I have found what appears to be a lovely pre-school for DS when we make our big move to Brazil in October. They will take him mid-term and they teach in English part time and Portuguese part time which is great because he is fluent in both. They also strongly encourage the children to learn either the piano or violin from age 4 (DS is 5) and teach 10 minutes every day on a one to one basis. However, they use the Suzuki method and I have no idea what it is. Can anyone help? I could of course telephone the school and ask but am sure that MNers will know the answer because you seem to know about everything!
The suzuki method was devised to mimic the way we learn language. It emphasises playing by ear over learning to read music, playing from a very early age, and requires supervised daily practice. So it means a lot of input from parents too.
I'm not sure of the in's and out's of it - but it's where they learn by imitation (like others have said) but usually no music - all by ear. Some teachers introduce written music as they progress - while others don't - so if it turn's out your DS has a knack for whatever instrument he learns I'd recommend helping him learn to read music too.
He can choose between violin or piano. I hate the violin but used to be a good piano player (totally useless now) so I would prefer that because I could help him. But does that mean he won't learn to read music? So won't he have to go back to basics once he changes schools and if he decides to carry on? Hmm, sounds rather strange to me, what do you reckon, good idea or not?
he will learn to read music, and I think they name the notes. But bear in mind that in lots of countries 5 year olds can't read but they sure can talk. being able to talk first does not mean you will never read.
When you come to read music, you apply the knowledge you already have.
It's a good method because you learn to listen to yourself. Unlike some of my students from other teachers who say "I don't know, I don't really listen to what I'm playing".
If he starts with the suzuki method I would stick to it, as it is very different to standard methods. I also think it has advantges in encouraging a natural style of playing rather than an academically correct one.
I think piano would be easier if he wanted to learn to read music later but lots of suzuki methods do now introduce readign music at soem stage, as the method has been criticised for not teaching reading of music. You would have to check the policy of that school.