Practice Corner: Listening

Most parents start their journey of being a Suzuki parent without very much knowledge of what the Suzuki Method is. Often they’ve heard about the Suzuki Method in passing, but the philosophy is something new. When we start talking to a new parent about music, the first thing we tell them about is listening.

This is one of the major points of the Suzuki Method. Way before the “Mozart Effect”, Suzuki was working with students by having them listen. Historically it was a prime time to introduce this into music education. Recordings were widely availible, and we no longer had to rely solely on printed music to discover how a piece sounds.

  • How can listening help?
  • Train a sense of melody and understanding of the relationships between notes
  • Train a sense of harmony and how parts fit together
  • Train a sense of rhythm, length of notes and steady beat
  • Hearing the difference in bowings
  • Dr. Suzuki talked about listening 3 times as much as you practice! Set yourself up for success by having a designated place and routine around your listening. Here are a few ideas:
  • While the family eats breakfast
  • In the car
  • During daily play time
  • With friends
  • During homework
  • While getting ready for bed
  • Make sure your recording is convenient to play and listen to. Make a copy for different CD players or put it on your iPod. Need to mix it up? Add some different violin/orchestra/chamber music/fiddle pieces to give your ears something fresh.

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