May Violin Class Parents’ Guidelines
General home environment:
- Our success depends to a great extent on the relationship between you and your child. As a parent, you are the direct link between your child and me as the teacher. You are the daily teacher regardless of whether or not you have a background in music. I’ll help you become the best home teacher possible.
- Create a home environment where music is enjoyed and appreciated. In addition to the Suzuki CD, choose other recordings to play repeatedly.
- It is the parent’s and teacher’s job to create interest.
- Attend concerts. If an entire concert is too much for a young child, leave at intermission, or between movements of a rehearsal. Watch DVDs about musicians, concerts, operas.
- Play the Suzuki Book 1 CD as if it were wallpaper. Have a copy of the CD available in each of your child’s environments: bedroom, car, computer, home sound system.
- Prepare your child for lessons with a good night’s sleep and full stomach.
- At the beginning, it is likely that I’ll teach the parent to learn the first violin tasks, even if on the child’s violin. This will be helpful in practicing with your child.
- Observing others’ lessons is recommended and encouraged.
- Bring the same notebook and take notes of tasks at every lesson. Feel free to use a recording device.
- Make every effort not to miss lessons except in case of illness or emergency.
- Don’t “help” with behavior that makes you uncomfortable. (Chances are good that I’ve seen it before and already know how to handle it!) Remember, only one teacher at a time.
- Don’t assume that I don’t see something that I haven’t commented on.
- Discuss the lesson and practice with your child as soon as possible to reinforce it.
- The teaching and learning process, although game oriented, is not arbitrary.
Home practice time:
- Be responsible for starting practice time. It should be part of your daily routine, but also an “occasion.” Sometimes all it takes is to start playing yourself.
- Set regular, short, practice sessions. Be consistent and practice daily. At the beginning, 3 to 5 min. three times daily is more effective than one long session.
- Try to end before your child wants to end.
- Become accustomed to repetition and continued use of the same repertoire. Children usually do not tire of repetition unless others show boredom in their remarks, manner, or tone of voice. The best way to avoid this is to constantly search for new ideas that will keep both of you interested.
- Phrase your remarks positively. Depersonalize your comments. Say, “your third finger needs to be higher” rather than “can’t you get your third finger in tune?”
- Plan home concerts for friends and visitors.
- Practicing should never be associated with conflict.
- Avoid rewards; they can pervert motives. The process of learning is joyful, a reward in itself.
- Please do not introduce new pieces before me.