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Recognizing the importance of early childhood education and the need for a program for young children, ESM offers a 'pre-instrumental' class for birth to four-year-olds. Following the philosophy of Talent Education developed by Dr. Suzuki, this program is based on imitation, praise and encouragement, repetition and parental involvement. It provides a musical experience that helps develop the physical, aural and mental skills that will help prepare these young children for insturmental study, making their initial instrumental learning easier.

Dr. Suzuki emphasized that the education of children should begin at a very young age. He argued that the infant/toddler period is a crucial time in which everything in the environment is effortlessly absorbed. He considered children to be like seedlings, and "…unless the seedlings are well cared for, beautiful flowers cannot be expected".

Recent research supports Dr. Suzuki's observations and beliefs in the potential of young children and the importance of nurturing that potential at an early stage. Scientists are finding that an enriched, nurturing environment with opportunities for exploration and learning contributes to cognitive and emotional development in young children and actually changes the growth of the brain. It has also been demonstrated that there are 'windows of opportunity' for much of this learning, some of them at very young ages. Brain connections related to music are most easily made at a young age (before the age of 8). Many repetitions in learning anything (as in language or music learning) strengthen brain growth, improving ability in other activities and thought processes.

"…Childhood is a particularly crucial time for the brain because of the neural sculpting that goes on; for many of our abilities, tendencies, talents, and reactions, those that get "hardwired" in childhood become the collective mental platform upon which we stand and grow for the rest of our lives". (Magic Trees of the Mind, M. Diamond & J. Hopson; Plume: Penguin Putnam Inc. 1999:p57).

Suzuki Early Childhood Education (Suzuki ECE) aims to build on the child's natural delight in learning and to develop the abilities and natural potential of each child. The Suzuki ECE curriculum is based on the following concepts:

  • Every child can learn
  • Ability develops early
  • Environment nurtures growth
  • Children learn from one another
  • Success breeds success
  • Encouragement is essential
  • Parental involvement is critical

Skills and information such as pulse and rhythm recognition are introduced through songs, rhymes, games and other enjoyable activities in a way that helps to develop the self confidence and preparation for starting an instrument. The children will each develop at their own speed and when they are ready, if they so desire, can move on to a musical instrument.

For more information, see the SECE registration form and brochure, or contact ESM by email or at 416-239-4637.