Skip to main content

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 structure so that effective learning may take place at home.


Popular posts from this blog

The Private Teaching Business Model

Over my years of teaching I've come across a wide variety of interpretations about the private teaching business model.  I feel that this is a natural result of the type of society we live in.  Many services these days are either "subscriptions" or "appointments."  For example, a gym membership is a subscription.  You pay a monthly fee to use the facility at any time during their hours of operation.  A doctor's visit or a haircut is an "appointment."  You call ahead to set up a time, you show up and then pay after the services have concluded.

With most services falling into one of these two categories, most people try to rationalize music lessons as one or the other.  However, music lessons are neither subscriptions or appointments.  They are actually a combination of both if the business entity is going to be successful.

The reasons why this hybrid business model occurs are:

1)  The service itself is centered around personal attention (appointmen…

Music as a Language: Victor Wooten at TEDxGabriolaIsland

Victor Wooten is an innovator, composer, arranger, producer, vocalist, and multiinstrumentalist. He has been called the greatest bass player in the world. He is a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, a magician, husband and father of four, and a five-time Grammy award winner.

Performance Anxiety Part 1

My husband and I both love disc golf.  It's something that we both started together as beginners together so it became "our" thing to do as a couple.  We eventually got to the point after playing for a few years that I wanted to attempt playing in a disc golf tournament.  He was a bit more hesitant than me but I insisted, arguing that it would be a fun way to really test our skills.

I've written a few posts before about how playing disc golf taught me the value of muscle memory.  But during our first few tournaments we both quickly discovered a whole new category of unexplored skills: performing under pressure.  To be blunt, we both stunk.

As a musician, I was no stranger to performing.  I've lost count of how many solo/orchestra/chamber performances I've done.  Before that first tournament I had assumed that performance anxiety wouldn't affect me because of said experience.  I was just going out there to have fun, right?

Well, I was.  But the thing I had…