Music: Playing by Ear

"Won't you play a piece for our American visitor?" asked the teacher. Shinichi Suzuki's violin pupils scurried into formation against the walls of a bare Japanese room, swung their instruments under their chins, and played Bach and Handel minuets with surprising style. "It was really amazing," said the visitor, John D. Kendall, music director of Ohio's Muskingum College. "I was so touched I could feel tears welling up in my eyes." It was amazing indeed. The 30 musicians he had heard were only four years old—and they were students at the Matsumoto School of Music, which is the talk of Japan's...

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