What is Suzuki Guitar?
Suzuki Guitar is a teaching philosophy coupled with an established graded high-quality musical repertoire. The principal teaching philosophy centers on students learning music in the same way we all learn our first language: immersion!
Because Suzuki Guitar is linguistic in nature, particularly at the earliest stages, it has been found that students can begin learning this second, musical language shortly after they have begun acquisition of their first, spoken language. Most students can begin learning Suzuki Guitar as early as age three or four.
To the parent of a child of three or four with an interest in Suzuki Guitar, I suggest you do start your child early. This will ensure that guitar playing becomes a part of their daily routine from which they will not deviate with competing activities vie for their time later in adolescence. To the older student, I suggest you start as soon as possible. It is never too late to begin!
Because of the many remarkable videos available of very young students of Suzuki Guitar (and other instruments) performing advanced repertoire, some people mistakenly believe that Suzuki Guitar is a "children's method" not suitable for later beginners or adults. This is certainly not the case. Any person, at any age, with an interest in learning the guitar can thrive under the guidance of a certified Suzuki Guitar teacher.
Another misconception is that students are taught by rote and that music reading is not emphasized. This is also not the case. It is for the pre-literate student that written music is not emphasized. As the student begins to become a literate person in their primary language (e.g. English), they are introduced to reading in a very natural, developmentally-appropriate fashion.
Students are trained to play by ear, not by rote. The difference may seem subtle to the casual readers, but it is substantial. Listening and mimicking is a natural process of language acquisition. Ear training is also used for older, literate students.
Principles of Study and Guidance
- The [student] should listen to reference recordings every day... to develop musical sensitivity. Rapid progress depends on this listening.
- Tonalization, or the production of beautiful tone, should be stressed in the lesson and at home.
- Constant attention should be given to correct posture and proper hand positioning.
- Parents and teachers should strive to motivate the [student] so [they] will enjoy practicing correctly at home.
(excerpted from Suzuki Guitar School, Vol. 1. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Music, 2018, 4.)
The adult or self-motivated adolescent student will naturally not require the same level of external motivation as younger students. Nevertheless, others in the home should support and encourage the
The Sound of Success
Preparation for College
The Suzuki Guitar repertoire is concludes at the college and professional level. A student beginning at age three or four with a support system in place who practices regularly can expect to complete the final book early in high school. When the students are ready to apply for college, their life-long dedication will cause them to stand out and be noticed for acceptance and scholarship. Even if the student does not study music in college, they will be equipped and primed for a life-long relationship with music through their guitar which will never leave them.
In the video THE SOUND OF SUCCESS, Suzuki Guitar teacher David Madsen pointed out that the only person that really taught "The Suzuki Method" was Dr. Suzuki. There is no "one, true way" to teach guitar. Every student is different and every teacher has their own unique and innovative strengths and strategies for their students. Dr. Berlin's background, personal study, and scholarship makes his teaching unique in all the world, even with a shared repertoire! There are areas where Dr. Berlin supplements Suzuki repertoire with other material. This keeps students interested and actively engaged in lesson material while using the established repertoire as way points for progress.
The Suzuki Guitar Repertoire
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: Variations and Theme - S. Suzuki
- Lightly Row - Folk Song
- Go Tell Aunt Rhody - Folk Song
- Song of the Wind - Folk Song
- May Song - Folk Song
- Allegretto - M. Giuliani
- Perpetual Motion - S. Suzuki
- Rigadoon - H. Purcell
- Are You Sleeping, Brother John? - Folk Song
- French Folk Song - Folk Song
- Tanz - J. Führman
- Tanz - J. C. Bach
- With Steady Hands - F. Longay
- Meadow Minuet - F. Longay
- Long, Long Ago - T. H. Bayly
- Allegro - S. Suzuki
- A Toye - Anon.
- Andante - M. Carcassi
- Andante, from Sonata No. 17 Perligordino - N. Paganini
- Allegretto - M. Giuliani
- Corrente from 43 Ghiribizzi - J. Kuffner
- Andantino - M. Carcassi
- Allegretto - F. Carulli
- Waltz, No. 1 - B. Calatayud
- Nonesuch - Playford Collection
- Greensleeves - Anon.
- Packington's Pound - Anon.
- Arietta - J. Kuffner
- Ghiribizzo - N. Paganini
- Waltz, from Sonata No. 9 - N. Paganini
- Andantino - F. Carulli
- Calliope (Lesson 61) - J. Sagreras
- Etude - F. Carulli
- Etude - N. Coste
- Arietta, Theme & Variations - J. Kuffner
- Celeste y Blanco - H. Ayala
- Siciliana - M. Carcassi
- Allegro - M. Giuliani
- Lesson - F. Sor
- Etude, Op 60, No. 9 - F. Sor
- Waltz - J. Meissonnier
- Waltz Allegro - M. Carcassi
- Lesson for Two Lutes - Anon.
- Bourrée - L. Mozart
- Variations on La Folia - A. Vivaldi
- Waltz Español - J. Ferrer
- La Volta - Anon.
- Maria Luisa: Mazurka - J. Segreras
- Minuetto-Allegro, Op. 22, No. 3 - F. Sor
- Gavotte I from Suite No. 6 in D for Cello, BWV 1012 - J. S. Bach
- Gavotte II from Suite No. 6 in D for Cello, BWV 1012 - J. S. Bach
- Sueño (Reverie) - J. Viñas
- Allegro Vivace, Op. 111, Part 2 - M. Giuliani
- Etude - T. Damas
- Rondo, from Op. 48 - F. Sor
- Guárdame las Vacas - L. de Narvaez
- A Musical Pastime - J. Rathgeber
- Etude - M. Carcassi
- Rondo, Op. 22, No. 4 - F. Sor
- Bourée from Suite in E Minor BWV 996 - J. S. Bach
- Largo II from Concerto for Lute Soprano and Strings, RV 93 - A. Vivaldi
- Allegro III from Concerto for Lute Soprano and Strings, RV 93 - A. Vivaldi
- Allegro I from Concerto for Lute Soprano and Strings - A. Vivaldi
- Sonata in B Minor - D. Cimarosa
- Canarios - G. Sanz
- Prelude from Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998 - J. S. Bach
- Sounds of Bells (Choro-Maxixe) - J. Guimaraes
- Sonata in A Major - D. Cimarosa
- Sakura, Theme & Variations - Y. Yocoh
- Gavotte I en Rondeau from Suite in A
- Minor, BWV 995 - J. S. Bach
- Gavotte II en Rondeau from Suite in A Minor, BWV 995 - J. S. Bach
- El Testament D’Amelia - M. Llobet
- Minuet I from Suite in D Major BWV 1007 - J. S. Bach
- Minuet II from Suite in D Major BWV 1007 - J. S. Bach
- Prelude from Suite in D Major BWV 1007 - J. S. Bach
- Recuerdos de la Alhambra - F. Tárrega
- Capricio Arabe (Seremata para Guitarra) - F. Tárrega
- Fantasia que contrahaza la harpa en la manera de Luduvicio from Tres Libros de
- Musica en Cifrase para Vijuela - A. de Mudarra
- Variations on a Theme of Mozart, Op. 9, "O Cara Armonia" from The Magic Flute - F. Sor
- Asturias (Leyenda) from Suite Español - I. Albéniz