During lessons and performances, students in RSC’s Suzuki Programs pluck, sing, and bow their way to developing self-confidence and a deeper appreciation of music through community and transformative mentorship that centers around the Suzuki Philosophy. This philosophy, which was developed by Japanese violinist and educator Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in the mid-twentieth century, reflects the process of learning a language through listening, imitating, and intentional repetition.
“One of the core principles of the Suzuki Philosophy is the positive environment,” says Taylor Stobinski, RSC’s Suzuki cello instructor, cello faculty member, and registrar. “I find since using the philosophy, my students are more patient and understanding of their weaknesses and are positioned to turn them into strengths.” With the guidance of RSC faculty who are trained in Suzuki instruction, young violinists, cellists, and guitarists in RSC’s Suzuki Program actively participate in a supportive musical community.
Students need not begin their studies with the Suzuki Philosophy to experience the program’s benefits. “I think the biggest transformations I’ve seen are in the areas of building technique on the instrument and gaining comfort performing,” shares Lauren Cless, a Suzuki violin instructor at RSC.
“Our approach to developing technique varies from other methods because we use pieces the student already knows and loves to develop skill on the instrument.”
Another core feature of the Suzuki Philosophy is that music-making is meant to be experienced by the whole family. Catherine O’Kelly, RSC’s Suzuki Guitar and Guitar Department Head, says that by “making music part of family life and going to recitals with the whole family, it serves as a reminder of music as something that nurtures the whole soul, which is foundational to the Suzuki Philosophy.” Suzuki families attend all classes and learn how to enrich their child’s practice throughout the week while maintaining a positive learning environment. This offers young, beginning musicians a unique opportunity, especially at performances, where students are given the option to play with a friend, sibling, or caregiver at a Suzuki Friends & Family Recital. “It’s wonderful to see the joy of music-making shared between friends and across generations,” shares Cless of the experience after the family recitals.
Together, RSC’s Suzuki students, families, and faculty create an inviting learning community that inspires students to not only enjoy the music they create, but the joy that comes from sharing it with others.
The Rivers School Conservatory offers Suzuki Programs throughout the Academic year and a week-long program in the summer. If your child is interested in our Suzuki Programs, please contact Program Coordinator Jenna Potts (email@example.com).