School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Brian Stiffler


Suzuki method, cognitive development, physical development, music education, children


Educational Methods | Music


This descriptive phenomenological study aimed to explore the experiences and perceptions of Suzuki specialists regarding the cognitive and physical development of children participating in the Suzuki method of music instruction. Music educators recognize the Suzuki method as a successful approach for delivering content and meeting music students’ needs. This study may provide a roadmap for conducting the Suzuki method with young students aged five to twelve. The lived experiences of Suzuki teachers provided a unique perspective for understanding how Suzuki instruction contributes to children’s physical and cognitive development. This study explored the following central research question: How do Suzuki specialists describe their teaching experiences? The research sub-questions concerned how Suzuki specialists described their experiences teaching elements related to physical and cognitive development. Data were collected through focus group interviews, and epoché and horizontalization were employed for the data collection and analysis. Music teachers could enhance children’s cognitive and physical development by considering and applying this study’s findings, which provide practical information describing how Suzuki specialists used the method to enhance children’s development. This research on Suzuki specialists’ lived experiences identified five distinct themes: 1) parental involvement, 2) encouragement with a positive mindset, 3) play by ear, 4) group play, and 5) fine muscle development. The findings may also contribute to the literature that describes the theories and practices involved in the effective teaching and learning of instrumental music.