December 2010
Billie Silvey
LA Phil
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My granddaughter Katyana has perfect pitch.  We know
because her violin teacher told us.  It’s a real asset for
playing the violin, which has no frets.

Katyana loves music.  She’s the only four-year-old I
know who sings opera.  We have DVDs of Mozart’s
Magic Flute and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel,
and she sings along with many of the arias.

Katyana studies violin with
Jennifer Lynn, who teaches the
Suzuki method at
Coast Music Conservatory in Hermosa

Shen’ichi Suzuki was a violinist who wanted to bring
beauty to the children of Japan after the devastation of
World War II.

Struggling to learn German, Suzuki noticed that children
pick up their native language by exposure and are able to
speak fluently by the time they are 5 or 6 years old.  He
wondered if those principles could be applied to music.  If
the learning steps and the instrument were small, and if the
child were exposed to music as a positive part of her
environment, she would be able to learn at a young age.

Exposure includes attending classical concerts, making
friends with other music students and listening to music in
the home every day.  Learning by ear is emphasized over
reading notation.

“I want to make good citizens,â€� Suzuki said.  â€œIf
a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns
to play himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and
endurance.  He gets a beautiful heart.â€�

The Suzuki method discourages competition and
advocates collaboration and encouragement.

My husband Frank is the other musician in the family.  He
sings and plays piano, guitar and trumpet.  When we first
married, he’d play his guitar and sing folk songs.  
When the kids were younger, we’d invite friends over,
and he’d play his guitar and we’d sing Christmas
carols in our neighborhood.

Frank studied music at
Overseas School of Rome with
Rocco DiGiovanni, who taught him music theory, voice
and piano.  Now he leads the bass section with
Chamber Singers.

In this website I've included pages on the
LAPhil and Messiah.

I'd love to hear your response, or any stories you have
about music, orchestras or concerts you've attended that
are meaningful to you.  Just write me at
Jennifer Lynn
Shen'ichi Suzuki
Frank Silvey