Shinichi Suzuki's Nurtured by Love, The Classic Approach to Talent Education is an illuminating account of his philosophy regarding life, music, and learning. It is wonderfully Japanese, in the best possible sense - the love part of my love/hate with Japan.
In the book, he recounts an anecdote from his days at the Nagoya Commericial School where he was class president four years running. The motto of the school was "First Character, Then Ablity". Noble enough. And so he explains:
During the final examinations, one of the students whom I shall call A, was discovered by B to be cheating and B announced the fact loudly to the teacher in charge. A was then sent out o the classroom, which was by then in an uproar. But when the examination was over, and as soon as the studentswere out in the passage, another student C, leaped upon informer B, a big boy, asking him what kind of friends he thought he was, and hit him. The others joined in and they all gave 'B' a sound thrashing. I was still in the classroom. It all happened in the twinkling of an eye. Presently they sent for me, the class president to come to the faculty rom. "What is meaning of this outrageous attack? Were you aware of it?"Suzuki replied (and recall that he is pacifist, gentle human being with the highest moral character):
Suzuki: "I was. I struck him too."
Faculty: What? who are the students that struck him?
Suzuki: All the members of the class, Sir.
Faculty: And you think you did right, do you?
Suzuki: I do not sir. I think it was wrong to cheat. But I think it was extremely unfriendly to report him sir. Please punish us....
If only Hohn had learned violin the Suzuki way he could have saved his investors lots of money, not to mention loss of face....