Suzuki: The Man and His Dream To Teach the Children of the World

Belknap. Nov. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780674238237. $27.95. MUSIC
Those familiar with music education theory, particularly approaches to teaching violin, may know of “the Suzuki method” developed, promoted, and taught by Shinichi Suzuki. There exist many books on the Suzuki method itself, but Hotta (Japan 1941) pens an exhaustive biography of the man behind the method. The writing is clear, and the storytelling is at once global and personal. The book’s scope extends beyond biographical detail, especially in the opening chapters, and great attention is assigned to the historical context of his 99 years of life. The most interesting passages describe the early development of his music education techniques with his first pupils and how Suzuki connected through the music world to many and varied figures, from Albert Einstein to Yoko Ono.
VERDICT A Suzuki biography will surely interest music educators and historians, but Hotta’s book (which encapsulates a century of Japanese history) will also appeal to general audiences seeking a musical lens on history.
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