Written by & under Program Development, teaching.

By Patrick Fritzinspiration-is-everywhere1_zps626c8735

Each year, I try to re-read “Nurtured by Love” by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Over a decade ago, his short book helped shape the direction of my teaching career…

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”

“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”

In no uncertain terms, Suzuki makes it clear that our children are our future, and that the future is a bright one…

“An unlimited amount of ability can develop when parent and child are having fun together.”

“It is necessary to be concerned about the importance of educating a really beautiful human spirit.”

As the parents and teachers of our succeeding generations, our future rests tenderly in our hands and hearts as we cultivate our children…

“Every child improves depending on his/her parents.”

“Creating desire in your child’s heart is the parent’s duty.”

“Children learn to smile from their parents.”

“Those parents who think their children have no ability are not good parents.”

While reading Nurtured by Love, Suzuki makes you feel like it is possible to change the world, through music, one child and family at a time…

“Don’t hurry don’t rest. Without stopping, without haste, carefully taking one step at a time will surely get you there.”

“Music is the language of the heart without words.”

“Tone has a living soul. Without form it breathes.”

…That by creating a nurturing environment, any range of ability, discipline, and beauty within every child, can be cultivated to ultimately improve the human condition…

“Success breeds success.”

“There is no point where we can say, “This is enough.” Always seek finer music, finer performance. Eventually this will change from a learning attitude to a joyful quest which will last throughout our lives.”

“Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill.”

When it comes to working with young children, Suzuki showed us what was under our noses the whole time…

“I am mentally preparing myself for the five-year-old mind. I want to come down to their physical limitations and up to their sense of wonder and awe.”

“Listening until we remember is not enough. We must listen until we cannot forget.”

But his lessons do not only apply to training kids. They apply to anyone seeking to improve him or herself…

“Good or evil, beauty or ugliness, daily behavior itself becomes one’s flesh and blood before one realizes it. It becomes habit through repetition.”

“The real essence of art turned out to be not something high up and far off – it was right inside my ordinary daily self – if a musician wants to become a finer artist, he must first become a finer person.”

Whether you are a Suzuki teacher or not, I hope you’ll find something worth pondering in these quotes.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorites. I have this one posted on my wall and it sparks some wonderful conversations…

“Practice only on the days you eat.”