From Shinichi Suzuki

“What is not trained while we are growing, brings pain and aches later… On the second floor of the school I line up Hiroko with children of her age group and gave everyone a number. Then, standing in front of them, I called out, “Attention, everybody. When I call one, two, three, put your right hand on top of your head as fast as you an – at the word three, remember, not before or after.” This training ability is very fine for violin playing. Children enjoy this game very much. Before a rehearsal I let them play it to loosin them up, and without fail, they are besides themselves with pleasure, laughing and giggling. But Hiroko alone was very slow in putting her hand on her head. She really took her time, as if time were nonexistent. More than playing Violin, I wanted her to change her pace of movement. I continued the game with all the children. Finally, Hiroko could play violin well, and did her best to move with alacrity. The next twelve or thirteen years showed a surprising change. She became alert and active, and she acquired a large repertoire of music. Now Hiroko Yamada is the only Japanese girl member of the Berlin Radio Orchestra.”

Author: Robert Bettmann

Founder of Day Eight, and the DC Arts Writing Fellowship.