One of the most valuable aspects of the Suzuki method is the deep involvement and recognition of the parents in the development of the student’s violin study.
Practice time is definitely the most intense of all the aspects of studying a musical instrument. Practice is intensely personal but the process of developing the ability to practice on one’s own takes many years of practice for most children. The practice of practice is of course aimed at developing skills as a musician also about developing a practice of practice. Generally, there is a primary parent who goes to lessons and helps with practice. Sometimes if practice responsibility is shared, both parents attend lessons or lessons are video taped or the parent at the lesson takes detailed notes, so that a parent not able to attend the lesson is able to know what went on during the lesson and the practice routine for the week and help facilitate productive practice.
- Lessons are opportunities for parents to grow and learn about ourselves as parents and our children.
- Parents are encouraged to observe lessons and take detailed notes in a notebook, on the music, or on a practice sheet. These notes help parents structure practice time. Practice notes are most helpful when documented by the parent so that the notes are understandable by the parent after the lesson.
- As in group class the parent model concert etiquette for their children.
- Parents have time to focus on their children without having to discipline them.
- Parents have time to practice the art of observation.
- Parents have the occasion to support other parents.
- Parents have the opportunity to model concert etiquette for their children.
- Parents have the opportunity to observe their children practicing alongside others.
- Opportunity for parents to contemplate why they are taking lessons.
- Sometimes parents are able to drop off children at group so they can attend to other needs.
- Modeling the art of receiving and giving positive feedback.
- Practicing concert etiquette.
- Practice is about developing musical skills, but it’s also about developing the parent-child relationship.
- The goal of practice isn’t to learn new things. The goal is not to get better, and it is not to improve. The goal of practicing is to make things easier.
- Sometimes the goal of practicing is simply to practice practicing so that practicing becomes less of a strain. At other times students need to practice notes so the notes become more automatic. Conflict is bound to arise in practice. Resolving conflict is something we hope will get easier over time. Daily practice helps parents and children develop and refine skills as conflict resolvers.