Your child knows how to speak English. Do you know how amazing that is? English is a complex language and your five year old speaks it amazingly well. Isn’t that kind of a miracle?
And do you know what else? Chinese children speak Chinese! In my very humble efforts to learn it for one semester in college I think Chinese is a challenging language, but thousands of young children speak it almost effortlessly.
Nearly every child speaks his or her mother tongue with significant skill at an early age. It is truly amazing! But let’s say your child is the one who is not picking up on his native language, would you just give up and decide he’ll never learn to speak? No! You would never do that with your child. Would you decide, “Well, he can’t speak English I guess he’ll just speak German instead.” No! You would continue to teach, love, and encourage that child to learn his native language until he succeeded. That’s all there is to it.
We all speak our native language. How talented we are as humans! As children, we can acquire the skill of language - almost without thought - as we are immersed in it.
This is the foundation of the Suzuki Method of teaching music. It is based on the Mother Tongue approach and the belief that every child can succeed. Immerse your child in music from an early age. When your child is taking lessons, play the music from their book every day. Surround them with this new “language”. If a child is faltering, don’t give up, don’t discourage him or her, do what you would do if they were struggling to learn their mother tongue- teach, love, and encourage.
As you, as parents, and I, as the teacher, follow the Mother Tongue approach we can create a positive environment in which students can thrive, and delight as they learn the new language of music. This positive approach is one of the the reasons I love the Suzuki Method of teaching. With Mr. Shinichi Suzuki, I too believe that “Every Child Can”.