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The Suzuki Method

Suzuki Method for the Music Program

The Suzuki method of Talent Education is applied to the music program at Palm Valley Montessori School. This method, and other proven developmental approaches to learning a variety of new skills, will be offered.

Shinichi Suzuki developed fundamental principles by which any skill or “talent” can be developed to a high level by recognizing and taking advantage of natural processes in human development. The Suzuki method is used to design the means by which many types of skills can be taught to the child. Suzuki’s Talent Education approach is highly consistent with the developmental approach of Maria Montessori, and for this reason there is a long history of co-existence of Suzuki programs within Montessori schools—especially for musical instrument instruction. Another developmental music education program that has been popular in Montessori schools is Orff Schulwerk, developed by renowned composer and music educator Carl Orff. Orff describes his method as “elemental music” because it introduces the basic building blocks of rhythm, melody, and creative play (improvisation) through movement, singing, and playing simple pitched and unpitched instruments. Both methods are highly complementary to each other and to Montessori’s music curriculum. Orff Schulwerk is particularly well-suited for teaching music skills to children with disabilities and for facilitating their inclusion in musical performances; in fact, at the request of Dr. Hellbrugge, an Orff Music Therapy Program was developed to benefit children with disabilities at Aktion Sonnenschein in Munich.

Shinichi developed fundamental principles by which any skill or “talent” can be learned. The basis for this set of principles is that the subject is taught in the same way that a child learns language. The Suzuki method is used to design how the skill is taught to the child. The Suzuki method is a guide how and when a skill is introduced to a child. The goal is always to give the child the maximum amount of challenge and still achieve a rate of success.