Suzuki Method Supplementary Books | Online Violin Lessons

Suzuki Method Supplementary Books | Online Violin Lessons



Sinichi Suzuki was a master violin pedagogue, made famous for his Suzuki Violin Method (and later adding other instruments). I am a Suzuki-certified teacher, and I also use traditional pedagogy practices to supplement the Suzuki method. I use the Suzuki books to assign foundational pieces for my students to study, and I include other supplementary books to help my students develop a strong foundation in violin technique. Here are the books I recommend using to supplement the Suzuki method.


Note Reading

The Suzuki Method strongly emphasizes learning music as you would a language. A big component of that is listening and learning by ear. I agree with this, and implement this in my teaching in conjuction with using sight reading materials. I use the “I Can Read Music” books by Joanne Martin to help my student learn to read music seamlessly. I start with Volume 1 within the first month of lessons and continue with Volume 2 after they complete the first volume. Because these books are intended to be sight read, students do not practice the exercises ahead of time. In my studio, students sight read 1 lesson every week, but with the parental involvement students can use these books during daily practice time. Many of my studio parents are not musical, which is why I prefer students to only sightread with me.



I usually introduce shifting to my students after they have completed Suzuki Book 1. I like using “Introducing the Positions” by Harvey S. Whistler (both volume 1 and volume 2). I think the books were well-thought out in terms of progression (presenting groups of exercises by key) and comprehensiveness.



While I incorporate scales from the very beginning, I don’t introduce a formal scales book until my students are in Suzuki Book 2 or 3. I prefer to teach scales by rote first, and I instruct my students to practice the D, G and A scales for a long period of time before introducing scales with other finger patterns. I use “Progressive Scales for Violin” by Amy Matherly as a first scales book. I love the simplicity of the layout as well as the range of one- to three-octave scales. For my more advanced violinists, I use the Carl Flesch scale system.


Double Stops

I like to introduce double stops around Suzuki book 3 or 4. “Melodious Double-Stops for Violin” by Josephine Trott is a great book for students to use to practice double-stops while also playing beautiful melodies.


Other Performance Pieces

Depending on the student, I like to assign 2 pieces at a time; one from the Suzuki books and one from the Solos for Young Violinist series. The Suzuki books have many baroque and classical era pieces, and the Solos for Young Violinists books include many romantic and contemporary era pieces. I like exposing my students to all eras of music so I can contribute to developing complete musicians.


Looking for more supplemental materials? Find my violin 1st position flashcards here!




I’d love to work with you! Please contact me for more information about music lessons!

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