Wednesday, March 3, 2010

To Learn With Love

I'm re-reading "To Learn with Love - A Companion For Suzuki Parents". It's an excellent read for the parent, educator, and home educator alike even if your children are not involved in anything musical. Suzuki had so many insights into the aptitude of children and how to motivate them.

Here are two quotes from the first chapter, that I just love:

First Quote:

"Such statements as "At age three children are unable to...", or "A four-year old cannot comprehend...", caused him [Suzuki] to reject others' opinions and led him to study children directly himself."

"Suzuki observed the learning habits of children. These observations and his reflections on them gave birth to his idea to apply the mother-tongue method to the teaching of music to small children. As his success tells us, he found that children have enormous potential for learning and that poor teaching; poor environment and inadequate adult expectations have been the principal causes of limiting that potential."

Second Quote:

"Growth rates are by no means constant. 'Once a slow learner, always a slow learner' is simply not true. We should not put a tag on the slow beginner. Remember the story Suzuki told in "Nurtured by Love" about the parakeet named Peeko Miyazawa? Peeko had to hear 3000 repetitions of the word 'Peeko' before he was able to say it, but only 200 repetitions of his family name, 'Miyazawa'. 'Ability breeds ability,' Suzuki says."

..."What actually did happen was that Peeko, after learning to say his name, began to imitate everything he heard, even after only one hearing! I'm sure people marveled at Mr. Miyazawa's parakeet. Did he tell them that Peeko was an especially slow learner? Did anyone ever ask Winston Churchill when he learned to talk?...Or ask Jesse Owens when he learned to walk?"


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