Suzuki, Shin’ichi

views updated

Suzuki, Shin’ichi

Suzuki, Shin’ichi, influential Japanese music educator and violin teacher; b. Nagoya, Oct. 18, 1898. He was the son of Masakichi Suzuki (1859-1944), a maker of string instruments and the founder of the Suzuki Violin Seizo Co. He studied violin with Ko Ando in Tokyo and with Karl Klinger in Berlin (1921-28); upon his return to Japan, he formed the Suzuki Quartet with 3 of his brothers; also made appearances as a conductor with his own Tokyo String Orch. He became president of the Teikoku Music School in 1930; subsequently devoted most of his time to education, especially the teaching of children. He maintained that any child, given the right stimuli under proper conditions in a group environment, could achieve a high level of competence as a performer. In 1950 he organized the Saino Kyoiku Kenkyu-kai in Matsumoto, where he taught his method most successfully. In subsequent years, his method was adopted for instruction on other instruments as well. He made many tours of the U.S. and Europe, where he lectured and demonstrated his method. See K. Seiden, translator, Where Love Is Deep: The Writings of Shin- ichi Suzuki (St. Louis, 1982).


C. Cook, S. Education in Action (N.Y., 1970); E. Mills and T. Murthy, eds., The S. Conception: An Introduction to a Successful Method for Early Music Education (Berkeley, 1973); C. Barrett, The Magic of Matsumoto: The S. Method of Education (Palm Springs, Calif., 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire