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Theory, Intuition and Joy

In conjunction with Oslo Suzuki Piano's children's weekend workshop, Caroline Fraser gave a presentation to Suzuki parents and teachers on how Suzuki children can be guided to discover musical concepts with joy through their senses.

Through a series of videos filmed at the Suzuki Piano Summer Institute held at Holy Names University, Caroline showed how little ones are guided by their ear right from the start. As they grow in confidence and musical ability, they begin to understand what they are hearing - intervals, modes, beats, cadences, rhythm and melodic notation, and music analysis.

They are able to tell the difference between a perfect 5th and a minor 6th, they can hear whole notes and half notes, they internalise scales and modes without having to memorise key signatures, sharps and flats, they feel the beat and phrases without having to count, they hear when modulations occur, understand cadences, transposition and music form, and learn how to make these music notations and analyse pieces for themselves. This is their journey to grow into independent musicians.

Children are guided during lessons to discover what they hear with their eyes and make joyful connections to their instrument. For this to be possible, the parental role of putting music in their children's ears is paramount. Parents often read the same stories over and over again to their children from infancy, and point to words as they read aloud. So even though babies and toddlers don't yet know how to read, they know when the page is going to be turned just from listening. It is the same for music. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki was right - "Baby catches everything".

As teachers, we endeavour to guide children joyfully, to learn to know music from the inside out "beacuse that's the way it is!".

Caroline Fraser's presentation was made possible with support from Norsk Suzukiforbund.

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