Key principles of the Suzuki method include active parental involvement (parents are the daily practice partners), starting at an early age, listening to recordings, repetition, encouragement, individual theory sessions, learning a graded repertoire and delaying the reading of music until the student is mentally and physically ready.
The following article is taken from the Suzuki Association of the Americas website: Every Child Can Learn!
More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.
Parental Involvement As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.
Graded Repertoire Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.
Delayed Reading Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. in the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.
Music Mind Games has more than 300 games to teach music theory and reading using four main components: 1) an innovative teaching sequence, 2) a nurturing philosophy, 3) friendly, colorful materials and 4) a large variety of creative games. Music Mind Games…is a support system for developing music students…
With Music Mind Games students play fun, cooperative games to learn:
the musical alphabet,
to read rhythms,
sight-singing with solfege and Curwen hand sign,
the grand staff,
musical symbols and terms,
major and minor scales,
triads and chords.
Creative materials eliminate the need for paper and pencil and can be used to assess student understanding. Most often games are played on the floor with parents, teachers and friends. Some games teach new concepts, while others involve repetition of concepts to develop student memory. All are played in a relaxed, focused, and child-friendly manner to truly develop understanding and ability.
Music Mind Games is ideal for preschoolers, teens, adults and seniors... This provides a great opportunity to enjoy learning in the company of others.
-excerpt taken from the Music Mind Games Handbook. Copyright 2010.