The most direct path to learning anything is to observe and imitate. Most of us are born with the ability to do this naturally, but as we "mature" our learning turns towards more ineffective ways of learning. When we are little we observe the subtle combinations of shapes made by our parents lips, mouths, teeth and tongues to speak. We watch others walking and learn to walk ourselves. We learn to climb and jump, pick up things with our fingers. To observe and to imitate is the highest way of learning. It puts the responsibility of problem-solving upon ourselves creating an inner strength to rely upon our senses and experiences to understand.
One of the most powerful examples of imitation and observation in music history is that of Mozart. Mozart's environment was rich with music. His father was a composer and directed rehearsals with violinists and other artists constantly at home. His older sister, affectionately known as "Nannerl", was taught at the age of 7 to play the harpsichord. She was 4 1/2 years older than Mozart and according to historians as much of a prodigy as her younger brother, but due to his age and gender, was able to garner greater share of the accolades. He would watch with great interest and when his father's friends came with their violins he would try to pick them up at the age of 3 and 4, but was always told "no". Then one day at the age of 4, his father's friends told Leopold, "Let the boy try," and with that his father was speechless, for Mozart played back note for note on the violin the very piece they had been practicing! The power of this little prodigy's observation had created such desire that he could reproduce that which he saw and heard without mistake. His internal power to imagine and recreate had empowered him to play an instrument never yet attempted at an incredibly young age.
Suzuki piano lessons present the music at tempo typically. Sections can be as small as one or two notes or as large as 4 to 8 bars. Children learn to hold the music in their minds and put it forth again. This process of imitation and observation creates ease in performance and long term memory. Spontaneity and the ability to improvise--skills that traditional lessons typically do not approach, are part and parcel with the Suzuki method. Great artists from every discipline are first taught by observing and imitating a master from which platform they take flight to new, original heights of achievement.