When love is deep | Inquirer Business

When love is deep

(Last of three parts)

When love is deep, much can be accomplished,” said the late violinist Shinichi Suzuki. When children desire to learn and parents sacrifice for their children, they make beautiful music together.

Tonight, the Philippine Suzuki Youth Symphony Orchestra (PSYO) will perform classical and contemporary pieces at the Manila Cathedral, the first for a children’s orchestra in this sacred space. Young violinists, pianists, cellists, vocalists, organists promise an evening filled with hope, faith, joy, love.


“Talent education combines listening, practicing and performing, under the supervision of parent and teacher,” Suzuki said. “The parent need not be a musician, but is taught step by step how to help the child at home.”


“My husband Wilson and I have no knowledge in playing musical instruments,” says oncologist Marina Chua-Tan, whose tween son Theodore won global music fests. “We did not realize that the Suzuki method will transform our lives. Wilson sat in on all the boys’ lessons and learned the principles. He supervised home practice and forged bonds with the kids. Learning takes time—practice makes perfect. Their love for music helped the children play in the pandemic, through virtual practices and online performances. With the fervent support of parents, watching their Quarantunes and podcasts became family affairs.”

“After watching ‘The Sound of Music’ for the first time, our daughter Althea played sol-do-la-fa-mi-do-re on her toy xylophone—and she was barely two years old!” says dentist Elizabeth Aquino. “We did not know that musicality was possible at such an early age, but our neighbor, a student of [Suzuki pioneer] Carmencita Arambulo, suggested enrolling Thea at Greenhills Music Studio. Violins have been Thea’s companions ever since.

“But Suzuki was not a walk in the park. The ‘no parent-no lesson’ rule meant I had to be with Thea in class, sacrificing my Fridays. I learned to play the violin to help her at home. It was tiring at first, but it became an opportunity to bond with her and witness her growth. Over the years, I have seen her gain discipline from daily practice. Her confidence grew, and playing the violin is her stress-buster. It may seem daunting to juggle senior high requirements, college applications, school band and PSYO, but thanks to Suzuki training, Thea is used to hard work and time management. She treasures being part of music groups as they teach her camaraderie and teamwork.”

“Being a Suzuki parent is not without challenges,” says Eujane Araña, “keeping up with the schedules, the financial commitments—and sometimes the hardest, keeping the children motivated to practice seemingly endless repetitions. But any Suzuki parent can attest to this—the journey has been character-forming not just for the children but for the parents as well. We create beautiful music as an expression of love.”

The eldest, Natalia, a biology major at Hokkaido University, plays the violin in PSYO and is a member of the Paraluman Quartet. Paulina, a high schooler, plays the piano, and performed with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 10. Rocco, aged seven, is enjoying cello lessons.

“With constant listening and practice, the songs I learned became the soundtrack to my childhood,” says Natalia. “Thanks to the Suzuki method’s emphasis on listening, I ventured outside classical music, learned other songs by ear, explored band and orchestra. I formed meaningful connections not only with my own music, but also with the people around me—parents, teachers, peers. While PSYO members come from different ages and backgrounds, there is a strong sense of community as we become attuned to each other’s music as we are to their needs. Being part of a team also encourages discipline, and there’s always something new to learn, which makes it more exciting.”


For tickets to PSYO’s Easter concert tonight, April 13, send a message via Viber to 09064311407 or go to bit.ly/3mrdp8c.

Queena N. Lee-Chua is with the board of directors of Ateneo’s Family Business Center. Get her book “All in the Family Business” at Lazada or Shopee, or the ebook at Amazon, Google Play, Apple iBooks. Contact the author at [email protected].

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TAGS: Family, love, Suzuki

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