As we plant a seed in the ground, we can’t see the development of the plant as the sun shines on the earth and the rain nurtures the seed, but one day a flower appears. Similarly, we can’t see the development of a child’s ability but we must keep nurturing until the flower unfolds. It is an example of the universal law of cause and effect. As the Bible says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”
~ Shinichi Suzuki
LNM Studio Summer PARTY!
Sunday, July 19, 2-4 PM @ our studio
Games, fun, door prizes and a special performance by Mr. Rigo that everyone WILL LOVE.
You don’t want to miss it!
— Jorge Heredia interviews Love Nurtured Music‘s master violin teacher, Rigo Murillo.
What is the Suzuki Method?
The Suzuki Method is one of the most prominent methods of music education, especially for young children. It is based on the way we learn to speak our native language. At the Love Nurtured Music Program, we use the Suzuki “Native Language” approach exclusively.
When we’re young, we hear a lot of language. We hear our native language and the meaning of things way before we speak depending on the environment where we grow up. Our parents speak to us and help us to learn the language in a very natural way, without taking classes. They help us pronounce the words, and even though we don’t speak perfectly then, they encourage us and praise us for our efforts.
This way, the dynamics of learning our native language in a completely natural way are also the same principles that we use in the Suzuki music learning approach.
How does the Love Nurtured Music Program work?
In the same way we learn to speak, at the Love Nurtured Music Program, we adapt these steps to learning music. The same steps that are involved in learning to speak are applied to every step we take in the teaching of music.The Suzuki Method has been adapted for violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, harp, flute, guitar and organ. It is very dynamic. We have an organizational structure, and we apply the steps to each learning stage.
Our music program is very family-oriented. The student, the parents and the teacher form a triangle. The teacher is responsible for presenting the musical concepts to the child, with lesson activities and to guide the parent on how to practice with the child at home. The parent is responsible for directing the child at home practice. And the student is responsible for practicing and focusing. This takes special effort from the parents and the teacher, presenting the information in a natural and fun way for children, because, as you know, when we are young, we just want to play. So we teach music through games and activities in which children are involved very naturally. The parent, the teacher and the child are connected by a triangle that we call the “Suzuki Triangle.”
At what age can a child start with music lessons?
The starting age of my students is three years old. It’s best to start as early as possible because at that age, they learn better and faster. At that age, children take music learning more deeply, and that’s when the brain is more malleable, improving brain connections and helping the child not only musically, but also academically. However, we accept beginners of any age. We have no age limits of admission.
In the Love Nurtured Music Program, we have students from age three to adults. I teach everyone using the same methodology, with certain adjustments according to the age and learning pace of each student.
Aren’t musical instruments expensive?
Today, instruments are very affordable and you can buy or rent. A good-quality student-level violin can be purchased starting at about $300 to $400, or, if you prefer, you can also rent one for about $25 a month. So, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to start giving your child a meaningful musical education.
Anyone can benefit from learning music. Music helps us to live a better life. Music gives us a sense of belonging, and a way to express ourselves no matter if we are three or 100 years old.
What motivates you?
When I was young, I started learning the violin because I loved the sound. I loved the sound of the violin back then, I love the sound of the violin now, and I love to give people the opportunity to love the sound of the violin. One of my passions when I am teaching is that my students make a very nice sound on the violin. That’s number one. If a child starts learning the violin and doesn’t like the way it sounds, that’s bad news. So, we try to make sure that each child makes a great sound on the violin from the very first time and we take steps to ensure that each student will love the sound they make.
After everything, the objective is music and sound. That’s what motivates me. And, of course, the love of children, seeing and hearing them play and have fun, benefitting from making music. I just love to see their faces when they’re performing. They really do a great job and when they finish their performances, they see all that they have done, their accomplishments that not everybody else has. And that is because they put the effort. That helps them enjoy the process and the music.
Do you want to give your child the gift of music?
“A seed is planted in the earth. We don’t see when the germination begins. That is the doing of mother nature: it is the fundamental working principle. We have to wait patiently. We cannot dig up the seed to see whether it is really growing: to do so would be to destroy everything. Suddenly, a bud appears. What a joy and pleasure to watch it grow! At the same time the root, unseen in the ground, is getting stronger and has the power to produce a big, sturdy tree. I think this is a good analogy for one’s ability. Once the seed is planted, it has to be carefully and patiently tended. Finally, the ‘bud,’ or talent, presents itself and has to be educated and brought up with perseverance until the ‘root,’ or power, becomes very strong and is indissolubly tied to the personality. It can be said to be a treasure when a person can accomplish and carry through his or her work to the very last.”
— Shinichi Suzuki
Now, this is Orchestra CRAZINESS!!
How does the Suzuki Talent Education Method differ from other methods of teaching music to children?
Though music teachers have often used some of the elements of the Suzuki Talent Education Method, Dr. Suzuki formulated them in a cohesive approach to teaching music to children. The Love Nurtured Music Program uses this approach exclusively.
Some basic differences are:
- Suzuki teachers believe that musical ability can be developed in all children.
- Students begin at young ages.
- Parents play an active role in the learning process.
- Children become comfortable playing their instrument before learning to read music.
- Technique is taught in the context of pieces rather than through dry technical exercises.
- Pieces are refined through constant review.
- Students perform frequently, individually and in groups.
The Suzuki Triangle:
The teacher is responsible for:
- Training the parent to be an effective assistant for the child.
- Teaching the child how to play with beautiful tone, technique and interpretation.
Parent is responsible for being the child’s assistant and helping with daily practice which includes:
- Creating the proper environment so the child will have a successful learning experience
- Playing the recordings daily, as requested by the teacher
- Assisting the child with memorizing a piece as needed
- Teaching fingerings as requested by the teacher
- Helping the child become their own teacher by always asking, “How did you do?”
Child is responsible for being a child, which means:
The child will learn from whatever is put in his environment. Most children enjoy learning music by ear if given the opportunity and proper surroundings. Gradually children learn to assume responsibility for their work as they mature, but it takes time and cannot be rushed. Children become responsible, cooperative, and disciplined, not because parents tell them they should, but rather because they see their parents behaving this way and follow their example.
The beginning foundation you provide for your child’s music education is the most important step. It is essential that your child’s musical training be provided by music professionals who are trained in teaching young children.
Such education will greatly increase the chances that your child will enjoy learning music and is motivated to practice. Qualified music professionals will, along with you, find a way to make your child want to practice and continue learning!
The Love Nurtured Music Program is based on an excellent musical foundation and skill building blocks for your child, leading to excellence in both musical and human levels.
Every child can play! Every child is capable to achieve musical excellence and appreciation for the beauty of music if given the proper environment, masterful instruction, and parental guidance.
The importance of the beginning stages is critical for the child’s future musical progress, as well as for his/her mental and social development (see article below).
Q. Describe the most common types of students you have.
A. I take young violin students, starting at three years old. My violin studio population student ages range from 3 to 18 years. I also have some adult students.
Q. What important information should parents have thought through before seeking you out?
A. I take student families who are really serious about taking violin lessons as a long-term, life-enriching activity for their children. I offer a lot of fun while teaching young children the proper violin technique for excellence in their music studies. Some students decide to pursue music as a career, but most will enjoy playing music for a lifetime, just for fun.
Q. Why does your teaching stand out from other violin teachers?
A. I am a classically-trained professional violinist who dedicates most of my time to teaching young violin students. I rarely reschedule or cancel lessons, miss appointments, or such. You can expect professionalism of the highest caliber. I can refer you to any of my student families to corroborate this.
I am 100% dedicated to my students’ progress and their parents. I also play professionally, make recordings and coach music the rest of the time.
You can be confident that I try to do my best to help each and every one of my students and their parents to achieve the highest levels of music learning and accomplishment. Excellence is my standard.
Q. What do you wish other people knew about you or your profession?
A. OBSERVE a lesson with a prospect violin teacher before you sign up. Do not let their hourly rate be the first screening factor. Effective, quality-oriented music teachers with adequate training and experience are not cheap, but are well worth your money, translating in a great experience and proper technique, musicality and music theory learning.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I am a Suzuki trained violin teacher and have taken courses every year several times. I am certified to teach Suzuki books levels 1-10 and constantly research better ways to help parents practice with their children. I have written many articles in music education journals and have collaborated with other teachers in educational endeavors.
Q. If you were a parent looking for a violin teacher for your child, what do you wish you knew about your profession? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Quality of instruction cannot be overemphasized. Many parents of children looking for violin or viola lessons ask how much lessons cost before they ask anything else. Cost is meaningless if we don’t consider quality, experience and reputation of the teacher first. Money can be easily wasted on teachers who do not have proper training and experience. I don’t care if they charge $1 per lesson. If the student doesn’t learn anything or she learns incorrect instrument technique from the start, then, it is wasted money. The early stages of learning are very important and parents should look for quality in a teacher first.
Q. How about purchasing an instrument? Can you give some pointers?
A. Do NOT purchase a violin before getting a violin teacher. That’s the #1 advise I can give to anyone looking for violin instruction. Your teacher will have a good sense of the size and quality of the required instrument, and maybe some suppliers that consistently provide quality instruments.
The worst thing for a beginning violin student that to play with an inadequate instrument. Having a quality violin will save you tons of aggravation and money (think how long it will take you to make progress when it’s difficult to play a bad instrument).
Quality instruments do cost more… and are well worth the extra money. I have a page about violins on Love Nurtured Music’s website.
Q. How can people contact you if they have more questions about studying violin?
A. I can be contacted via email through our Suzuki program’s website, www.LoveNurturedMusic.org. There is an email form in the contact link. They can also contact me by phone at 214-269-8545 during morning hours. I usually teach during the afternoons after kids are out of school and I devote my time to them. Email is the best way, but I will be glad to talk with anyone on the phone when I am not teaching or practicing violin for a performance.