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Your stance on the Suzuki Method?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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christianhowes
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March 20, 2013 - 4:06 pm
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This article about the Suzuki Method was recently at the heart of some online controversy... what's your stance? Do you think the Suzuki Method is important and irreplaceable or do you think its too conservative and washed-up?
Click the link to the article below

http://christianhowes.com/2013.....eplaceable

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Late bloomer
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March 20, 2013 - 8:24 pm
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My first teacher used the Suzuki books but not the method. I feel like it was a good introduction to the instrument.

I still get the old books out and play the tunes . Sounds a lot better now.  amuse

No matter where you go, there you are!

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Picklefish
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March 20, 2013 - 8:46 pm
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Mark Oconnor had an interesting blog about Suzuki recently. He felt it was time for a new method, an American method. He coincidentally happens to be hawkin his own American fiddle method. I own the first two books and they are on the same par as Suzuki in progression and style. When I think of what the detractors have to say about Suzuki always seem to come back to how it was taught. Suzuki the teacher felt that playing the violin should be fun, something the child wants to do. Something that can be used to develop talent.

Teacher....why is it the method gets the blame for crummy burned out teachers? It doesnt matter what repetoire  you use, if the teacher isnt good....just sayin.

http://markoconnorblog.blogspot.com/

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Chris
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March 24, 2013 - 3:21 pm
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It's not irreplaceable. To be honest, I've never heard about "Suzuki method" before. And I play somehow. My first half year of playing violin (when I had a teacher - now I unfortunately don't have) was... well on lessons I was just playing songs from the book, I got from my teacher and he was playing the piano at the same time to help me find the right tone. That's all. As I said I've never heard of it and nothing serious happened to me :D

I have only played violin, because the theory I have on guitar lessons.

Greetings from Poland ;)

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coolpinkone
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March 24, 2013 - 3:29 pm
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I seem to "get" the suzuki method... I bought book one...and without a teacher.. it is of no use for me.  I just don't quite understand it and it moves to fast.  Maybe if I had the dvds?

Oh well... I am not knowledgeable enough to debate a teaching method.. I just know that by hook or crook I am learning... very very slowly.

 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Picklefish
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March 25, 2013 - 10:02 am
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I think he was just advertising for his blog post. lol

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Tyberius
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March 25, 2013 - 9:42 pm
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You all need to try the Tyberius Method.

1 : It consists of taking all your strings off your violin and then draw them on with a sharpie.

2 : Next, get a really good set of violin solos on your iPod and turn it on high.

3: Then just saw the curved stick with the whiteish string on it in any way you can manage. Try to get it going back and forth in some manner or another

4: Finally, dangle jam your fingers to and fro across that black stick looking thing. The one that runs from from the wing looking hole plugs on the end to the brown wood where the funky 2 holes are. Trying to not let your finger fall off  the black stick.

The technical aspect above can be tricky to master, but with my 5 step program, you too can be a musician. Yea, i said 5 steps. Really step 0 is get your violin and it just sounds better for marketing. I mean who would sign up for a 4 step program. ;)

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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JaredA
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March 27, 2013 - 10:27 pm
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Tyberius said
You all need to try the Tyberius Method.

1 : It consists of taking all your strings off your violin and then draw them on with a sharpie.

2 : Next, get a really good set of violin solos on your iPod and turn it on high.

3: Then just saw the curved stick with the whiteish string on it in any way you can manage. Try to get it going back and forth in some manner or another

4: Finally, dangle jam your fingers to and fro across that black stick looking thing. The one that runs from from the wing looking hole plugs on the end to the brown wood where the funky 2 holes are. Trying to not let your finger fall off  the black stick.

The technical aspect above can be tricky to master, but with my 5 step program, you too can be a musician. Yea, i said 5 steps. Really step 0 is get your violin and it just sounds better for marketing. I mean who would sign up for a 4 step program. ;)

*starts throwing money at the screen* 

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Tyberius
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March 28, 2013 - 1:30 am
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Jared, there are, of course, advanced lessons and techniques.

1: Wooden wing-nuts to False-etto tuning.

2: Bridges? We don't need no stinking bridges.

3: Practice makes Pirfling

4: Don't (double) Stop Believing

5: Shoulder, Chin and the Rest of your body.

blinklaughtongue

 

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Fiddlerman
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March 28, 2013 - 12:25 pm
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LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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coolpinkone
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March 28, 2013 - 4:43 pm
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@Tyberius....that is funny!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Robyn.fnq
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March 28, 2013 - 9:57 pm
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Tyberius ... way to go to get the forum topic way way off topic ...

What was the topic?

Anyway, the thread has improved markedly with your input, keep it up.

thumbs-up

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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Ferret
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March 31, 2013 - 3:58 am
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Frankly, after being on the the planet for 62+ years, I prefer the motorcycle to the violin technique. rofl

 

I've owned more more than one. thumbs-up

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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DanielB
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March 31, 2013 - 12:57 pm
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I'm not particularly familiar with the Suzuki method.  One hears it mentioned often enough in connection with violin though, in particular.

However, Mozart didn't use it, Paganini didn't use it, I don't think Milstein or Heifetz used it, either..(just to name a very few)  Therefor it does not seem logically possible to me that it is "irreplaceable".

Not saying it may not be a good method or useful for quite a few folks out there.  But irreplaceable?  Nah.

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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christianhowes
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April 1, 2013 - 8:01 pm
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good feedback

 

Yeah, i've taken a lot of heat for the word "irreplaceable". perhaps I could have chosen a better word. I didn't mean to imply that someone can't learn without the Suzuki method, rather that it occupies a very valuable distinctive space, or fulfills an important role within the various options of pedagogy.

 

If anything, I take issue with the need to update the repertoire and skills learned through the method, but it's the actual teaching methodology that i believe is so worthwhile within a specific context- especially for young kids, when applied by well trained teachers. there are many "method books" that essentially just compile repertoire. That's only one aspect of a real methodology of teaching. Good Suzuki teachers do much more than suggest repertoire. 

 

I admire the adult beginners on this forum for your tenacity in the face of the widely held belief that it is more difficult to learn music later in life... In my humble opinion, Suzuki gives parents and teachers a way to nurture children from a very early age into great musicians and people.

 

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Fiddlestix
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I think, Mr. Suzuki's intention's were to build character as well as learning to play music.

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Fiddlerman
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April 2, 2013 - 10:18 pm
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Indeed Christian, the adult beginners here have proven that it's never too late to learn. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Donald
Rødvig Stevns, Danmark
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May 4, 2013 - 1:05 pm
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My apologies I am not a violinist, but nothing much is happening on the viola forum and/or the viola forum has technical problems at the sister site violaman.com, so I join this here.

I came to viola more or less fresh (or desperate) without too many prejudices about different ways of learning so I searched around amongst the published learning materials on offer.

In the popular vein:

I bought the first 3 or 4 Suzuki books for Viola last year.

I also bought the first New Tune a Day for Viola with CD & DVD last year.

In the classical vein:

I also bought (secondhand, out of print ?) Dolejsi: Modern Viola Technique last year.

I also bought (secondhand, out of print ?) Henry Barrett: The Viola - Complete Guide for Teachers and Students last year.

I also bought (secondhand) Sitt: Bratschenschule last year.

I next bought a secondhand 83 year old Italian viola (which took nearly a year to find within my $1000 budget, thinking if I look after it it will keep its value, or if I am lucky maybe it is worth more than I paid for it). I needed to get some incidentals like a bow, rosin, tuning pipes for it, as it was just the viola and a case… it was from a lapsed or deceased collector´s collection, still missing a shoulder rest however, maybe the collector was not a musician.

The Barrett and Dolejsi were both worth reading (to me, as an adult, but too serious, technical  or boring for small children).

I realized the Suzuki method is intended for classroom use, one teacher and many students, probably young students. I eliminated the Suzuki method as I have no teacher and the Suzuki method assumes you have a teacher, hence I suspect it leaves things out that the teacher is going to tell you or help you with. (I think I can get along to a large degree by myself as I have learnt three other instruments long ago and I am self-motivated / addicted  vis-à-vis the viola.)

The New Tune a Day has succeeded (in my opinion) in providing materials : the book, the CD and the DVD combined in the latest edition (2006); such that it is possible (although it may not always work) for students to cope by themselves.

If you have an internet connection, the situation is even better, as you can look at and listen to numerous viola (or violin) advice and suggestions online.

From there, I left the Suzuki alone, and starting in March I worked through the New Tune a Day for Viola Book 1, and have a couple of weeks ago bought the follow up New Tune a Day for Viola - Performance Pieces book with CD.

I would buy the New Tune a Day for Viola Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, except that their predecessor editions have not been updated to include CDs yet (I mean the new editions do not exist yet, new as in updated from the decades old versions of  “A Tune a Day for Viola Book 2 3 4 etc”)

 

In my experience I have gone through widely different teaching methods over a 9 year period across the other three instruments. In the early stages, or for beginners, I don´t think it makes too much difference if you learn in a class or have individual instruction. But if you keep it up for 5 or 8 years, I think at some point you are going to need to get an expert teacher giving you individual lessons. For classical work, that can ultimately mean moving to Germany or Italy for a year for some people (for instance from Australia).

An interesting observation by Barrett, who conducted an extensive viola pedagogy survey in the US 50 years ago, was that most viola teachers are violinists, a situation which Barrett found woeful.

A disturbing observation (source forgotten) was that one writer (name forgotten) opined that before learning the viola, all violists must learn the violin.

I think the way into learning an instrument that you choose will best take account of your taste in music and your age. Such approaches as New Tune a Day and Suzuki are more suited to youngsters or those with mixed eclectic musical tastes.

Short answer to my stance on the Suzuki method: I compared the books for the Suzuki method with the book & CD & DVD of New Tune a Day and went with New Tune a Day, but the problem with that will be that the subsequent updated books are not published yet. 

 

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Picklefish
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Congratulatins you found what works for you! While you are waiting for the other books to be published you can absolutely go into the suzuki book 1 and take a stab at learning those. Its pretty straight forward, not much mystery really. This would give you something to play, but also practice sight reading. You can never have too much repetoirre. Youtube is chock ful of people playing the tunes if you want to listen before you play or need a video to follow.

I used the New tune a day book 1 for Cello and found it way too simplified for me. Although it did do a great job explaining the basics, I am waiting for book 2.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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pky
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May 5, 2013 - 10:57 am
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Suzuki method is not irreplaceable; it's one of the many methods. Teachers pick what they are comfortable with and that matches with their philosophy of teaching music to teach their students.

I personally don't go against any method of teaching as long as I felt I'm (the students) learning and making progress ...

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