Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki

In this book Shinichi Suzuki presents the philosophy and principles of his teaching methods for developing the natural abilities of every child. In my experience the principles are largely valid for adult education and self-education as well.

Having had the privilege of performing with many musicians over the years who have undergone the Suzuki training I can testify... it works!

Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki

"Talent is no accident of birth. A Newborn child adjusts to his environment in order to survive, and various abilities are acquired in the process."

"... it is possible for every person to improve himself. That is why I wrote this book. In it I tell how to develop a person's aptitude... how to change a person lacking in ability into a talented one, and a mediocre person into an exceptional one."

"What is man's ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue and beauty."

" Our improvement in ability depends on action and the directing of our attention to doing things."

"Abilities are born and develop by the workings of the vital forces of the organism as it strives to live and adjust to its environment".

"...the ear for music will develop in direct proportion to the number of times the piece is heard....as long as the music is audible the life forces of the human being will unconsciously absorb it, making it part of the individual abilities".

Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki

"A fundamental principle is to work up the planted ability to the highest possible point. Learn one thing, and practise and polish it every day for perhaps three months.

During this time listen to the best performers in the world on records continously. ( see repertoire)

Then soon one will be able to play better, more and more excellently, and, so to speak, a new, higher level is born. By this time it is no longer technique only but the possession of spirit and heart."

"... musical sense develops GRADUALLY and imperceptibly..." Suzuki draws an analogy with the learning of speech patterns... ' accent'.

Patience is an important faculty for achievement.

"Intuition is the reliability slumbering at the base of rational experiences, and it works in an instant when needed.

"Master Every Step"...develop ABILITY rather than the number of pieces.

[on technique on violin]..."...most important single factor ...is...QUICKLY TIMED PREPARATION OF BOTH HANDS for each note. Generally the left hand must be in place a split second before the bow moves."

QUESTION : In the Suzuki appraoch, Where are the scales and etudes?

ANSWER : We extract [abstract] the technical material from the pieces. ( NOTE remember that Suzuki has a carefully selected repertoire.)

"Become accustomed to repetition of the same repertoire over extended periods. Form the habit of looking for NEW ideas in the pieces,(accents, connection of tones etc.)

"Art is not in some far-off place. A work of Art is the expression of a man's whole personality, sensibility and ability.

" ... ( I )... searched for the meaning of art in music, and it was through music that I found my work and my purpose in life... I discovered it was a tangible thing.

The real essence of art turned out to be not something high up and far off. It was right inside my ordinary everyday self. The very way one greets people and expresses oneself is art. If a musician wants to become a fine artist, he must first become a finer person."