Kathie Johnson, a member of the piano faculty at the Bay Chamber Community Music School, will conduct a Suzuki piano lesson demonstration with 7-year-old Sally Harper of Cushing Thursday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s recital hall, 18 Central St. on the top floor. All are welcome, with or without children.

Shinichi Suzuki was a Japanese pedagogue who reckoned that if every single child in each and every country in the world could speak his/her native tongue fluently, then these same children could be taught to play a musical instrument if one simply modeled music teaching on language learning. He set about putting together the Suzuki method of music instruction based on three principles: the child is surrounded by the music to be played (CDs, tapes, etc.); the mother or father is the “home teacher” who repeats and implements lessons learned at the child’s weekly session with the Suzuki teacher; and reading music is delayed (exactly in the same way that no one expects a child of two who is beginning to speak to be able to read words).

Johnson has long experience with the method, first as a string Suzuki parent and then as a Suzuki piano teacher for the past 31 years.  She became an avid believer when she first heard students playing in precisely the way she had been unable to coax from her traditionally trained students. To her amazement, when she adopted the Suzuki method, she saw immediate results from her students. She also discovered that even adults who were completely untrained in music were nonetheless able to be highly successful as Suzuki parents.

The Bay Chamber Community Music School offers lessons in violin, viola, cello, piano, classical guitar and voice. For more information about the Suzuki method and all other educational offerings, call the Bay Chamber Community Music School at 236-2823. Bay Chamber Community Music School offers private instruction, orchestral opportunities, and other music education to local musicians and community members of all ages and abilities.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.