One unique feature of the Suzuki method is the parent-student-teacher triangle. All three members of the triangle have important roles to play, and all must be part of the process. In more traditional methods, the parents drop the students off for their lessons and then expect everything to happen between the teacher and the student. In the Suzuki method, parents come to the lessons as well, take notes during the lesson, and then go home and work with the students at home. It is a very involved process. Even parents with no musical bakcground whatsoever can really help their kids.
Also, parents can keep an eye on how things are going at home and help the teacher out by discussing what is working and what isn’t. This can be such a crucial part of the process. Suzuki came from a different society – mothers tended not to have jobs in Japan back in the 1920’s-1970’s. They were at home all of the time and could really be devoted to practicing with the kids. American society today is much different. Whether for better or worse, this is the state of things. Therefore, what worked in Japan back then may not work as well in America now. But we can certainly do our best to help students succeed, even with less time and resources available.