by Lindsay Diehl

Thirty years ago, when I was a new parent, I wish I had heard the siren call about Suzuki music lessons. How much I would have enjoyed going to a music lesson each week with my young sons, sharing — really sharing — in their musical education and training. Even if I had heard about Suzuki music lessons, and I may have, I probably didn’t understand the true benefits of this method or how it differed from traditional music lessons.

It was only until recently, when I became involved with Princeton String Academy, a music school based in West Windsor that focuses on string instruments — violin, viola, and cello — that I began to understand the true benefits of Suzuki training:

a) The parent is integral to the program

b) It is a fun and joyous learning experience

c) It develops the whole child.

The Parent is Integral to the Program. The parent is integral to the program because children are encouraged to start Suzuki music education, at a very early age, as young as four. At this young age, it is critical for the parent to learn along with the child so he/she can help the child learn and practice. By being so closely involved with your child in Suzuki music education, and sharing the learning together, it carves out a deep bond between parent and child.

It is a Fun and Joyous Learning Experience. Learning how to play an instrument in the Suzuki method is radically different from other methods and is much more fun as a result. It is taught in the same way children first learn how to talk by hearing and repeating, hearing and repeating. Children don’t learn to read music until after they know how to play, which makes it a lot easier.

It Develops the Whole Child. Suzuki training offers parents an opportunity to nurture so many skills in your child in addition to learning how to play a musical instrument, such as listening skills, memorization, perseverance, discipline, and performance, among others. Most importantly, however, is that it develops an appreciation for beauty and as Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the founder, believes, this in instrumental in “developing a beautiful heart.”

These are only some of the benefits of Suzuki musical training — the ones I think are so important from the perspective of a mother whose children are grown. I can see now that it is the shared experiences and interests that tie parent and child together for years to come and the more of these you engage in when your child is young, the better.

And if you think Suzuki musical training is not in your future, for one reason or another, at least take a few minutes to learn more about it so you can make an informed decision. Visit the Suzuki Association website today or call us and take advantage of our free half hour trial lesson at Princeton String Academy

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