Shinichi Suzuki

The Suzuki Experienece

From one Suzuki parent to another

Sectional listening in small segments

We often think of listening as a way of building memory and reinforcing tone. It's also possible to listen intently in smaller segments. Here's how.

Alan Duncan

2 minutes read

When someone asks me - what's the most important part of Suzuki talent education? I always answer the same way.

Listening.1

So as the parent of a young musician, I spend a lot of time figuring out how to fit listening into our schedule, and how to make the best use of the tools we have available to us to improve our listening time and efficiency. I written previously about harnessing technology for listening. In this article, I'll describe how we use a smartphone application, The Amazing Slow Downer, to list in small sections. First a bit about the application. It's available on macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android. It allows you to load music from your library (or certain cloud-based music sources) and slow them down while preserving the pitch.

What I just discovered was the ability of the app to save loops in sections, like bookmarks, so that you can listen to them repeatedly and return to them again. It's a much easier way of accomplishing this than scrubbing back and forth through the entire piece.

After importing the piece, you will need to mark the beginning and ending of each section that you want to save. The following image shows the controls that are used to mark the start and finish of the loop.

Amazing Slow Downer app, marking start and finish

The one remaining task is to save the loop. This is the control that looks like and old floppy disk (remember those?) This is the control that is used to save and retrieve loops. In the following image, you can see that I've saved the three cadenzas in this piece.

Amazing Slow Downer app, retrieving loops

That's it. Now, if you want to focus on a small part of the piece and listen to that section on repeat, you can do it!


  1. Actually, I'm old, traditionally-trained, and I still approach a new work the same way. [return]
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The Suzuki Experienece is a weblog focused on helping parents practice more effectively and joyfully with their children. It traces the progress of our experience from beginner to budding young artist.