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Showing posts from June, 2014

9 Tips for Observing Your Young Musician

There are three people involved in the education of a young musician: the teacher, parent and child. The child’s role of learning how to play an instrument is very clear. The teacher is there to serve as a mentor and guide as the child begins his or her musical journey.

The role of the parent is more complex, especially if the parent does not know how to play the musical instrument. Of the three people involved, the parent has the power to create the most change. It is also the most difficult of the three roles, as the parent must assume the role of both student and teacher.

In order to have a young child succeed at a complicated task, a parent must completely internalize the concept that he or she is the at-home teacher. What's more, the child will be having lessons with his or her at-home teacher more often than lessons with a private instructor. Again, heady stuff if the parent does not know how to play.
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The Role of the Suzuki Teacher

While the parent may be the expert when it comes to her child, the teacher is the expert when it comes to the instrument being learned.  If the Suzuki triangle is going to function, both of these experts must come to middle ground in order to allow the student to progress.

The the teacher is there to serve as a mentor and guide.  While the student has just started his musical journey, the teacher has been on the journey for some time.  Think of it like traveling to a new city vs. having visited a place many times.

The main job of the teacher is to make the lesson approachable.  Learning an instrument is difficult.  Therefore a teacher must take her collective knowledge to break down a complex task into manageable steps.  This requires experience and it requires communication.

The teacher's role is also to provide a model for how the at-home lesson should unfold.  In most cases, the parent as well as the child lack musical experience.  It is the teacher's job to give them struc…