This book is the cornerstone upon which to build any Suzuki library. In it, the author presents the philosophy and principles of Suzuki's teaching methods. Through the examples from his own life and teaching, Suzuki establishes his case for early childhood education and the high potential of every human being---not just those seemingly gifted.
Shinichi Suzuki (鈴木 鎮一 Suzuki Shin'ichi?, 17 October 1898 – 26 January 1998) was the inventor of the international Suzuki method of music education and developed a philosophy for educating people of all ages and abilities. Considered an influential pedagogue in music education of children, he often spoke of the ability of all children to learn things well, especially in the right environment, and of developing the heart and building the character of music students through their music education. Before his time, it was rare for children to be formally taught classical instruments from an early age and even more rare for children to be accepted by a music teacher without an audition or entrance examination. Not only did he endeavor to teach children the violin from early childhood and then infancy, his school in Matsumoto did not screen applicants for their ability upon entrance. Suzuki was also responsible for the early training of some of the earliest Japanese violinists to be successfully appointed to prominent western classical music organizations. During his lifetime, he received several honorary doctorates in music including from the New England Conservatory of Music (1956), and the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, was proclaimed a Living National Treasure of Japan, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.
I have to admit that I've had an unwarrented bias against the Suzuki method growing up because a lot of my music teachers have been unimpressed when they get transfer students from this method who can't read music. The method, especially at first, relies a lot on the ear. As I have been studying different approaches to teaching music to children, curiosity got the better of me and I have done some research and have been very impressed with what I've found. I think a lot of the reason students fail with this method is because this method relies a LOT on parental involvement, with the mother taking lessons with her child and they learn the instrument together. It also involves creating an environment that encourages musical growth. Just as all Japanese children learn to speak Japanese, this approach teaches much by environment. I have decided that this is something I want to do with my own children, in conjunction with note reading via the Kodaly method, which can also start in the toddler years. The reason I didn't give it a 5 was that the fantastic book which was so inspirational to me ended with a socialistic plug for the government to step in and see to it that all children can receive this kind of education. Granted, he grew up in Japan, but I am disgusted at the idea of the United Nations implementing something like this, making sure parents are giving their children opportunities to reach their full potential, yikes! If parents aren't trying to do that on their own, who is the government to say how they should be doing it? So, the political activist was disappointed with the last chapter, but the rest of the book was highly motivational and truly inspiring, I recommend this book to anyone considering the method for their children.
This is a re-read for me. I'm trying to review my Suzuki library since I've started teaching my daughter. Since this book is translated from Japanese and is more like a collection of short essays on different subjects it reads a little choppy, but it is the first place to go to become familiar with Shinichi Suzuki and his music-teaching method. I disagree with Suzuki in that he believes that natural-born talent doesn't exist, but at the same time I embrace his idea that EVERY child can learn. I also love his philosophy that we aren't teaching children to play a musical instrument, but we are forming their character and molding them into fine human beings by teaching them to play the violin. "I just want to make good citizens. If a child hears good music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart." Dr. Suzuki definitely had a beautiful heart and a love for children. He is definitely near the top of the list of people I would like to meet that have already passed on.
This is not a mere manual for parents who are thinking or have enrolled their children in Suzuki music lessons. This is a beautiful book of possibilities.
Suzuki lays out his belief that all humans are born with the ability to become noble and good people, they simply need exposure to and education in noble and good things. His aim is not to create a bunch of professional musicians, but for children to be brought up to be "splendid in mind and heart also."
This book inspired me to work hard to improve myself; to not merely think about what a good idea it would be to improve, but to act on the thought and enjoy the fruits of what was thought impossible - and to set an example of the same for my children.
The author is a very simple and kind person. His message is similarly simple. I would say this book's idea could be summarized in one sentence: "Kids are to be given an example and nurtured by love, not taught.".
I am so glad I read this book. I've always wanted to know more about the Suzuki method. I'd heard great things about it for years, but I've always thought that it was completely out of my range or abilities. With my limited experience and funds, I had always believed that achieving musical mastery by Suzuki method was not even a remote possibility. Now that I understand what it is all about, I wish I'd read this book years ago. It has many valuable gems in it. Suzuki's philosophy will transform your view of yourself, and of your children. It is comforting and inspiring.
This book wasn't what I was expecting at all. I thought it would cover how to teach children to be prodigies, and give examples and give out specific methods. Instead, this book reads like a memoir, following the story of Suzuki's life and how he was led to develop a new method of education.
Suzuki's basic philosophy is that there is no such thing as a child with More Talent, Less Talent, or No Talent. All children have infinite potential. This potential is tapped depending on their learning environment and training. A child's potential to learn is directly connected to his life force, his will. As parents train their children's characters to be noble, and they receive unconditional love and are shown an example of warm caring and love of learning, the young child will become primed for learning skills to the best of his ability.
Suzuki proposes that as all children become fluent in their mother tongue, so all children can become masters in music ( or any other skill for that matter) by learning the skill as they learn language. 1. They are surrounded by it from birth. Eat, breathe, and drink it! Surround yourself with it! 2. Their parents set the example (you need a mentor with skill that you can trust and follow) 3. The child wishes to follow the parents example. 4. The child is allowed to "play" with the skill, falling in love with it, having the desire to learn it. There is no force...ever. Only expectations. 5. Children are taught with great discipline, training, and constant repetition until they have achieved MASTERY of their skill.
Suzuki puts great emphasis on memorization, home environment, and high expectations of morality and quality of character. He stresses character first, then skills and training follow. The desired end is a warm-hearted, compassionate child with high sensibility. A moral and wholesome human being. The skills & abilities that follow this training are just a nice bonus.
Suzuki was a contemporary of Albert Einstein and lived with him for a time. Suzuki had amazing experiences and trials worth reading about and studying. He had a great love and respect for children. Suzuki had many opportunities to travel and be mentored by Great people. Through these experiences, he becomes convinced of the importance of Great and Inpsiring mentors for the young.
My favorite precept in this book is that it is never too late. Suzuki may have started training kids as babies, but he himself didn't play a violin till he was 18. Any of us can become a master of anything if we invest the proper time and dedication to it. The young who excel do so because they have earned it. They practice 3 hours a day, not for 5 minutes. If I want to achieve something, I need to put in sufficient work and energy. Something that may take a young child of 7 to learn with 500 repetitions may take me 5,000 repetitions...or more. Know this and have patience with yourself as you stretch for new personal achievements. That gives perspective!
The other teaching that struck a chord within me was Suzuki's stress on ACTION more than just thinking. He points out that if you have a good thought and don't act on it, that good thought hasn't done any good at all. You are just the same as you would have been if you had never thought it. (or you may be worse off if you continually rationalize why NOT to act on your good thought.)
Instead, he stresses the importance on acting on your goals and desires. Train your own will to accomplish those things you most desire. Do it Today. Now. Practice habits of ACTION and this will train your will/life force and enable you to learn more efficiently and live more effectively.
Very inspiring read for parents and educators everywhere! The kinds of things Suzuki proposes has made our world a better place to be!
This is part memoir, part manifesto to what Suzuki tried to impart in his students and what his method was about.
Boiled down, his method is:
1) There is no innate talent: every child is the product of their environment. 2) In this case, children should be taught music extremely early. The sooner the better. 3) The goal of teaching music is not to become great or show talent, it's to foster the inner spirit of every child and to develop good character. 4) Finally, he believed in memorization and playing by ear over learning to read music in the beginning.
The issues I had in the book is that it's not particularly well-structured, he kind of meanders from point to point, returning to points haphazard and interspersing anecdotes willy nilly. Also, it was translated in Japanese, there were a few odd word choices that conflicted with my English ears. I kept stumbling over words like "life force" since they aren't usual words in the English language.
Finally, my major complaint is that he spends a lot of time emphasizing that there is no innate talent and that the point of learning music isn't to become great at music but to foster the character of the child, but all his anecdotes are his students who became great at playing music. He doesn't include any examples of any of his students doing anything else other than playing music. The outsiders who come to his school are always astonished by his students' ability to play music, not their character. I'd like a lot more examples of the great character building that music is rather than his student who became a concert master in Germany.
The classic Suzuki read! I read this when my daughter began Suzuki piano lessons, and now that my son is learning too, I decided to give it another go. Dr. Suzuki believes that talent and virtue can be nurtured, and that nature accounts for almost nothing in a person’s life. He spoke of such beauty and joy in making music that I almost believed him 100%, but I do have to remember that he was referring to his experiences in his environment (Japan and Germany). I see differences in our country and in our culture, so it is difficult to transfer over all of his ideas to the US. Even so, it was a worthwhile experience and very inspiring to me.
Having grown up learning both violin and piano by the Suzuki method and now being a violin teacher myself, this was an interesting read. The book is focused mostly on Suzuki talking about how he arrived at his driving philosophy. It's part autobiography and part loosely correlated short essays on the underpinnings of the philosophy behind the method, with very little detail of his teaching or methods themselves. At times a little rambling and self aggrandizing, but not more so than plenty of other autobiographies ar,e. If you're looking for a comprehensive explanation of the Suzuki method and how to teach it, this isn't it, but if you're looking to gain a deeper understanding of the heart of the man and his teaching, this is a great read.
This is a phenomenal read. This man has a beautiful soul, and his words conveyed so much love for little children and how to reach/teach them. This wasn't a traditional book--it rambled quite a bit and there wasn't a clear arc or line to follow. It was more memoir than guide, but what he talked about touched me deeply. I'm going to need this one for my personal library, I think.
This is really a collection of essays about Suzuki's philosophy of educating children. Because this is a topic near and dear to my heart I stayed interested in the topic despite quite a bit of repetition. He includes many stories of how effective his methods have been over the years along with his personal journey in discovering what worked best. His writing style was a bit too disjointed for me but it's a short read so it was easy to work past those shortcomings. I would think any educator might be interested in this book especially those folks who are embarking on Suzuki instruction.
You know when you come across an idea that is so salient, has such far-reaching impacts, you wonder why it hasn't been universally adopted? That's how I feel about the Suzuki Method. What better way to counter the aggrieved, de-skilled, violent, reactionary, online culture we are around than studying music?
My son and I are going to our first cello lesson later this week. I am very excited. I loved the discursive, experiential, indirect way Suzuki presents how he came to his conclusions. It's not easy to summarize. It is very noble and inspiring. Also reminds me,
A guy jumps into a cab and asks the driver "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" the taxi driver says, "Practice, Practice, Practice!"
An interesting book detailing Suzuki's account of his life and the formulation of his 'Talent Education' teaching philosophy. By nature of being an autobiography it is not concerned with empirical evidence and factual proofs, however it does raise interesting questions over nature vs. nurture and the effect of a positive environment on ability to learn and generate talent
For its somewhat loose, anecdotal style, I didn't really enjoy the writing as such; perhaps if I read the original Japanese text I might feel differently. However, the far more important concern with this book is the message and Dr. Suzuki drives home some invaluable lessons about the philosophy that he developed over decades of playing and teaching in formulating the Suzuki Method of music education. As with my review of Edward Kreitman's *Teaching from the Balance Point*, *Nurtured by Love* is only an overview of sorts, a presentation of the pillars of the Suzuki Method. It should be read in conjunction with training in the details of how the pedagogy comes to life in the teaching studio and in home practice with students and their families.
The title fits it perfectly- it isn't just about learning violin or the Suzuki method. It is about Life, Parenting, being good human beings, learning, growing, encouraging one another... it even includes other important things like exercise, spending time outside, healthy eating, etc. I loved that it read easily, felt genuine, gives hope and shows that we ALL have potential to unlock for ourselves and to help our children with their potential. Seemed like a good set of parents sharing what they've learned and I appreciate it! Need to re-read when I start forgetting what I learned :)
Suzuki had a big idea. My children's violin teacher recommended this book to me. Mr. Suzuki's desire to bring out the best in all children impressed me. I enjoyed reading how thoughtful he was when he was approached by the parents of a blind child and later the parents of a child who had suffered a stroke and struggled to hold onto the bow. It inspired me to think about my children's music education in a broader way.
I wept! Shinichi Suzuki was a special soul. This book made a better parent out of me. Not only did Suzuki lay down his theory for teaching music to young children, he coupled this "science" with love. Certainly, these are the most important experiences a parent could ever share with their child, moments of pure emotion coupled with the support of budding talent.
This new translation is far better than the older version! 10 years had passed since I first read Suzuki's life story and inspiration for his teaching philosophy. I found numerous words of wisdom and gems of quotes to live by. I have a completely refreshed perspective now and I encourage anyone to re-read this new translation.
Mix up a good helping of false modesty, with a dash of tall tale, a whole lot of optimism, and a dollop of insightful truth and you will turn out this strange little book.
I must disclose that I come to the table already jaded. I occasionally refer to myself as a victim of the Suzuki method. Thank you Mr. Suzuki for my horrendous and ongoing inability to sight-read much of anything. I jest (sort-of), but seriously this is a major and well-known handicap in the Suzuki method.
That being said, reading this book clarified an awful lot. Not the least of which is that Suzuki says point blank that his intent is not to train outstanding musicians but to “make good citizens..” and to develop “ sensitivity, discipline, and endurance..... a beautiful heart”. Well geez. That sure doesn’t mesh with the stereotypical Suzuki tiger-parent. I am not sure all the American moms enrolling their two year olds in violin are on the same page as Mr. Suzuki here. I think they are expecting a different outcome and may want their money back if they find out. Call me crazy, but something has run amok. I’m pretty sure these parents are demanding prodigies.
Organizationally, the book is rambling and rather chaotic. But once adjusted to it, it kind of works in a way. It is as if Suzuki is just sitting with you, reminiscing. And everything comes out in whatever order it pops into his mind. Included in this ramshackle pile of thoughts are occasional bouts of biography, endless name drops, some highly questionable stories (wolf-girls, I am looking at you), some pipe dreams, some things that are just plain wrong, and quite a few lovely, lovely ideals.
Something I didn’t expect is how very clearly Mr. Suzuki’s life work seems to be a reaction to the outward events of his time. He never directly addresses this. But it seems to be there bubbling under the surface throughout the book. I had a moment of clarity while reading. It just hit me and came together. Suzuki was Japanese. He lived in Japan. He lived through and beyond the WWII era. Bam. Of course I knew these things. But I had never thought about them as a whole. Here is a perfectly normal, seemingly kind, thoughtful, artistic person who found himself and his nation very much on the wrong side of history. How must that feel? Is it just me or was Mr. Suzuki just trying to repair the broken? If one wants to put a nation back on the right track, where better to start than the children? He wasn’t training virtuosos. He just wanted the ugliness to go away. He envisioned a world peace brought about with an army of toddlers sawing on tiny violins. I mean, I can see his point. It could work. It is kind of genius actually.
Anyhow, this is an odd book and difficult to categorize. I found it rather enlightening and largely irritating all at once. For those familiar with and interested in the Suzuki method and willing to put up with a little chaos, this will be strange. But it is a quick read and you get an idea of who Suzuki was (or wanted to be) and why he did what he did. If you are wondering “Who is Suzuki? Like, you mean motorcycles?” this will be even more strange and you will wonder what in heaven’s name you just read.
Shinichi Suzuki fue un violinista y pedagogo musical qué diseñó un método que llamó "La educación del talento" en el que afirmaba que: El talento no es innato. Nacemos con la capacidad natural de aprender. Cualquier niño es capaz de desarrollar habilidades superiores si se utiliza el método correcto.
Este libro es una narrativa de su historia como persona y del método mismo. Es un libro realmente inspirador ya que fue un hombre que vivió en los tiempos de la guerra en su país (1898-1998) y tuvo como su influencias principales a Tolstoi y Mozart.
Además de que vivió en patrocinio por ocho años de ni más ni menos que Albert Einstein, siendo este una especie de mentor para él, en el que comenta le ayudó a cimentar su método. Cito: "Me proporcionó años después, la convicción y fundamentos teóricos que cimentaron el ánimo que me permitió desarrollar sin menor duda el Movimiento de Educación del Talento para niños pequeños".
Eintein solo tenia 16 años cuando se le ocurrió la idea que revolucionaría el mundo. Afirmó: "Esto [la óptica del movimiento] se me ocurrió por intuición. Y la música es la impulsora de esa intuición. Mis padres me habían hecho estudiar violín desde que tenia seis años. MI nuevo descubrimiento es el resultado de la percepción musical".
Suzuki se casó con una alamana y volvió a Japón para trastornar el sistema de Educación. Su punto de partida es: "Todos los japoneses hablan japonés", debe haber un secreto para que se habla con fluidez en la manera que lo aprenden. La práctica de las capacidades es el secreto. Si el método educativo de "la lengua materna" se aplicara en las escuelas hoy, los resultados serían diferentes. Así que aplicó esta tesis para desarrollar su famoso método musical: Paciencia y repetición.
Cito: Aunque no tuviera talento, y mi progreso fuera lento, determiné avanzar paso a paso hacia la meta de llegar a convertirme en un ser humano completo, redondo. No me apresuraba, pero tampoco descansaba. No cejaba mi empeño. Y eso me dio paz, algo por lo que seguir viviendo.
En las escuelas se instruye y se informa, pero sin transformar. ¿No está mal el método? Cuestionaba frecuentemente y creía que los exámenes de las escuelas realmente apuntaban a las carencias del maestro y no las del alumno.
Enseñar al padre antes que al niño. La educación se da realmente en el hogar. Creo que en esta idea radica el éxito de su método. Mi pequeña estudia desde hace un año violín y ahora piano bajo ese método, y he visto como lentamente está desarrollando su talento musical.
Ese triangulo entre el maestro (experto en música) y los padres responsables del niño, es una buena ecuación para que realmente suceda el aprendizaje. Suzuki cree que el ministerio de la Educación puede hacer mas por los niños si se asegurara que ninguno fracase, usando un mejor método. Aplicar el proverbio japonés: "Lo que es a los tres años, se es a los cien".
Como dice también el proverbio: Instruye al niño en su camino y cuando fuere viajo, no se apartará".
In the beginning, I was fascinated by Shinichi Suzuki's discoveries, enlightenments and achievements. I thought how come I have not read such a precious book, Shinichi Suzuki's 'Nurtured by Love.' I was deeply touched when he was looking for Koji Toyoda, his former pupil who became an orphan, and took him as his family member. He did his best to make him a professional violist. He also accepted a blind boy as his student after studying hard how he could train a blind child to play violin. Suzuki is very admirable and respectable in these behaviors.
Suzuki believes that a man's talent, based on his observation and reflection, is not inherited but has to be learned and developed. Natural ability is brought up by training. It is folly to lament lack of talent. Clumsiness is a result of wrong training. Suzuki even made a slow learner an expert player by creating games she could join in.
Suzuki's theory, I want to accept and practice it as he suggests. The regret about this book is he sounds too self-righteous. He says he believes in music and people develop good nature and humanity by often being exposed to music. I know some musicians who love money and I don't believe money lovers can be good people who will make the world beautiful. I remember an essay on Richard Wagner entitled if he was a genius or monster.
The parts I enjoyed least is when he asked his sister to bring a wounded soldier she saw in the terrible coldness home. He introduced this episode to advise us to practice what you want to do. But this episode has nothing to do with music and sounds as if he brags his own good deeds.
Another unfavorable one is that he introduced Pable Casals' speech saying Japan is the heart of the heart and this is what humanity needs. He said this after watching Suzuki's some hundred children's beautiful violin concert. What does he know about Japan or Japanese who was so cruel to the people of foreign countries who they ruled before and during the WW II? Once again, it does not make the best people simply because you can perform beautifully in music. Does it? How about Russia? Or the US? Or South Korea now?
Having come from a home where music was mostly always around and having had formal piano and violin lessons and a father who always played guitar, which I never really quite understood After my kids grew, my son moved out and left his acoustic guitar, I decided, I need to begin putting more music in my life and wondered if I could possibly learn guitar well. I have had some stumbles due to taking care of my mother, after she passed last year, I finally got back at it and some things I wanted to understand I have figured out quite well, I am progressing, I have fun and wonder to myself why I did not become in love with this instrument years ago! Yes, I admit, I am in love with the guitar, I could talk guitar all day. One thing I have begun really focusing on is music theory related to learning the fret board. After reading this book, it demonstrates that a lot of the fear of learning was instilled in my mind young, we hear, terms like "musical", "talented" and I never felt I was any of those things. This book has really enlightened me into how to install training of music from a very young age and it is very much like how children learn language. Need I say as a speech language pathologist, I loved reading about how Suzuki had that light bulb moment when he understood, if children can become fluent Japanese by 3 years old or any native language they can learn to play by 3 or 4. Reading comes later, just like language, if you are not a fluent speaker, reading is not going to be easy to learn. I love the developmental phases, he understood! This may not be the current thought, but there is so much of this I agree with by implementing the love of music and the instrument through listening and attending, every new parent should read this book. Really anyone interested in music and music development could benefit from it.
I was intrigued with the book title Nurtured by Love A New Approach to Education. I read the hardback 8th edition published in 1975 with a copyright of 1969.
One of the most moving stories was of a girl who was partially paralyzed who learned to play the violin and was able to heal from her paralysis. Suzuki speaks of his vision for each child, " he will become a noble person through his violin playing." pg. 25. He sees in children the abilities of seeking the good, the true and the beautiful. And he thinks that children, from birth if possible, should be surrounded by the finest of those ideals. The finest musicians to listen to, the finest haikus to experience.
I went on an unexpected trip through the ideology of Shinichi Suzuki. I am richer for the experience. 121 pages ISBN 0-682-47518-1 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 79-82726
This is a heartwarming book of stories about children developing musical talent and ability through repetition and practice. The love of children and the desire to apply the author’s Talent Education to all aspects of learning comes through the stories he tells; the stories describe his methods. He incorporates hope-filled stories of disabled children flourishing. There’s an underlying commentary on racism toward Japanese from the perspective of a septuagenarian writing in 1971, having lived through both World Wars in Japan, yet he writes about it in such a positive way. One of my favorite quotes is “use your own power to create talent.” I recommend it to anyone, and especially parents and teachers of young children.
“If nations cooperate in raising good children, perhaps there won’t be any war.” I read this book at the suggestion of my music education professor. Suzuki has a lot of valuable suggestions not just for music, but for life in general. The most important is that teaching music should strengthen moral character, and that is even more important than musical abilities. The vast majority of even Suzuki’s students did not continue to pursue classical music, but they were imbued with skills that are valuable throughout all of life.
A very inspiring book! Suzuki was an incredible educator with a grand vision to educate children to have noble hearts as well as becoming great musicians. "I just want to make good citizens. If a child hears good music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart." I am looking forward to my first class at the Suzuki Institute tomorrow!
My son's violin teacher is teaching the Suzuki method and requires the moms to read this book. I read it over the weekend. It was not bad! He tells some experiences he had teaching some of his students and how we was able to even come up with some of his methods. It is interesting to think about how many decades it has been since he started his methods and even since this book came out! Not too bad!!
Pleasantly surprised by this book. It was assigned reading from my daughter’s flute instructor, and I expected it to be a straightforward breakdown of the Suzuki teaching method, but it’s more memoir and life-philosophy than pedagogy. Suzuki’s approach to learning and talent development is admirable, and its roots in his own life story, from war-time Japan to evening soirées with Einstein in Weimar Germany, is fascinating. Quick read but a good one.