Kevin Carlson is certified to teach the Suzuki Approach to Guitar.  He is the only guitar instructor in Central Minnesota and St. Cloud area offering this to those seeking to take guitar lessons.

Lesson Length Recommendations: These are not absolute rules, only general guidelines:

  • Beginner-Book 3 / Ages 3-9 = 30 minutes

SAA (Suzuki Association of the Americas) Certified and Member

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Shinichi Suzuki was a violinist, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. Born in 1898. Dr. Suzuki devoted his life to the development of the method he calls Talent Education.

Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “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.”

Dr. Suzuki’s goal was not simply to develop professional musicians, but to nurture loving human beings and help develop each child’s character through the study of music.

Details about the Suzuki Approach

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.

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” when students are at home. 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.

It is never too late to begin.  The earlier the better.  The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Formal training may begin at age three or four, but.

The key to playing any musical instrument is constant repetition. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. With this approach, they add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.

Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.

As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and support. Each child learns at his/her own pace, building one small step on another so that each one can be mastered.

In addition to private lessons, many children participate in regular group lessons and performances.  This gives them a chance to learn from and be motivated by each other.

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. Just like children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of interaction and self-expression. 

Children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music. This same approach is exactly how we learn to read words.