Laura Hynes, Investigating the influence of the Suzuki method on the identity and motivation of its practitioners: an Irish-based case study (MA, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 2017)

These details defined Wed Mar 27 11:40:17 2019  edit
 Author:  Hynes, Laura 
 Title:  Investigating the influence of the Suzuki method on the identity and motivation of its practitioners: an Irish-based case study 
 Degree, institution:  MA, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2017 
 Volumes, pp.:  1 (153pp.) 
 Supervisor(s):  Michael Murphy 
 Repository:  Mary Immaculate College Library 
 General specialism:  Music Education 
 Content, key terms:  Concepts:
music instruction
 Abstract: 

The Suzuki method of instrumental tuition was introduced to Ireland by the Cork School of Music in September 1969. Since then, it has grown and flourished and currently provides music education to children and teenagers with three Suzuki schools in the Republic of Ireland. The purpose of this research was to determine the nature and experience of Suzuki-student identity and motivation while engaging in the Suzuki method of instrumental tuition in a Suzuki school in Ireland. Thirty-nine former students of the Suzuki method were involved in the research with 17 of these participating in an additional interview. Topics from the questionnaire were explored in the interview in more detail.

The research tools used consisted of online questionnaires and interviews. The data collected was predominately of a qualitative nature. Thematic analysis yielded three main themes: 1) Suzuki-student identity in Ireland; 2) motivation to learn and play and 3) reflections on the Suzuki method and experience by former Suzuki students. These themes were underpinned by the following topics which formed the main findings; participants playing in non-Suzuki settings, sibling involvement in Suzuki, Suzuki and grades, ear training (aural awareness), performance confidence, parental support and involvement, teacher and teaching approach, group classes (peer motivation), solo performances, Suzuki concerts and camps, Suzuki repertoire and technique, reading music, sense of community, friendships and socialising.

This research suggests that the Suzuki schools are dynamic, collaborative and adaptable settings that strive to meet the needs of its beginner and intermediate learners. However, a notable gap was witnessed for adaptable students. No apparent structures were in place for the continued study of Suzuki repertoire and pedagogy, in particular after students' Leaving Certificate year at second level education in Ireland.