Choosing a Suzuki Teacher

In looking for a Suzuki teacher, you might be willing to trust the first person that says he/she is a Suzuki teacher. But what makes a good Suzuki teacher? Some people call themselves Suzuki teachers simply because they use the Suzuki materials. How can you tell the difference between this type of teacher and one who has taken the teacher training courses through the Suzuki system? Here are some questions to help you in your search for a qualified teacher.

  • Are you a member of the NZSI (New Zealand Suzuki Institute)?
  • Do you have regular group lessons?
  • Do you emphasise the importance of listening to the recordings?
  • Do you allow observers at your lessons?

 Are you a member of the NZSI (New Zealand Suzuki Institute)?

You can confirm this by checking the NZSI Teacher Registry. All teachers who have completed training and wish to be listed are registered (R), as well as those who are in the process of training (Provisional Status). You will need to contact the local teacher contact for the contact details of any teachers listed on the Registry. To maintain a place on the Registry NZSI teacher must complete a professional development requirement.  Active members in the NZSI realise the value maintaining standards. The NZSI is a part of the ISA (International Suzuki Association), which is dedicated to fostering the vision of Dr. Suzuki throughout the world. A teacher must join NZSI upon enrolling in a teacher-training course, which brings up the next question.

Do you have regular group lessons?

The group lesson is the reinforcing element of the Suzuki method that children enjoy. A strong Suzuki program will emphasise the importance of group lessons at all levels. There are so many things that group lessons offer including the chance to try a new song and a time to listen to a future song "live" and watch how it is played. Group lessons also afford students a time to meet new people.

Do you emphasise the importance of listening to the recordings?

Listening is one thing that initially set the Suzuki movement apart from all others. It is also the reason that children could be taught such difficult pieces at such a young age. The older Dr. Suzuki got, the more he emphasised listening until he got to the position in the last 5 years of his life where he said that listening was more important than practicing.

Do you allow observers at your lessons?

This gives you the opportunity to personally check the manner and skills of the teacher with others before you commit. There are some teachers who are more suited to younger students, and others who are better with more advanced. You may wish to talk with other parents using the teacher. At the end of the day, the Suzuki method requires the successful coordination of the student, parent and teacher and you must be comfortable with each other.