Kids and Music

by : Rachel Dominique



In this modern age many parents arewell-informed about the benefits of Music. Being music trained from young I hadthe opportunity to learn both the piano and the violin simultaneously during mychildhood and aim to let my children do likewise.

The Suzuki method by is well recommendedfor fledging music students. I personally recommend the method as I haveexperienced the benefits of his techniques in piano as a parent whose child iscurrently learning piano under his method.

I have tried both the traditional andSuzuki method with my elder son. hated the technical aspects ?and inflexibility of the former method.

The Alfred Method was the 1stmethod tried out on him. He went through the Level A and Level B Prep CourseLesson Books. The books were extremely colorful as there are cartoonillustrations which young children are able to easily identify with. There wasalso a CD included in the book which parents could play so that their childcould listen to the tunes which were featured in the book or play along withthe CD.

There is a lot of emphasis on learning howto read the notes properly while keeping in sync with the different types ofbeats used per piece of music. Initially my son was captivated by the cartoonsand very eager to play the tunes he had learnt. However when he graduated tothe Level B book and had to learn how to play both right and left handssimultaneously he grew frustrated. This was because he finds it difficult tomulti-task. He had to read the notes from the book and play the tune inrelation to the given beat.

It is a tall order for a 3year old who juststarted on his formal musical journey. Even though he had little difficultyreading the staves and notes he found it hard to play according to beat. Notwanting to kill his enthusiasm in piano I suggested that his teacher try out the Suzuki method on him.

Even though through his music lesson he has learned how toread the staves, notes and note values it is not easy to co-ordinate both rightand left hand while playing a piece of music. Not wanting to kill his enthusiasmin learning the piano I decided to switch him to the Suzuki method.

The Suzuki Method developed by Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist, who believed thatevery child is capable of a high level of musical achievement. It emphasizes onvariations based on repetition of famous tunes like twinkle twinkle littlestars. Students learn music by focusing on hearing then on sight reading.

Even though he has just started on the book I can see arapid improvement in his attitude towards his piano lessons. He is now morewilling to listen to his piano teacher and follow her instructions. He is alsomuch happier as he is able to complete the songs more easily as it is easy tofollow.

The focus on repetition/variation on twinkle twinkle littlestar emphasized on cultivating proper fingering and following the differentrhythms/beats. I feel that it is very important to have the proper fingerpositioning to be able to play piano well. If one develops bad fingeringpractices, they will face problems playing complicated tunes, fingerings whenthey progress to higher grades.

Knowing how to count the beats and applying them topractical piano, the child also learns about rhythm and co-ordination. Itteaches them how to be focused and also builds up theirself-esteem/self-confidence as they able to show their “accomplishments"through playing the tunes.