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What about scales/technique?

I sympathize with Dr. Suzuki’s perspective that music can be learned using actual music and not just dry etudes and an extent. Scales and technique absolutely have their place and must be learned proficiently. But many technique practices really take some maturity to understand and appreciate. Therefore, although I am known to teach a student their first fingered notes in an ascending sequence, I do not believe hard study or practice of scales is necessary at the beginning. But, my students do start scales at a time that is right for their progress. My introduction of scales starts simple, but over time morphs into a traditional scale system.

For other techniques, the newly revised Suzuki books have a lot of great basics to get started, often developed for addressing specific known trouble spots in the repertoire. I use those, but I also use many of the traditional sources for reinforcing standard techniques, i.e. shifting, finger dexterity, bow control, etc.

And do not forget one of the student’s best practice partners, the metronome. When properly introduced, students come to accept it as a friend, not despise it as a foe.

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