Shinichi Suzuki

The Suzuki Experienece

From one Suzuki parent to another

Podcast episode on practice

Jan 26, 2020

I love listening to music podcasts when I'm in the car, or on the treadmill. One of my favourites is the Mind over Finger podcast produced by violin pedagogue Renée-Paule Gauthier. She interviews well-regarded players and pedagogues of all kinds. Her latest edition is episode 57 with Robert deMaine, who is the principal cellist of the LA Philharmonic. What a delightful episode about mindful, purposeful practice.

Among the many take-aways from her interview with Robert deMaine:

  1. Make every moment count. With easy sections, easy gigs, always use it as an opportunity to practice and advance your technique. Don't just phone it in; make every minute with the instrument count.
  2. In preparation for an audition, think about preparation in two ways: examine every connection, every shift, everything is great deal, as with a microscope. But also prepare by playing through the work as much as you can. Approach it from both angles. Eventually the two will meed in the middle - that's when you know you're in "Olympic condition."
  3. He distinguishes between a beat (supplied by metronome) and a pulse which is constantly be re-negotiated in the music.
  4. Treat auditions like a form of practice; learn something and develop with each one.
  5. "You can't climb someone else's mountain." Don't try to emulate someone else's process mindlessly. If someone practices six hours a day, maybe they're just not efficient practicers.

Some news about summer institutes

Jan 17, 2020

When the snow begins to blanket our landscape - at least here in Canada - thoughts turn to summer Suzuki institutes. There are so many and I don't want to leave anyone out. But taking that risk, there are two that I want to call out today:

I've heard a lot about the Violin Garden Summer Academy held at the Palace Miller-Aichholz in Vienna, Austria the week of July 13-17, 2020. If you are in Europe, or would like to have a really good excuse to visit the beautiful City of Music for an important reason, here you are. If you are interested in learning more, see the website, or contact summeracademy@violingarden.com.


For many years, we've attended the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (USA). It is held for two weeks in mid/late summer. This year's dates are: July 19th-25th, 2020 and July 26-Aug 1, 2020. ASI is the original Suzuki institute in North America and the first of its kind outside of Japan.

Registration for ASI 2020 is set to open on January 20, 2020.

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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.