Singing by the Suzuki Method

Courtesy photographer Arthur Montzka.

Dr. Suzuki arrives in Matsumoto from Tokyo and motions his friends to come closer. Photo by Marcia McCarry

If musical instruments can be taught by using Dr. Suzuki’s Method, singing can be taught that way, too. It is basically a listening approach, good for any age student. Tapes or CD’s with song lyrics and accompaniments are provided, along with instructional written material. The demonstration voice should be unaffected, not stylized in any way, and easy to listen to.

Individuality is inevitable, therefore, we should never hesitate to allow the child to hear many repetitions of the song material in order to learn it. Even though a child hears a recording of a song, his or her voice will never sound identical to another person’s performance.

Dr. Suzuki was most concerned that children produce a good tone right from the beginning of their musical training. When a child is encouraged to learn to read music before playing an instrument, there are many things to think about, and indeed, the tone may suffer.

In the teaching of singing, relaxation is a key factor, as it most certainly should be when one is learning to play an instrument. When the body is relaxed, then the correct muscles can be used properly. Children who love to sing early in their lives should have instruction on how to use the voice freely and without any strain. Parents can help at home by encouraging the child in the right direction.

Courtesy photographer Arthur Montzka.

“Singing Made Easy” materials are designed to be used at home or in classrooms. Children are encouraged to memorize song lyrics while developing their listening skills. Melody, rhythm, and harmony are the ingredients in the recipe for making music. By listening to the material, the student internalizes the music and will be able to produce similar sounds almost immediately. Guidelines for parents and teachers are included in the books for each of the levels I – V and are also included in “Christmas Carols Made Easy.”

The songs in the “Singing Made Easy” series are progressive in difficulty. There is a special teaching point for each song, such as a suggested way to study a difficult passage or a goal to achieve. The repertoire consists of all types of music. There are several rounds and some 2- and 3-part songs to aid in developing the skill of singing with others in harmony.

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