Although organ was my first study at music college (I gained an FTCL for organ performance), I also studied piano and gained an LRAM for piano teaching. However, the most useful training by far was studying for my DipESA in Suzuki piano teaching. I very much enjoy teaching piano by the Suzuki approach and have a thriving practice in Cambridge of about 18 pupils aged from three to 18. Over the last few years, however, almost all my pupils have moved on to study at the junior departments of the London music colleges – six to the RCM, three to the GSMD and one to Trinity Laban and one to the Royal Academy of Music – so I currently have few teenagers in my studio! One of the most important aspects of Suzuki that I emphasise is a strong community spirit where everyone works together for the benefit of all. My pupils regularly play duets and trios and we have regular recitals where the achievements of all are celebrated.
Jenny on her Suzuki Philosophy
Because my own musical training as a child was so completely different from the Suzuki approach (I took one ABRSM exam every year, I never observed another pupil’s lesson, I rarely saw another pupil of my teacher, I never performed in a pupils’ concert, I was never encouraged to play from memory, and so on), I can understand why Suzuki works so well – I can see all the tremendous benefits which I missed out on. I have the greatest respect and admiration for the Suzuki approach. Having been a parent of three Suzuki children, I appreciate the challenges involved in being a Suzuki family. It gives me great pleasure to see my own children and my pupils growing up and developing into wonderful adults!
For the benefit of my Suzuki families (and others who care to listen) I have recorded the complete Suzuki piano repertoire (also, for the earlier books, slow recordings, recordings of right hand and left hand alone, and duet accompaniments). I have also videoed short (5-15 minute) teaching tutorials on each piece in books 1 to 4 of the Suzuki piano repertoire. These are useful for parents to refer to as their children learn each piece, and for trainee teachers to study. To listen to my recordings of the Suzuki repertoire, watch my tutorials on Suzuki piano books 1 to 4, read my articles, order a copy of my book on practising, find information about Cambridge Suzuki Training, look on my website www.jennymacmillan.co.uk.