Lamoureux Violins
 
 
Expectations
Links
Home
 

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are in this FAQ.

  1. What is the Suzuki method, or mother tongue approach?

  2. How does the Suzuki method differ from traditional music instruction?

  3. Is the Suzuki method right for my child? Would I make a good Suzuki parent?

  4. Can adults learn to play an instrument using the Suzuki method?

  5. What is the difference between the Suzuki, David Cerone and the David Nadien violin recordings?

  6. What is the difference between the Suzuki, the Kataoka, the William Aide and the Valery Lloyd-Watts piano recordings?

  7. Where can I find the books Where Love is Deep, Talent Education for Young Children or Mommy Can We Practice Now ?

  8. What is this violin worth?

  9. Doesn't Lamoureux Violins sell violins?


  1. What is the Suzuki method?

    While traveling in Europe in the 1920's, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki (1898 - 1998) of Japan had a hard time learning the German language. He pondered the fact that while adults often have difficulty learning a new language, young children acquire the skills of their native language quite readily.

    Children learn languages by repeatedly hearing words and phrases, then trying to imitate the sounds. Once the language becomes ingrained into a person's communication behavior, then the study of grammar, spelling, etc. makes sense.

    On the other hand, adults learning a second language generally study vocabulary lists, rules of grammar, etc. before they have a 'natural' feel of the language.

    Dr. Suzuki theorized that music is just another language, and devised a teaching method that mimics the 'natural' process of learning a language. His method first teaches stage presence, then how to hold or position the instrument. Then single notes, simple rhythms, then 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. Students learn by listening to a teacher and a recording, then imitating it. This is sometimes called the 'mother tongue' approach.

    music is funAnother goal of the Suzuki method is to make learning fun! Positive reinforcement is essential.

    Suzuki also stresses that especially for young children, they should have at least one lesson per day. Frequent, positive, correct repetition is crucial. This usually means one lesson per week from the teacher, and six from a parent. So a parent must participate in the lessons, as well as work with the child daily. The importance of group lessons (typically one or two per month) is also emphasized.

    group performanceSuzuki's method is sometimes equated with toddlers playing 'Twinkle' on miniature violins. While it's true that 3-yr-olds can successfully start lessons, adults with no previous musical experience often do very well with the method.

    That's Suzuki in a nutshell. For further reading, we recommend two books, Nurtured by Love, by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, and To Learn with Love, by William and Constance Starr. See also the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) website, http://www.suzukiassociation.org/.

  2. [ back to the top ]

  3. How does the Suzuki method differ from traditional music instruction?

    A traditional student typically begins his or her instruction by learning how to read music, and how to play each note on the instrument.

    A Suzuki method student, on the other hand, learns how to get comfortable with the instrument, and how to play recognizable tunes.

    The following comparison is very general, as each teacher has his or her own style of instruction.

    Suzuki Traditional
    begin learning by rotebegin by note reading
    play tunes first, then etudes (exercises) laterbegin with etudes, then 6 to 12 months later start playing tunes
    book 1 includes interesting pieces by Bach, Schumann, Mozart beginning tunes are simple folk melodies
    teacher, parent and student form a 3-member teamparental involvement is not an integral part of instruction
    group activities are essential; lessons, performances, play-ins, etc.group activities may or may not be included
  4. [ back to the top ]

  5. Is the Suzuki method right for my child? Would I make a good Suzuki parent?

    Honestly answer these questions...
    • Am I willing to invest time and energy with my child daily, helping him or her to to grow into a responsible adult? (It's never too early to start.)
    • Am I willing to help my child work through, rather than side-step, tears and frustration?
    • Am I willing to laugh with and praise my child when he or she "gets it"?
    If you answered "yes" to all of the above, you should make an excellent Suzuki family.
  6. [ back to the top ]

  7. Can adults learn to play an instrument using the Suzuki method?

    Yes. All it takes is the students' commitment, and a teacher willing to take adult students. Children often learn faster than adults because generally they
    • have fewer demands on their time, and
    • are less fearful of failure.
    Determine to overcome these obstacles, and you should do fine.
  8. [ back to the top ]

  9. What is the difference between the Suzuki, David Cerone and the David Nadien violin recordings?

    The Suzuki recordings are the original releases, mastered in Japan. When played on North American equipment, they tend to sound fast and about a quarter step sharp in pitch.

    The David Cerone recordings were mastered in the U.S., have the right tempo and pitch when played on North American equipment, and include the same pieces as the original Suzuki recordings.

    The David Nadien recordings are also U.S. mastered, and include all the same pieces as the Suzuki and Cerone recordings. They also include the piano accompaniment by itself for each of the pieces, which can be helpful when learning to play along with piano accompaniment.

    Ask your teacher which version she or he recommends. In the absence of other preference, we recommend the Nadien recordings.

  10. [ back to the top ]

  11. What is the difference between the Suzuki, the Kataoka, the William Aide and the Valery Lloyd-Watts piano recordings?

    The Suzuki recordings are the original releases, mastered in Japan.

    The Kataoka tapes and CDs repeat each of the pieces three or four times in succession. This can be helpful for younger students, under age 9 or 10, but some older students find it irritating.

    The William Aide recordings were mastered in the U.S. Some people like his staccato style, others find it too fast or harsh.

    The Valery Lloyd-Watts recordings are the most recent release of the Suzuki piano repertoire. Her style is slower and more mellow than William Aide's, but lacks some of the dynamics of the Kataoka recordings.

    Ask your teacher which version she or he recommends. In the absence of other preference, we recommend the Valery Lloyd-Watts recordings.

  12. [ back to the top ]

  13. Where can I find the books Where Love is Deep, Talent Education for Young Children or Mommy Can We Practice Now ?

    Unfortunately, the only stock of these three excellent books was destroyed in a fire at the publisher's warehouse, and they are no longer in print. You may be able to borrow one from a teacher or public library. If you find a copy at a used book store or garage sale, buy it.

    Recommended alternate reading includes Nurtured by Love and Ability Development from Age Zero, both by Shinichi Suzuki, andTo Learn with Love by William and Constance Starr.

  14. [ back to the top ]

  15. What is this violin worth?

    This question is often preceeded by a statement such as, "It looks really old" or "It has a label inside that says 'Stradivarius'".

    It is impossible to tell the value of an instrument without actually seeing it and playing it. For an accurate appraisal, you need to take it to a professional appraiser, and expect to pay for his or her services. As for the Stradivarius label, well... for every genuine Stradivarius, there are dozens of copies.

    For most people, though, my response is simply this... Do you like your instrument? Does it fit you well, does it have a pleasing tone, does it bring you joy to play it? If so, take good care of it, treat it as if it's worth $10,000. Someday, when you are ready to move up, take it to a reputable violin shop for a trade-in. Then you will know it's actual monetary value.

  16. [ back to the top ]

  17. Doesn't Lamoureux Violins sell violins?

    No, we don't. We provide violin lessons using the Suzuki method. We also rent violins to beginning students in our local area (northern Colorado), and do minor repair and maintenance work.

    When you are ready buy an instrument, we suggest you consult with your teacher and other experienced musicians in your area for recommendations. A reputable dealer will allow you to take home more than one instrument for a trial period so you can make a comparison in your own home and with your teacher. When you are ready to upgrade to a larger or higher quality instrument, a reputable dealer will also credit nearly all of your original purchase price on the trade-in, assuming it's still in good shape.

    We have dealt with a number of string instrument dealers in the U.S. If you want our personal opinions, please call us at 303-678-4593.


[ back to the top ]


Home | Policies & Expectations | Links Page

© copyright 1998 - 2012 Lamoureux Violins, Longmont, Colorado