How to teach a younger group of musicians


Published: 04/01/2012

by Andrew Price


There are certainly more options but this is only for younger students mostly in elem

With this in mind there are many ways to teach students music here is a list of some of the more general ways and some pro’s and con’s about each way.

1) Suzuki Method= A method that is designed to use the ear and memorization skills to become a natural musician and connect through an AUDITORY system. Most strings players know the Suzuki method frontwards, backwards, and sideways. The Suzuki method is not a bad method at all, in fact it is a brilliant way for kids to gain intonation, rhythm, musicianship, and tonality out of their instrument. However, I have witnessed (and have played in orchestras with) people who did not either grasp the concept of Mr. Suzuki or did not finish all the way through the Suzuki technique books. Because of this they lacked major reading skills, and there theory was not the best along with posture problems. Suzuki starts with memorization and then advances into a book and is a 5 book series. The kid knows what they are playing but then has to convert the notes over to paper… a task that eliminates roughly 50 percent of all players. Another con to this so called “brilliant” program is the fact that Mr. Suzuki did not invented his programs based off the violin. A cello or bass (especially bass.. I would know) would not gain as much as a violin would off of this system. Overall I would give this system 7 points on a scale from 1-10

2) Start from reading music= This is another classic that mostly every music teacher does within their teaching career… They say “so this is A it is an open string. Notice the 0 on the top of the staff.” This is pretty much the opposite of the Suzuki Method. It is designed for students toVISUALLY connect with the music. Most students that learn this way are older than students who start off the Suzuki Method, and most of these students are in a class that is about an hour long. Even though they can read music and rhythm very well as they get older, they develop a lack of intonation, and tonality. Developing musicianship comes pretty quick and sight reading is a breeze. I believe that the student has to be more dedicated if they begin from reading music, but I believe more students actually become musicians from this way. I would give this way a 7 as well

3) Combined= DUH?? this is how teachers should teach. Both Suzuki and Reading… It gets a 10 out of 10
There are certainly more options but this is only for younger students mostly in elementary and beginning middle school groups. I’m always open for questions about any group so please feel free to contact me!!!