Is Music Reading Taught?

There is a common misconception that students learning by the Suzuki method do not learn to read music. This is not the case. It is the timing of learning to read music that is different from other instrumental pedagogies. The ‘Mother Tongue’ approach recognises that reading music follows the acquisition of good technical and musical skills, just as reading a language is learnt after a child can speak it fluently.

Children need first to develop strong listening skills in order to produce beautiful tone, pitch and musicality. If they begin to read music too early, they are tempted to depend on looking at the notes on the page instead of listening to the sound they produce.

After the basic playing skills have been mastered, and as appropriate for the child’s age and development, all Suzuki students learn to read music and appreciate music theory as part of the process of becoming fine musicians. They become equally adept at sight-reading as those who learn to read music sooner.

Dr Shinichi Suzuki

Mother-Tongue Approach

Benefits of Suzuki Education