The Evil Ways of Shinichi Suzuki [insert ominous laugh]


Robert has reached the abyss, and it is unclear what will happen next.

Book #1 of the Suzuki violin method includes 17 songs for the beginning violin player to learn.  These are exercises that help the young player explore very basic violin fingering and bowing techniques.  For generations, many six-year-old children have learned these songs on their way to becoming intermediate or even advanced students of the violin.

Death Zone

But with delicious cruelty, Dr. Suzuki laid a trap in song #17, Gavotte, by François-Joseph Gossec.  In the very last song, sadly, with the end of the book in sight, many aspiring children have encountered this most hideous of obstacles.  They have stumbled and never gotten up.

I speak of the the dreaded sixteenth-note strings beginning in the song’s 28th measure.  Robert can see the bodies lying around him as he has now arrived at this most dangerous, and demoralizing, passage.  Like the Ice Fall sector of the climb up Everest, only the strongest can continue. Will he survive this challenge? Only time will tell . . .