Learn to play the violin the Suzuki way
Toby Walker started learning the violin aged five and Charlotte Clemson at three. Both are proud ‘Suzuki kids’ – they followed the teaching philosophy of Dr Shinichi Suzuki – and they have now opened a Suzuki school at the Rocks Lane Multi-Sports Centre in Chiswick.
Dr Suzuki developed a unique method that enables children to play to their best ability while absorbing key life skills at the same time. ‘Children start young (three-plus) when skills are easily mastered and they learn in a natural way by listening and repeating,’ explains Toby. ‘Lessons are on a one-to-one and group basis; making music is about communicating, so playing socially from the beginning is vital.’
Parental involvement is integral to the Suzuki method. ‘Parents don’t need prior musical knowledge, but they do take an active role,’ says Toby. ‘They attend the lessons and then lead practice sessions at home; that creates a strong bond between them and their children, and with us as teachers.
‘Using the Suzuki method, Charlotte and I believe that every child can learn the violin. And it’s not about being ‘naturally musical’ – it’s about being inspired and having fun.’
Bridge Suzuki Music