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Parents are the Key!

posted Dec 1, 2011, 8:37 PM by Kristiana Matthes

Parents are the Key

One of the reasons the Suzuki method is so successful is because parents are actively involved in their child’s studies. Suzuki students are younger than traditional students and need parents to help them and support them.  I started Suzuki violin at age 4 and although I didn’t always want my mother’s help at the time, I have fond memories of our time together and am very grateful for her sacrifice to help me succeed. As a Suzuki violin teacher now most of my students’ parents worry about not having a musical background. Knowing and understanding music is not required to be a good practice partner.  Dr. Suzuki believed everyone can play violin. Even if you think your child knows more than you do, there are many ways your help is invaluable.

  • ·         Please attend, actively listen, and take notes at your child’s lessons. Most children are not able to remember exactly what occurred at the lesson. When you take notes it frees the teacher to teach and much more is accomplished (both at the lesson and during practice). Ask your teacher if you can videotape the lesson.
  • ·         Remember to play the Suzuki CD every day.  Encourage your child to sing or hum to the music. Ask them: What is their favorite piece? What parts sound hard or easy? etc.
  • ·         Set aside a daily time to practice. Write it on a schedule so everyone knows when it will be. Keep this commitment!  If it is just an item on your To-Do list it is too easy to let it go to the bottom and it will not be done.
  • ·         Be excited about practicing. This is your alone time with your child! Free yourself from distractions and focus. Be more concerned about your child doing their best than getting everything perfect all the time.
  • ·         Your student may not always want to practice or play violin. I know I had times when I wanted to quit. As a parent you are able to see the long-term benefit of committing to something.  Teaching your child that “quitting” isn’t an option will come in use when other things get tough. It is good for children to learn that they have to do things sometimes even when they don’t want to (chores, eating vegetables, homework, etc.)
  • ·         If you have a great idea for your child’s studio, or think something is missing talk to the teacher. Offer to start activities. Host a parent’s night out! Everything is easier once you realize you’re not the only one having this experience. If you are talented in one area, offer your specialty to help the studio.