Music at Heart - Suzuki Recorder in York

Posted in Suzuki category on 7th June 2013

A Lesson from the Royal Marines

This week I had the privilege of attending the Passing Out Ceremony of my son who has just completed his training as a Royal Marines Commando. As part of the day we were treated to a drill display in which he and 35 other young men demonstrated a highly complex choreography of movements performed with absolute precision and synchronisation. How had they learned to keep the beat so well, I wondered, and learned to move as one in this way? My son explained that to achieve this excellence, the final week of their 32 week training programme is devoted to drill practice, eight hours daily on the parade square, for five days. Suzuki said, "Knowledge does not create ability; knowledge plus 10,000 repetitions creates ability!"

Impressive on face value alone, their marching is even more impressive when it is considered that these men were not selected for their dancing or musicianship skills, yet their co-ordination and sense of timing were impeccable. Suzuki believed that every human being has talent, not just a favoured few, and that the potential for learning is limited only by inadequate training and low expectations: “The ability demonstrated by children receiving attention as being prodigies or geniuses may be the kind which many ordinary children may be able to attain if given the chanceā€¦"