The following is my vision of an accomplished learner and accomplished Suzuki family at any level of study. These are in no particular order.
- Balanced body to allow for ease of playing – Feet are flat, knees unlocked, spine is balanced, movement is possible and musically appropriate
- Balanced violin posture for ease of playing, allows for future development
- Balanced bow hold for ease of playing and tone production, allows for future development
- Balanced and free left hand, allows for future development
- Intonation – correct intonation with ringing tone
- Bowing – able to perform bowings, bow distribution, articulation, and dynamics correctly
- Memory – able to remember previous pieces and finds memorizing new music easy
- Listening – listens daily to recordings of repertoire including review and upcoming music; listen to other high quality performances of their current and upcoming pieces by professional musicians; they listen to other high quality music regularly (classical, fiddle, jazz etc.)
- Musicality – feels and plays music with dynamics, phrasing, breathing, beautiful tone, not just playing notes
- Tone – has a good concept of what tone is and how to achieve good tone; knows that they are able to achieve a beautiful tone in all of their playing
- Rhythm/Tempo – feels rhythmic pulse/beat and can keep pieces steady in appropriate tempo; performs rhythms of piece correctly
- Review Repertoire – reviews regularly; understands the value of review; reviews meaningfully (knows the purpose of review in a given practice session and improves piece rather than playing through notes); continues to improve review to new standards as they grow musically.
- Performance – willing and able to perform regularly; feels comfortable on stage; feels prepared for concerts, understands when a piece is ready to be performed; able to play concert pieces musically and without technical mistakes
- Learning process – is able to take direction and instruction from parent and teacher; is able to teach themselves through self-correction of pieces and exploring the notes of new pieces; understands that mistakes are a big part of learning and that it is okay to make mistakes but one must also strive to improve their ability so that mistakes are uncommon.
- Ensembles – performs well in ensemble; can hear others in the group; can follow the leader; can lead when called upon; blends musically with the group; upholds their part of the ensemble (group class, chamber music etc).
- Home Practice – plays, practices, and performs regularly at home; home practices are effective and result in improvement; practice sessions are long enough for age and technical level; an encouraging learning environment is created for home practice; parents are involved in the home practice until at least age 13; parents and students are clear on how to conduct an effective home practice; parent and student respect each other in home practice.
- Lessons – lessons and group lessons are attended regularly; students and parents are clear on their assignments before leaving the room; ask appropriate questions if the assignment is not clear; the parent and student are respectful of the lesson environment and the teacher.
- Feedback – student and parent are able to give the student meaningful positive and instructive feedback in order to help the student
- Music is a priority – the student enjoys music and feels that music is an important part of their life and their family’s life. Music is a priority for the student and the family. They have musical friends and role models to emulate. They have musical goals to strive towards. Music is a lifelong experience.
- Student and family are good musical citizens – the are supportive of other musicians; attend and perform in concerts regularly; they are good audience members, they are curious about, and respectful of, music of all types; they are role models for younger students.
- The student and their family has created an environment in which they learn effectively and enjoyably and continue to learn and play music throughout their lives.