Aaron wrote:Suzuki is effective if the teacher is good but it is a very rigid and uncreative approach...
Pardon me if I voice some frustration in the direction of the above statement. The Suzuki method is quite the opposite in my opinion, but I am biased, as I've made a good portion of my living teaching children guitar with the Suzuki method for the last 10 years or so. To the original poster, I would recommend you investigate any and all teachers in the area who have had success teaching young children, be they in the suzuki method, any other 'organized' method, or if they teach their own method.
The Suzuki method is only as rigid as the teacher who teaches it. Yes, there is a prescribed curriculum (order of pieces) but every teacher needs to do what is best for their student, and teachers are welcomed and encouraged to change what they see needs to be changed. I think the above sentiments exist in the guitar world because people look at the Suzuki repertoire books and feel that they're limiting. The genius of the Suzuki method lies beyond the books, and in the nurturing approach to teaching children: the method works and is special because it demands the support of the parents, gets young students playing without the interference of notation, and with regular group classes it gives them an opportunity to be with peers to make music and have fun. Now, these things I've mentioned do not have to be unique to the Suzuki approach, anyone else is welcome to 'borrow' them (and I would encourage you to do so!). After one takes the initial Suzuki training courses, one doesn't sign a contract saying that they'll teach everything the same way, that they check their imagination at the door. Far from it. In my experience, people who take the time to do the training do so because they have a strong desire to be excellent teachers and are seeing if this is a valid approach. Many think it is a valid approach, others do not. This can be said of any method or approach.
Okay, reading over my diatribe above, I think I come across as a bit defensive, but I'll live with that! Again to the original poster, investigate anyone who claims success working with children and observe them teaching. Good teaching is good teaching, regardless of the 'method' used.