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String Method

  • End Note: The Great Suzuki Debate

    Mike Lawson | November 19, 2013

    As SBO readers will have noticed by now, this publication recently began running a column, “String Section,” authored by renowned performer, clinician, and educator Mark O’Connor. While unquestionably one of the great innovators in string playing today, as well as an eloquent writer, O’Connor can be somewhat controversial, particularly regarding his unflagging criticism of the Suzuki method.

    Hopefully some of the readers who responded to the String Section column’s debut with vitriol aimed at this publication will see that SBO has no interest in entangling itself in the debate about which instructional method is best – or worst, for that matter. SBO’s goal is to empower and support music educators through practical, accessible articles covering the array of topics that band and orchestra directors face throughout the school year. A discussion of the nature of string education, including how to prepare music students for success in a changing professional landscape, is relevant, but only in so far as it stays constructive. (And it bears mentioning that the String Section columns which have appeared in this publication have largely focused on positive examples of innovative performance and learning opportunities for young string players.)

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