The Suzuki-Orff School of Music engages students, involves families, and provides an exceptional music education to a diverse community in Chicago.
We believe that the study and performance of music serves as a unique and extraordinary tool for human
development. Our programs are designed to help our students roundly succeed in the 21st century by incorporating family as an integral part of the learning experience and by nurturing creativity, self-expression and self-confidence, all while developing discipline and critical thinking skills.
The Suzuki approach to teaching music grew out of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki's belief that all children can develop the ability to play instruments beautifully, just as all children learn to speak their native languages with ease. Often called "the mother-tongue approach," this method focuses on the importance of daily listening to the Suzuki repertoire. Listening to the same musical pieces each day is similar to hearing the same words and expressions when learning one's native language. Children discover and start imitating sounds before they are introduced to written symbols; they talk before learning to read and write. The same process can be used when teaching music: listening to and playing melodies precedes learning to read musical notation, if only for a short time. After students become familiar with the geography of the instrument and master basics of playing technique, the ability to read music comes easier
Orff music, developed by the composer Carl Orff, is based on the premise that feeling precedes intellectual understanding. His approach to music education begins with what is most natural to the child—rhythm and the singsong chant of child's play. Rhythm is present in all of life's activities especially the speech and movement of a child's daily play. Through games and activities, natural speech and movement patterns are used as springboards to musical experiences. After the child has a physical background in rhythm and melody, he is introduced to music notation. This develops the ability to hear what is seen and play what is heard, which is how one sight-reads music.
The Suzuki-Orff School of Music is the originator of the integration of the Suzuki and Orff methodologies as the basis of its programming. Beginning with Baby Steps, our curriculum provides sequential, step by step approach to learning the language of music. This integrated curriculum is important because it lays the foundation for continued study of the discipline. Instrument and Orff teachers work together to ensure students are making connections between concepts learned in Orff classes and private lessons.