Freddie Stewart, Jr., former student

“To Prospective Music Students: I strongly encourage you to entrust your musical instruction or that of your child to the Suzuki method, and if at all possible to one of its leading U.S. practitioners, Dr. Carolyn Barrett. Following is a brief account of my personal experience of the effectiveness of the method and the teacher: I am a fifty-year old engineering professional with no appreciable musical training prior to Dr. Barrett’s instruction (as a third-grader in public school I learned the basics of playing the “recorder” or wooden flute). Five years ago at age forty-five I began studying violin under Dr. Barrett. I studied for two years, and then stopped for three years to pursue professional studies. Approximately six months ago I resumed studying with Dr. Barrett, this time on the viola. My initial two-year period of instruction was very brief relative to my age and near total lack of musical background. Also, my first instrument, the violin, was very challenging. However, despite a break in training longer than my initial instruction, I was amazed to discover that in less than six months I had completely regained skills and the repertoire of songs I had acquired before the break! Although the larger viola is physically easier for me to play than the violin, this difference cannot account for the astounding “musical recall” I have experienced since resuming with Dr. Barrett. I fully credit this amazing retention to the effectiveness of her expert instruction using the Suzuki method. Through Suzuki instruction musical proficiency is acquired “organically” through imitation and immersion. Despite my lack of prior musical training, two years of Suzuki instruction deeply “imprinted” music in me, so that I can’t forget what I’ve learned just as I can’t forget how to ride a bike. I am deeply grateful for the Suzuki method and the tutelage of Dr. Carolyn Barrett, both of which I enthusiastically recommend to you.”