Students will demonstrate their understanding of the Suzuki ten ways of walking exercises by creating a “walking blueprint” of their competition pieces.
Sheets with descriptions of Suzuki walks 2-10—1 per group Suzuki Walk Music for the walking exercise (I chose “Firework” by Katy Perry) Music-playing device.
Anticipatory Set/Hook Have the students focus with 3 minutes of Rhythmic Stomping. (3-5 minutes)
Transition: Today we are going to learn one last Suzuki exercise—the ten ways of walking. You have just practiced the first (stamping or stomping). As you know, I’ve been learning the Suzuki method out of very limited books and videos online. I want you all to have the experience of trying to understand an acting method out of a book—a good skill I think if you ever want to expand your knowledge of other acting methods. So, you are going to be the teachers of Suzuki’s other nine methods of walking.
Guided Practice: Divide the students up into nine groups. Give them each a slip of paper with a description of one of the walks on it (see lesson supplements). Give the groups five minutes to read the descriptions and figure out what the walk looks like. Then, have each group present their walk to the class, with the class copying the walk and practicing doing the walk around the room. Correct any walks that are off from the descriptions or what you can see in the following video: (5 minutes)
Instruction: After the class has a sufficient understanding of each of the walks, instruct them on the format of the walking exercise. The walks are practiced together as a group to music as you move diagonally across the main space. The music should be extremely rhythmical. The order of walks is not always fixed, but usually begins with the stamp and ends with the shuffling moves. Great concentration is needed to keep even gaps between you and the other students and to progress in a straight diagonal line, particularly if the body is not facing along the diagonal (as in walks 6, 7, and 8). Once you reach the fixed end point, you return to cross the line with the next walk. The sequence lasts approximately ten to fifteen minutes in total. You should not follow, but attack the beats in the music. (3 minutes)
Group Practice: Have the students complete the exercise described above. Have the students go through the diagonal for each walk twice and then repeat the entire thing if time permits. For music, I chose Katy Perry’s “Firework” for its strong beats that worked well with the walks. It is also culturally relevant right now which, I believe, is in line with Suzuki’s ideas of his method being intracultural. (15 minutes)
Group Discussion: Have the students sit in their chairs. In light of all we have learned so far about the Suzuki method, what do you think the purpose of these walks are? What is their usefulness and how do they fit into the framework of the Suzuki method? How could we apply these walks to your competition pieces? (5-10 minutes)
Individual Practice/ASSESSMENT: Have the students create a “walking blueprint” of their competition piece. If they could translate the different beats of their piece into different Suzuki walks, what would their piece look like? The students will have ten minutes to create a walking blueprint of the first 2 minutes of their piece. They may add gestures to their walks if they wish. Music will not be used, but they may have the teacher tap out a beat if they wish. After the ten minutes is up, have volunteers come up and show their walking blueprint of their piece.
Closure: What was your experience doing this exercise? Was it useful? Why or why not?
Have the students create a “walking blueprint” of their competition piece. If they could translate the different beats of their piece into different Suzuki walks, what would their piece look like? The students will have ten minutes to create a walking blueprint of the first 2 minutes of their piece. They may add gestures to their walks if they wish. Music will not be used, but they may have the teacher tap out a beat if they wish. After the ten minutes is up, have volunteers come up and show their walking blueprint of their piece.