Shinichi Suzuki

The Suzuki Experienece

From one Suzuki parent to another

No instrument? No problem!

One of the most frequent questions that comes up online is what to do if you cannot practice with your instrument. Here's a handful of tips about practicing without an instrument.

Alan Duncan

4 minutes read

Suzuki said to only practice on the days you eat. It must have been his wry way to say: "Practice every day." That is sound advice; and in reality, there is so much progress to be made by practicing every day. But life intervenes. We've been practicing for many many days now. But twice during that stretch, my daughter had to practice without an instrument because it was simply not safe to bring her instrument into the back-country where she was on a school trip.

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.

So you want to solo with orchestra: 10 tips for a successful performance

A solo appearance with orchestra is regarded as a highlight in the life of a young artist. Here are a handful of tips to prepare for a great experience.

Alan Duncan

11 minutes read

As kids begin playing longer and more complex works, opportunities to perform with orchestra emerge. When my daughter had such an opportunity last year, it was a chance for us to reflect on how we prepared and what we learned from the experience. What follows is a description of what we experienced along with lessons that we learned in the form of 10 tips for a great performance with orchestra. (Feel free to jump to the tips!)

Suzuki parenting as a form of deliberate practice

In part 3 of a series on deliberate practice, we look at the work of Suzuki parents as a form of deliberate practice and how thinking about it in this way can lead to more mindful high-quality practice sessions.

Alan Duncan

8 minutes read

In Part I of our series on deliberate practice, we introduced the concept. In Part II we began to apply the idea of mental representations as a key component of expert performance and one of the goals of deliberate practice.

Mental representations and deliberate practice

In part 2 of a series on deliberate practice, we dive into the heady concept of mental representations and how they affect practice.

Alan Duncan

8 minutes read

This is the second article in a series on deliberate practice. The first in the series dealt with the concept of deliberate practice as a general principle and today we'll dive into mental representations as an essential component of deliberate practice.

Finding the recipe for success

Artistry comes from finding the right recipe of contradictory ingredients in the practice room.

Alan Duncan

3 minutes read

"Go in front of a mirror with your instrument, look at yourself and tell yourself what recipe, from several contradictory elements will make you the best artist. The ingredients are repetition vs spontaneity. Relaxation vs control. Confidence vs humility. After all, technical discipline does bring us artistic freedom. We just have to figure out on any given day what the recipe is to make us the best artist we can be."

Trust the process

Confidence comes from knowing that your route will take you where you want to go.

Alan Duncan

5 minutes read

Confidence comes from knowing that your route will take you where you want to go. Whether it's about the mastery of a certain piece of music or about the long road to become a confident player, it's about trusting that the process will get you there.

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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.