Music Lessons for Life: Fostering Emotion Regulation through Suzuki Education
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The Suzuki approach to music education encourages the development of new teaching practices that are consistent with the founding vision of Shinichi Suzuki. The purpose of this paper is to support teachers in this endeavor by identifying ways in which Suzuki education may foster emotion regulation in students, an aim consistent with Dr. Suzuki's goal of supporting the socioemotional growth of children. The paper reviews relevant developmental research and highlights those areas that intersect with the philosophies and practices of the Suzuki approach. One strong area of overlap stems from the principle that Suzuki education situates learning within a social context. The Suzuki approach places extraordinary importance on involving and coaching the parents of students, so it is significant that parental influences have been shown to impact children's emotion regulation. Research also indicates that peer collaboration and peer influences may foster children's regulatory abilities, in line with the dynamics that manifest in the Suzuki approach's required group classes. Additionally, early education has been found to promote emotion regulation, which corresponds to the Suzuki practice of starting students as early as age 3. Finally, this paper reviews existing research on the skills linked to emotion regulation and explores how Suzuki students exhibit those same skills. Examining the connections between Suzuki education and emotion regulation might expose possibilities for enlarging existing areas of overlap and for exploring new correspondences.
- Education - Seattle