The Parent's Role as Practice Partner
What is the parent’s role in a child’s Suzuki studies? The parent must bring the child to the lesson, but that’s not all there is to it! The lessons are only the first step in the learning process.
When you bring your child to the lesson, your teacher will introduce new techniques or new sections of the piece, and it’s so important that you feel confident about how to work on them at home. Never hesitate to ask questions or for clarification about anything introduced in lessons! After all, the teacher is there to help you and your child learn this information. It may also be a good idea to write down an outline of any new things your child is learning this week, so you’ll be sure to remember all the details after a long day at work, a sleepless night, or any of the other hundreds of challenges families face.
Speaking of challenges, practice time can be a big one! Whether the challenge is finding the time, getting your child to practice, or remembering all the little details of the perfect bow hold, practice is hard. Whenever you have troubles with practicing, make sure to bring your teacher into the loop. We have years of experience and many tested strategies for dealing with whatever issues your family or child is facing. It’s so important for parents to address any practice problems right away, before the issue becomes a habit.
Be sure to treat practice time like a necessity, rather than an extra - practice should be close to the same necessity level as homework, rather than being grouped with video games or other ways your child spends their free time. Keep practice positive! One really creative way parents in my studio have come up with to keep practice positive is wildly cheering after every correct repetition, but you may find other things that work better. Find what encourages your child to do their best.
The parent’s biggest job is to be on their child’s team, as a partner and coach, through the struggles and joys that come with the immense task of learning to play an instrument. Approaching challenges in this way will build and grow the bond between parent and child. Taking on this task is a big commitment, but with the parent, teacher, and child all working toward the same goal, every child can learn to excel at their instrument!
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