Japanese Violinist Dr Suzuki created a new way for children worldwide to learn music. He believed that studying music leads to a more enriched life. His methods are not about creating child genius musicians, rather they focus on applying real world observation to the learning process.
Over a quarter of a million young people now learn to play and love music using his methods. According to Dr Suzuki, all children given the right learning environment can acquire musical ability. He talks about love more than he talks about treble clefs; his method focuses on encouraging children to learn from each other, and work in groups as well as individually. Suzuki asks us to consider learning music as we might think about teaching our children to speak. Music becomes habitual, interwoven with daily activities and a partnership between parent and child. We really like this bit from the British Suzuki Institute website :
“Suzuki wrote an account about his teaching method, how he developed it and some of the results achieved by his pupils. He entitled it “Nurtured By Love.” Nurtured – because Suzuki believed that musical ability lies in all children. He did not believe he was imposing a skill upon a child; he was, rather, guiding them to manifest what they already possessed. Love – because Suzuki music teaching is not about breeding musicians or inculcating skills in children. It is about the amazing results that can be achieved when understanding, sensitivity and discipline are brought together in a single field of study. The glue that binds these various elements together is, Suzuki believed, love.”
When you see Suzuki Method in action, vs the classical method of child at piano with teacher alone, practicing from books and separation of playing and theory, Suzuki’s methods seem intuitive and blindingly obvious in comparison. ( As well as being a whole lot more fun). You can find out more about Dr Suzuki and his methodology here.
This got us thinking at The Ideas Machine, what if we apply similar thinking to the world of work ?
How often in business do we do things because that’s the way it has always been done ?
How often we ‘get through’ processes and training as a kind of necessary evil ?
How often we inflict this kind of stuff on junior staff…. after all we went through it so why shouldn’t they ?
Dr Suzuki looked at the way children learn, he looked at how they like to sit and created a ‘twinkle C’ a whole 8 notes up from the classic middle C note, and much more comfortable for a child to reach. He thought about why children get nervous about performing, so added group learning to negate any ‘fear’ of others hearing you play from the get go.
When we are at work, when we are faced with situations, processes and training that feels irksome, tiring, or just plain bad… what’s really going on ? What can we learn from Dr Suzuki about taking a step back, thinking through some fundamentals and getting a new perspective ?