Posted in Suzuki category on 8th April 2014
NLC en famille!
Suzuki says, "Environment nurtures growth," and he always encouraged parents to introduce their children to beautiful music as early as possible - even pre-natally. On tour with New London Consort recently, two of my fellow musicians were breastfeeding their newborns of eight and fifteen weeks, and so they came along too. In spite of extra helpers back-stage to look after the little ones during rehearsals, sometimes only mummy would do, and slings came in very handy.
What a marvellous experience for these babies to be in the midst of this live music-making, knowing the warmth and security of their mothers at the same time as they snuggled up and literally felt the melodies through their bodies - music they would have recognised from having first heard it in the womb. Suzuki believed "The power of music to develop a human heart is great....We are not teaching these children to make them professional musicians. I believe sensitivity and love towards music or art are very important things to all people, whether they are politicians, scientists, businessmen or labourers. They are the things that make our lives rich."
The leader of the orchestra also had her seven and eight year old children with her, and during the dress rehearsal before our performance of The Tempest (Henry Purcell) in Paris, her son observed the conductor avidly, imitating every move of his arms and body with gestures of his own. "Talent is no accident of birth.... the right environment can change a person with undeveloped ability into a talented one."