Logo drawn by Alice Wood

“Children learn best in the company of their friends”

Shinichi Suzuki

First Steps

First Steps provides a fun and informal beginning to musicianship studies through musical play. Young children live in a world of the senses, and First Steps activities focus on adult interaction with children through rhyme, singing games, movement and simple percussion play, providing an excellent foundation for more formal music studies in the future.

Parents are important participants in First Steps, and although the focus is on developing basic musical competencies, (e.g. the ability to respond accurately to a steady beat, and the ability to sing simple two- or three-note note songs in tune), there is no curriculum and no performance expectations of children at this stage of development. Parents don't need to be musical themselves, but do need to be enthusiastic about music and willing to be involved in guiding their children in a spirit of fun, praise and encouragement. A loving emotional bond between parent and child is the most powerful motivator.

Children learn music much the same way they learn language; they absorb beat, rhythm and melody from the models around them: other children, adults, games, radio, CDs, etc. The earliest stages are most exciting, as this is a time when children are best able to 'catch' the musical nuances of great artists. By providing children with the greatest examples of recorded and live music - e.g. classical, opera, world music - parents are able to nurture children's heightened musical sensitivities.

Babies (unborn and newly born) are welcome. As siblings of a registered student, babies under the age of 6 months are free of charge. Parents are encouraged to visit one class free of charge before registering.

Q: How early can a child begin Suzuki education?

A: From birth, or 9 months earlier! Parents of children age 6-24 months are encouraged to inquire into the CSYM Suzuki Piano & Kodaly Musicianship programme and arrange to visit beginners' lessons and musicianship classes. With a plan to begin first lessons by age 3.

Q: Why start children so young?

A: Young children are amazing human beings who learn through their sense-abilities. Although grown-ups don't doubt that an ordinary 16 month-old child would be speaking hundreds of words fluently within the next year or two, most can't imagine the same child could be playing the piano with any degree of competency at the same age. Yet age 0-3 is the best time for 'absorption' learning, for training good habits, and for interesting a child in playing the piano and encouraging basic 'musical competencies'. It is also the best time for physical training, while the child's body is soft and posture is naturally perfect. Young children generally spend more time in the company of their parents before age 4, so earlier is better to begin the home listening programme and introduce the child to the habit of listening, practicing, performing, singing and enjoying music by studying together on a regular basis.

Please contact Betty Power info@suzukipianocambridge.org.uk for further information.

Betty & Stephen Power

Email: info@suzukipianocambridge.org.uk