Being a Suzuki Parent
Students begin young and therefore parents must attend the lessons in order to help the student practise at home.
The Suzuki parent guides music practice every day at home, encouraging and motivating in a positive way. To do so, the parent must attend each lesson and actively take notes. A small child cannot be expected to practice on their own until age ten or older, depending on the maturity of the child.
As the child progresses, parent involvement evolves into a less active and more supporting role, until the child is playing and practising on his or her own as a teenager. Parents get a few violin lessons before their child gets started and learn at least how to hold the violin and to play a few beginner pieces.
Children are so often dropped off from one activity to the next and this is definitely an opportunity to share an exciting journey with your child.
Students take one weekly lesson
. Parents are supervised about where and how to get a violin.
are offered on a regular basis and students are expected to attend. During these sessions children play together, learn to follow a leader, play music games and review music they know. Depending on the group, group class may be once a week, or a few times a month. In Group classes children can develop their musical skills by playing with other children who are playing the same music. Group lessons build motivation and creates opportunity to make friends!
Learn to play by listening
Students listen to recordings of the music they learn. Be prepared to listen to these recordings everywhere: in the car, at breakfast, after school...!
There are 10 Suzuki books, and it takes many years to work through them all. The last two books are Mozart concerti, and by then, it's likely that the teacher has the student on a much wider path that involves other pieces in the violin repertoire. Most Suzuki teachers supplement the books with other things like scale books, etude books, other pieces from genres of interest to the student (pop, fiddle, Celtic, klezmer, you name it), exercises and more. Suzuki students don't start to learn to read music until they have learned to hold the instrument well and have developed a good ear. Then they typically learn to read very well.
Children start young
and go at their own, individual pace. The Suzuki way is thorough, challenging, but not pushy, and certainly not abusive. Parents should never measure their child's progress by their book level or their peers. Focus on the details of making beautiful music at every stage, and the progress will come.
In learning to speak, children learn a word and then use it many, many times. It becomes part of their vocabulary, and a building block for their communication. Similarly, children continue playing all their Suzuki pieces long after they learned them, which become their' Review' pieces. Every piece is therefore added to their musical vocabulary, repeated regularly, and a building block to teach new skills.