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Showing posts from March, 2013

Interview with Michiko Yurko on Music Mind Games and Sight-Reading in the Suzuki Method

Welcome to Rethinking Genius, Michiko! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your company, Music Mind Games.

Hi, Danielle! I am Michiko Yurko and I am the creator of Music Mind Games, a project I have been working on for 40 years. It’s been great! Music and education were important to my parents. Although they followed different professions, my father sang and my mother played the piano. I was always supported in my music and dance lessons and related activities so I have very positive memories of those years. My mom was an elementary classroom teacher and her extraordinary devotion to her students and her creativity taught me to be innovative in my own work.

Music Mind Games, LLC was founded in 2005 after Warner Bros (my publisher for nearly 20 years) was sold to Alfred. Although they believed in my work and continue to publish the book Music Mind Games, Alfred said they could not afford to produce the Music Mind Games materials. My husband, Cris and I discussed all sorts of op…

Deliberate Participation

Over my years of Suzuki Method teaching, parent participation is a subject that comes up quite a bit.  The teacher, parent and student are the three parts of the triangle.  Each must work with each other in order to achieve the greater goal and each part is equally important.

Ideally, both parents should be at every lesson.  The teacher only gets to see the student once a week so the parents must become the at-home teachers for the other six days.  Unfortunately, it is not always possible to have both parents at every lesson.  Work or the other siblings create time constraints.  So it is suggested that one parent, preferably the same parent, attends every lesson.

Having one parent attend every lesson and then work with the child at home usually works out well.  But, inevitably, the other parent begins to feel left out which leads to what I call "random participation."  Random participation can easily become a bone of contention if left unchecked.

Before I go on, I feel it…