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The Suzuki Method is an approach to music education that was introduced in Japan and later
reached the United States during the 1960s. Although this method was originally developed for
the violin, it is now applicable to other instruments including the piano, flute and guitar.

What is the Suzuki Method?

The Suzuki method, also known as the "mother-tongue approach," is a method of teaching music
that stresses the importance of parental influence and involvement. Parents and teachers work
together to achieve a common goal. Parents are expected to attend lessons and serve as nurturing
teachers at home.

Using this method students learn:

 Discipline
 Poise
 Confidence
 Proper posture
 Technical mastery
 Musicianship
 Proper intonation and phrasing

What is the philosophy behind this method?

This method was based on Suzuki's observation of children when he was in Germany. He
observed that children are able to learn their mother tongue with no difficulty. He concluded that
all children can develop musical ability and the child's environment can greatly influence his/her

What are the basic elements of the Suzuki Method?

The basic elements of the Suzuki method are:

 Children should be exposed to good music at birth.
 Children should receive violin instruction at an early age.
 It is not only the music teacher who serves as educator; the child's parents or guardians also
play a vital role in the child's musical development.
 Students learn by observation then imitation
 Children become adept with their instruments before learning to read music.
 Playing by memory
 Attention to detail
 Repetition
 Aside from individual lessons, students attend group lessons at least once a week.
 Public performances

What is a typical lesson like?

The Suzuki Method follows a set sequence and each instrument has its respective repertoire;
beginning from simple and then progressing to more difficult pieces. Using the "Talent
Education Movement," children start taking lessons by age 2 or 3. Suzuki students are first
exposed to great classical recordings and music pieces that they will eventually learn.
Background music will constantly be playing while children are at school to immerse them in
music. The belief behind this is that children will learn to develop good musical ears; able to
detect changes in pitch, timing, tone, etc. Students learn by observation; they learn as a group.
Social interaction and cooperation is fostered among students.

Quotes by Shinichi Suzuki

"Character first, ability second."

"Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a
child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops
sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets beautiful heart."

"Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is
properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their
mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited."


What is the Dalcroze Method?:

The Dalcroze method, also known as Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is another approach music
educators use to foster music appreciation, ear-training and improvisation while improving
musical abilities. In this method, the body is the main instrument. Students listen to the rhythm
of a music piece and express what they hear through movement. Simply put, this approach
connects music, movement, mind, and body.

What are the key elements of the Dalcroze Method?:

This method has 3 facets:

• Eurhythmics (Greek for "good rhythm") - Musical expression through movement;

developing musical skills through kinetic exercises. Students learn rhythm and structure
by listening to music and expressing what they hear through spontaneous bodily
movement. For example, note values and rhythms are represented by stepping and
• Solfege (fixed-do) - Helps develop ear-training and sight-singing skills.
• Improvisation - Using instruments, movement and voice.

What are the key concepts learned?:

The Dalcroze Method helps foster imagination, creative expression, coordination, flexibility,
concentration, inner hearing, music appreciation and understanding of musical concepts.


What is the Kodaly Method?:

The Kodaly Method is a way of developing musical skills and teaching musical concepts
beginning in very young children. This method uses folk songs, Curwen hand signs, pictures,
movable-do, rhythm symbols and syllables. It was first introduced in Hungary but is now used in
many countries, either alone or in combination with other methods.

What were Zoltan Kodaly's goals and philosophies?:

• Elevate the level of teacher training.

• Improve musical literacy in schools.
• Everyone is capable and has the right to musical literacy.
• Singing is the foundation of musical learning.
• Music education must begin with the very young.
• The importance of using folk music (native folk songs and folk songs of other countries)
and music of high artistic value.
• Incorporating games, movement, playing instruments, reading and writing music with
• Sequential process following a child's natural learning development:

Aural - oral - kinesthetic

Written - pictoral - abstract
Read - recognized

What types of music and instruments are used in the classroom?:

Songs of high artistic value, both folk and composed, are used in the Kodaly classroom. Songs
that are in the pentatonic scale are emphasized at the beginning level

What are the musical instruments used? :

The voice is the main musical instrument of this method. In his words, "Singing connected with
movements and action is a much more ancient, and, at the same time, more complex
phenomenon than is a simple song." Various rhythm and tonal instruments are also used,
including xylophones and recorders.

What is a typical lesson like and what are the key concepts learned?:

The sequence followed may be simplified as: listen - sing - understand - read and write - create.
Using this method, students can develop listening skills, sight-singing, ear training, learn how to
play instruments, compose, improvise, sing, dance, analyze, read and write music.

Zoltan Kodaly Quotes:

"Only art of intrinsic value is suitable for children! Everything else is harmful.”

“We should read music in the same way that an educated adult will read a book: in silence, but
imagining the sound.”

"To teach a child an instrument without first giving him preparatory training and without
developing singing, reading and dictating to the highest level along with the playing is to build
upon sand.”

"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil;
instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime."


What is Orff-Schulwerk?

Musical concepts are learned through singing, chanting, dance, movement, drama and the
playing of percussion instruments. Improvisation, composition and a child's natural sense of play
are encouraged.

Who created the Orff Approach?

This approach to music education was developed by Carl Orff, a German composer, conductor
and educator whose most famous composition is the oratorio "Carmina Burana." His ideas were
based on his belief in the importance of rhythm and movement.

What types of music and instruments are typically used?

Folk music and music composed by the children themselves are mostly used in the Orff
classroom. Xylophones (soprano, alto, bass), metallophones (soprano, alto, bass), glockenspiels
(soprano and alto), castanets, bells, maracas, triangles, cymbals (finger, crash or suspended),
tambourines, timpani, gongs, bongos, steel drums and conga drums are but some of the
percussion instruments used in the Orff classroom. Other instruments (both pitched and
unpitched) that may be used include:

 afuches
 claves
 cow bells
 djembe
 rainmakers
 rhythm sticks
 sand blocks
 shakers
 tap-a-tap
 tick tock
 tone block
 vibra slap
 wood blocks

What is a typical lesson like?

For example, a teacher may choose a poem or a story to read in class. Students are then asked to
participate by choosing instruments to represent a character or a word in the story or poem. As
the teacher reads the story or poem again, students add sound effects by playing the instruments
they selected. The teacher then adds accompaniment by playing Orff instruments. As the lesson
progresses, students are asked to play Orff instruments or add other instruments. To keep the
whole class involved, others are asked to act-out the story.

What about songs and notation?

In the Orff classroom, the teacher acts like a conductor who gives cues to her eager orchestra. If
the teacher selected a song, some students will be chosen as instrumentalists while the rest of the
class sings along. Parts may or may not be notated. If notated, it should be simple enough for the
students to understand. The teacher then provides students a copy of the notes and/or creates a

What are the key concepts learned?

Rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form and other elements of music :speaking, chanting,
singing, dancing, movement, acting and playing instruments: improvisation or composing their
own music.

Sample Simplified Format

This is a very simple lesson plan format that may be used for young children:
 Choose a poem.
 Read the poem to the class.
 Ask the class to recite the poem with you.
 Recite the poem together while keeping a steady beat (i.e. tapping hands to knees).
 Choose students who will play the instruments (i.e. xylophones and glockenspiels).
 Ask students to play certain notes on cue words. Instruments must match words.
 Add other instruments, choose students to play these instruments (i.e. Chinese bell).
 Discuss the days lesson with the students (i.e. Was the piece easy or difficult?).
 Assess students' comprehension by asking relevant questions.
 Put away all instruments.

Note: It's important that students maintain correct rhythm and learn proper mallet technique.

Carl Orff Quotes

"Experience first, then intellectualize."

"Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and
if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that
what they have mastered is child's play.

" Elemental music is never just music. It's bound up with movement, dance and speech, and so it
is a form of music in which one must participate, in which one is involved not as a listener but as
a co-performer."