language, first by observing and listening, and then by repetition and memory. He turned this into an approach for teaching music, called Talent Education.

Because he was a violinist, Dr Suzuki first applied the principles to teaching the violin, though today the Suzuki method is used for many other instruments as well.

Dr Suzuki believed that given the right loving and nurturing environment, all children could reach their highest potential. This forms the basis of our teaching today, with parents closely involved in the learning process both in lessons and at home.

Key Principles of the Suzuki Method

Parent Training

All SVWNY parents receive comprehensive parent training sessions and learn the basics of playing the violin ahead of their child. This helps increase the likelihood of an enjoyable and successful learning experience for the child and the family.

Early Start

Violin instruction can begin at any age, even as early as 3 years old, depending on the child’s readiness and interest. Each child is different and has his or her own way of indicating when the time is right.


Listening to the music is a critical part of the learning process. Children are first introduced to Suzuki pieces by listening and becoming familiar with them before they learn to play them. Then they continue to listen to them on an ongoing basis, building their musical library.


All Suzuki students learn the musical pieces for their respective instruments in the same sequence. We focus a lot on reviewing past pieces as a way to build the skills and techniques needed for future and more challenging music.


As Dr Suzuki observed, children learn their native languages first by listening, by speaking, and later on, they read. Following the natural order of learning, we likewise focus first on learning how to speak (play) with our violin, and reading comes later. As a result Suzuki students develop very strong listening and technical skills, and then when the time is right, naturally transition into avid music readers.

A Mix of Individual and Group Activities

At SVWNY all children have weekly private lessons, and they also participate in relaxed, informal group classes about once a month. This gives them their first experiences of making music with others. Because all children learn the Suzuki pieces in the same sequence, they are very quickly able to play together. Group classes also provide an opportunity for parents to meet each other. The social aspect of our Suzuki community is strong, and we find it is a key motivator for the children to spend time with their peers.

Success Breeds Success

As children take the Suzuki journey, developing new skills, listening and learning to play, they cross many milestones along the way:

  • Being encouraged by their parents, teacher and friends
  • Learning to overcome small setbacks
  • Receiving and responding to honest feedback
  • Sharing each other’s successes

All contribute to the process of learning, not just for music, but for life.