17 October 1898 – 26 January 1998
Shinichi Suzuki was a Japanese violinist and teacher and was one of the most innovative and influential pedagogues of the twentieth century. He first studied in Tokyo and later in Berlin with Karl Klingler, returning to Japan in 1928 to form the Suzuki String Quartet with his brothers.
During his professional career as a performer and teacher, Suzuki continued a lifelong process of educational research and development of his educational method. He created a new method of music instruction, the Mother Tongue Method, which he based on his observations that all children learn to speak their native language with ease, through listening and repeating sounds. This he used to develop his method, resulting in very young children being able to master musical instruments.
Shinichi Suzuki became legendary with his success in teaching large numbers of young children to play at an unprecedented level. In the following years, his method and philosophy revolutionized instrumental teaching and early childhood education. His method has been adapted to a variety of instruments and these are continually being added to.