Suzuki Method

August 25, 2006 at 05:05 PM · How many years did it take you to complete all of the suzuki books?

Replies (20)

August 25, 2006 at 07:56 PM · It took me about 5 years to get to Suzuki Book 6, which is where I stopped.

However, I am 100% positive that I could've played anything in Book 6 about 3 years into violin playing. What held me back were the teachers, not my ability to play anything in those books.

August 25, 2006 at 10:13 PM · Well it took me about 6.5 years to finish book 7. I am about to start #8.

August 25, 2006 at 10:22 PM · 2 years to book 4 which is when I stopped the method. Same experience as Kevin.

August 26, 2006 at 04:23 AM · My mother is a Suzuki teacher. She started me just before I turned 3. I did all 10 books, but I think most people do a modified method, which is to say that if people do finish all 10 books (most don't) there is much supplimented repertoire--scales, etudes, other student concerto's not included in the books. If memory serves, I believe I finished book 10 when I was 8, so I guess that's a little over 5 years. My mother taught me until I was 6 when, as my mother says, I stopped listening to her--so she sent me to Linda Cerone, who immediately got me doing things like Accolay, Viotti, etc. (in addition to completing the 10 Suzuki books). And to dispell the myth that Suzuki students have a harder time reading music--one of my strongest skills is sightreading--one which is particularly critical in my current position.

Best,

Peter

August 26, 2006 at 06:27 AM · I was not brought up on the Suzuki method, but I can tell you how long it took me to do the official teacher training for all 10 books: 10 years! (Having two kids during that time probably slowed my progress!)

My own students move through the books at wildly different rates!

August 26, 2006 at 06:31 AM · In a related question, for Peter and anyone else who started before the age of, say, 5: How long did it take you to complete the FIRST Suzuki book? As my three-year-old daughter progresses in her studies, I'm realizing how many things she has to learn that older people take for granted, such as moving the fingers of her left hand independently. I've stopped seeing Book 1 as a goal and am now just trying to get her through Twinkle, but I'm interested in how quickly other children of the same age progress.

August 26, 2006 at 05:10 PM · Boy, that's a loaded question. My teacher liked to hold me back too . . . but at least she stuck to her guns when it came to intonation (and I can thank her for that because I don't struggle with it too much now).

I didn't start until I was 8 (about the time Pete was finishing Book 10) and I finished book 8 When I was 15 (but, by that time we were heavily supplementing my study with traditional stuff).

I heard tell of a teacher who actually spends 3-5 years on Book 1. My advice to anyone who has that kind of teacher: Overkill--get a new teacher. Unless, of course, it's not the teacher's habit to spend so long, but the student never practices . . .

Book 1 normally takes a little while to plow through. Twinkle takes forever (it seems like) and Gavotte is a killer. Book 2 flies by in comparison (generalizing here, I know). My daughter took 1.5 years to get through Book 1, but it only took her 2 months to get through half of Book 2.

August 27, 2006 at 12:43 AM · I started when I was four and finished when I was 11. A total of 7 years, I think. Although I guess you could say I started when I was five, because me first teacher kept me on a box for a year.

August 27, 2006 at 12:46 AM · What's a box?

August 27, 2006 at 12:46 AM · How long does it generally take someone to go from Book 1 to Book 2?

August 27, 2006 at 01:13 AM · It totally depends on the teacher and the student...but a lot of students spend aroung two years on Book 1. If they're really young, they may spend more.

August 27, 2006 at 02:22 AM · Im on suzuki book 4 and ive only been playing two years...does that mean im ahead?

August 27, 2006 at 05:17 AM · Not if you suck at all of the Book 4 pieces.

Honestly, it bothers me that people are in such a hurry to check off pieces in a curriculum. My question is, what can you play well? A teacher is most likely "holding back" a student because they are not up to par on certain techniques. Perhaps the student is slow to grasp fundamental principles that are needed to create a foundation for solid playing.

You all would probably hate having me as a teacher.

August 27, 2006 at 06:47 AM · Slightly away from the original question: My two teachers sped me through books 1 to 3 in 18 months, but I always assume that one day I will be taken through 2 and 3 again, as even I am not satisfied with how well I play them, particularly my articulation at speed. Do other teachers make sure you can play them as well as the recordings before moving on?

August 27, 2006 at 01:51 PM · That's actually my biggest issue with previous teachers and exactly the reason I left them. They were pushing too fast and not allowing or help me master one set of pieces before going on to the next set.

I really want to be able to play properly and understand the technique and finger transitions invovled before moving on to the next piece.

August 27, 2006 at 03:16 PM · I started when I was 5, and it took me till I was 14 to do the Suzuki method, though I did skip parts of book 8 and didn't do book 10. So, yeah, 9 years to do 9 books.

Hey Jason: a "box" is a cardboard model of a violin, used to establish the positions, etc. before a real violin is introduced.

August 27, 2006 at 04:34 PM · Remember, too, that review is important. The further you go the more you have to review. I agree that the issue is not how long to learn the pieces in ten books. The issue is how long does it take to learn to play a Mozart violin concerto? Maybe forever...

August 28, 2006 at 03:27 AM · Yes, I agree. I still play all 10 books from memory every morning. Sure, it takes me 4 hours to do it, but what a great warmup! And YES, I still do the airplane in Song of the Wind.

-Peter

August 28, 2006 at 03:40 AM · I did 1-8 in around 8 years. I played some extra stuff too, like Kreisler pieces etc.

I had a box too! It was sticky wood-patterned paper covering a box of fruit snacks...so I got a yummy reward. :)

August 28, 2006 at 04:25 AM · Great point Emily. My teacher made it so I only didn't have to be able to play the pieces but I had to play them well. I spent I think 18 months or so on book 5 alone. But I can play all the pieces in that book a concert level.

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