The method was born from Japanese culture and has been adapted internationally. The method was derived from Dr. Shinichi Suzuki who was a Japanese violinist, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. Dr Suzuki’s mission was to nurture and develop each child’s character through the study of music as he wanted to “build noble children”. Dr Suzuki lived to be 99 years old and his legacy continues to influence families worldwide.
He realised that children learn to speak their native language with ease and so he wanted to apply the same teaching method to learning music. The Suzuki approach embodies specialist key principles which are present in his book “Nurtured by love: The classic approach to Talent education”. These principles include: learning from a young age, parental involvement and responsibility, encouragement, repetition, learning with other children and delayed reading. This method is taught with love and dedication and enhances the individual as one learns music by ear.
Rebecca Chrisopherson is an extremely talented music teacher for 25 years, now based in the Algarve. She has had Suzuki training and aspiring musicians can have online and in person group or private lessons from ages three up to adults, at the Conservatório de Portimão. One of her fun lessons named ‘Meet the Instruments’ is for children ages three to five. Rebecca’s teaching creates a “nurturing environment which allows children to grow and create”. These lessons offer an introduction to instruments and allow children to play a child size string instrument themselves and a baby grand piano. This will give them the chance to choose their favourite instrument. They sing and play musical games and listen to Rebecca play different instruments, including, the violin, cello, piano and guitar. Additionally, parents are asked to attend the classes as they will assist their child’s musical journey. The reason this involvement is crucial is so that they can guide their children’s practises at home.
Reading sheet music is taught but only once the child has become familiar with playing their instrument and has learnt good posture. This idea was obtained through the way in which children learn to speak before they read or write. Children will learn to read music once they develop basic technical competence on their instruments. The Suzuki method is warm which you can truly feel when you meet Rebecca, she is so passionate about teaching children and her face lights up talking about her students. She really wants to provide a sense of community with the aid of this teaching method and for it to become their “sanctuary and support”.
Rebecca was created to teach and has worked really hard to reach musical excellence. Alongside teaching she performs three recitals a year and hopes to put on more shows post Covid. Her philosophy is that “instruments are hard to master with talent so why not make them easier to learn through a nurturing environment and give children the opportunity to find joy with their instrument”. Rebecca really “wants the arts to thrive” and she is “trying to build more of an arts community here in the Algarve”. She really “saw room for the arts in Portimão as it has lots of potential in a post Covid world”.
Rebecca was born into Suzuki as she came from a home where both parents were musicians so she learnt to play different instruments from early childhood, even later receiving training from Dr Suzuki himself. Rebecca decided to do a performance degree where she minored in piano and cello in college, in order to become a better violinist and ultimately improve as a Suzuki teacher. Rebecca safeguards Dr Suzuki’s method and develops his philosophy as she has already successfully established two Suzuki education programmes in America and now has brought this fantastic opportunity to the Algarve.
For more information and to book please check out the Facebook page ‘Violinguru’ or email SuzukiAlgarve@gmail.com or call Rebecca on 915 847 703.