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Defining a Student’s Repertoire

The Suzuki Method gets a lot of bad rap at times.  One issue that I've seen come up is the method's emphasis on the same core material.  If the Suzuki Method is separate from the books then why this devotion to those pieces?  Why not branch out?

Well the simple answer is that a Suzuki teacher could branch out.  A big reason why most of us adhere to the core repertoire is that the Suzuki Method is a worldwide entity.  It allows our students to be unified with others around the globe by giving them that same common ground.  But this doesn't mean that additional pieces cannot be added.

According to the dictionary, repertoire is: a stock of plays, dances, or pieces that a company or a performer knows or is prepared to perform.  This is exactly why reviewing old pieces is a cornerstone for Suzuki philosophy.  A piece cannot be mastered after just having learned the notes.  Just as a stage play is not ready for an audience after only one run-through.  The core pieces teach a student how to develop their repertoire.  The Suzuki books are merely a way of defining this.


  1. Also it is often much cheaper to buy the Suzuki "collection" of each book. For example, book 6 costs about $9-10 on Amazon right now. The pieces in book 6 are all fabulous technique builders, and I would suggest that my students learn all of the repertoire contained in book 6. To buy all these pieces individually would cost the student quite a bit more money. That argument usually makes my students' purchase decisions easier to make.

    Paula Bird


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