Shinichi Suzuki was born in Nagoya, Japan October 17, 1898.

His father, Masakichi Suzuki, ran a workshop that made traditional Japanese stringed instruments. He was fascinated with the violin, he made his first one in 1888, and by the early 1900's he owned the first violin factory in Japan.  It was also the largest violin factory in the world. He thought his son, Shinichi, would help run the family business. Instead, Shinichi Suzuki (inspired by a record of Mischa Elman playing Schubert's Ave Maria) taught himself to play the violin.
A wealthy patron invited Suzuki to Tokyo for lessons with Ko Ando, a former student of Johann Joachim. In 1921 Suzuki went to Berlin for further study. There Suzuki became a student of another student of Joachim, Karl Klingler. While in Berlin Suzuki met and became a friend of Albert Einstein, who also played the violin.

In 1929 Suzuki returned to Japan.  He and three of his brothers formed a string quartet.  They performed throughout Japan.  In 1930 Suzuki became president of the Teikoku Music School and was conductor of the Tokyo String Orchestra.

At a quartet rehearsal one day in 1933 formed the idea that just as all Japanese children have the ability to master the Japanese language, all children should be able to master a musical instrument (or anything else) the same way that they learn their first language.

In 1946 Suzuki went to Matsumoto where he helped start a music school that used the "mother tongue approach", which was eventually re-named the Talent Education Research Institute.  The Japanese word "saino" means both ability and talent.  It is also used to mean the development of an ability or of a personal trait, such as one's character.  Thus, Talent Education refers to the development of skill, knowledge and character.

Suzuki developed the repertoire, which presented technical and musical concepts in a logical sequence.  Soon teachers from across Japan were traveling to Matsumoto to learn the techniques.  Materials were developed for cello, flute and piano.

In 1958, a filmed performance by young children who had learned violin by the Suzuki method was shown to a group of string teachers in Ohio. The film fostered a great deal of interest, many American teachers to want to learn the method. A follow-up visit by Suzuki with another group of Japanese students in 1964 brought more interest.  Since then, the  Talent Education concept has spread to more than 8000 teachers worldwide.  More than 250,000 students study music by the Suzuki method.

Dr Suzuki died January 26, 1998, in Matsumoto, Japan.
Shinichi Suzuki
1898 - 1998
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Suzuki Violin T-Shirt, When I Was A Lad
When I Was A Lad
I Served A Term
As A Suzuki Student
With A Teacher Firm
And I Played All My Twinkles
With A Bow So Free
That Now I Am A Member
Of the Symphony

Also Available . . .
When I Was A Lass
Who Was Shinichi Suzuki?
In this sequel to NURTURED BY LOVE, Dr. Suzuki states that, the fate of the child is in the hands of his parents. With this book he shows how to create a warm environment which will encourage any child to become a happy, loving and talented human being.
Nurtured by Love
The author presents the philosophy and principles of Suzuki's teaching methods. Through the examples from his own life and teaching, Suzuki establishes his case for early childhood education and the high potential of every human being, not just those seemingly gifted. Written by Shinichi Suzuki, translated by Waltraud Suzuki.
A statue of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki that stands in the courtyard at the institute in Mutsumoto.
Talent Education
This book contains several essays on dealing with children’s abilities, educational systems, memory and absorption, the power of habit, early education and the fostering of students' talents.  This textbook by the father of the Suzuki Method, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki