Ability Development - Every Child Can Learn
"There is no born genius. Education is the
way to develop ability" – Dr. Shinichi Suzuki -
Dr. Suzuki believed that with a proper
training and the right learning environment, every child can develop what many like calling 'talent', but he
preferred calling it 'ability'. He also believed that “talent is no accident of birth”. There are still people
in a modern world, who like thinking that some of us are born with a talent and the others are born without and
if so, there is nothing that they can do about it. According to Dr. Suzuki, ability is not something we receive
at the birth, but something which can be developed.
“Man is born with a natural ability”. In
order to survive in this world, every new born baby carries with him a built mechanism to adjust to the
environment. Without this mechanism, that Dr. Suzuki called “natural ability”, a baby couldn’t learn any of the
basic skills of life. Dr. Suzuki came to a realization that all healthy and normal children learn their own
mother tongue, without exception fluently and with a great ease before age of 5, only because they have this
amazing ability to adjust. All German children speak German and all Japanese children speak Japanese because
they are surrounded by their mother tongue full time from the birth and they practice it every day. Children
master their mother tongue by listening, through imitation, repetition and encouragement.
"Musical ability is not an inborn talent,
but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as
all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited".
According to Dr. Suzuki, none of us is born with an ability to play a musical instrument but every child or
adult can learn the highly complex skill of playing a musical instrument at a high level with proper training,
proper practice and a supportive learning environment.
“Man is a Son of His Environment”. Music
education should begin at birth by surrounding a baby with classical music through playing high quality
recordings. Ideally, if we can take our babies regularly to places where musical instruments are played or have
a sibling or a family member playing an instrument, we create the ‘musical environment’, that Dr. Suzuki talks
about as a key element in developing ability. By doing this, music becomes a second language for a baby,
something that naturally belongs to his life and something that he wants to do, because everybody else is doing
it. He also develops a sensitivity for a quality and beauty.
"Teaching music is not my main purpose. I
want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and
learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets beautiful heart." – Dr.
Shinichi Suzuki -