Shinichi Suzuki was a violinist, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. Born in 1898, he studied the violin in Japan before going to Germany in the 1920's for further study. After World War II Suzuki was touched with compassion for the innocent children who saw and suffered the consequences of a terrible war. Fueled by his desire to give them hope and a promise for the future, Dr. Suzuki devoted his life to the development of the method he called Talent Education. He realized that children all over the world learn to speak their native language with ease, and he began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music. Dr. Suzuki based his approach on the belief that musical ability is not an inborn talent, but a skill to be developed. Any child who is properly trained can acquire the capacity to play music beautifully. The potential of every child is unlimited.
In addition to teaching children to become excellent musicians, Dr. Suzuki hoped to create wonderful people. "If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline, and endurance. My aim in teaching is to give children a sense of joy. I don't wish to turn all of my students into professional musicians. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. Music can open a child's heart, an give him a finer appreciation of life." Dr. Suzuki believed that world peace and understanding could be achieved through music, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.
Dr. Suzuki passed away on January 26, 1998, leaving behind a powerful legacy in the world of music education. The Suzuki Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, where Shinichi spent much of life, is still in full operation, training both teacheres and students. There are now Suzuki teachers in forty-two countries and thousands of Suzuki students worldwide. Founded in 1977, The Suzuki Association of Utah (SAU) is just one of many regional chapters of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. It is a non-profit organization of professional music teachers and families dedicated to providing an environment for musical growth based on the method developed by Dr. Suzuki. The SAU currently has a active membership of more than 200 teachers and nearly 3000 students.
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