When to Switch from Suzuki to Classical Instruction

Suzuki Music Instruction is such a wonderful program to instill sound musical training in very young children. However, many Suzuki programs do not teach note reading, which is pertinent to the ability to continue on in music. More and more Suzuki teachers are incorporating Classical teaching and note reading as the popularity grows.

Just as choosing a Suzuki teacher is a personal choice and should be made with the child's best interest in mind, the decision to switch method of instruction should be viewed in the same light.

Most experts agree that formal note reading classes can begin as soon as the child begins reading. Developmentally, the same skills are necessary for both music and traditional reading. During this time the child can process music in much the same way as acquiring a second language. The benefits of musical instruction will begin to flourish with the addition of Classical instruction.

Most children begin reading around the age of five or six years old. During this age the change in the level of music instruction can begin to reflect the child's longer attention span and the ability to grasp musical notation.

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