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Showing posts from January, 2015

Principles of Sowing and Reaping for the Suzuki Parent: Misguided Parental Approaches in Music Study

Are You Sowing the Wrong Seeds?

There are some seeds that you can unwittingly sow that will bear a poor harvest in the future. This post examines four misguided parental approaches that may produce unintended consequences in the future.

1. Cutting Corners

Let’s say the teacher gives a challenging but doable assignment. Sometimes, the student comes back the next week and the parent has decided that the assignment was not realistic. Maybe the parent thought, “Was it really necessary to do the exercise 10 times a day?"

I am not talking about the difficult practice weeks when you or your child gets sick. I am talking about something more subtle. It’s where the parent decides consciously or unconsciously that it’s just too much work. This can unintentionally undermine the teacher.

Your child will succeed the most when you and your teacher are allies with a unified front.
More importantly, if you cut corners on posture, review, or polishing a piece to get to the next one, it ultimate…

Principles of Sowing and Reaping for the Suzuki Parent: We Cannot Reap What We Do Not Sow

Perhaps no one told you how much work it is to be a Suzuki parent. Or, maybe you were informed, but only experience itself has clarified how long and arduous the journey is. It can feel like more than you bargained for, especially in the early stages of the Suzuki journey where so much time and energy is spent in the pre-twinkle process.

Maybe your child is past the early stages, but he is now experiencing a plateau. Your child was progressing well, and now it seems that he isn’t making progress.

How do we persevere through these challenges?

Seeds Won’t Sow Themselves

It seems archaic now, but imagine a farmer without fancy machinery, forced to sow the seeds in his
field by hand. It’s a lot of work. Maybe he has to sow the entire field on foot. Long days, exhausting, dirty work. He has to sow more seeds than you might imagine, because not all the seeds will take root. The farmer may even have a time crunch of getting seeds sown before it's too late in the season.

Much of what y…

Principles of Sowing and Reaping for the Suzuki Parent: 5 Steps to Beginning Suzuki Success by Preparing the Soil

Last school year, I started a group of 4-5 year old students in a pre-twinkle cello class. One mother actively ignited her daughter Ella’s interest in the cello before enrolling in the program. Over the course of a few months, she helped Ella prepare to engage in a new learning process. They observed lessons, listened to cello music, talked about the cello, and actively built Ella’s excitement - all before starting lessons.

This experience allowed me to see how much a parent can cultivate their child’s interest, motivation, and readiness. It gave me a new appreciation for the parents’ role in preparing young children for a positive Suzuki experience.

Here are five ways to prepare the soil to help your child succeed in a Suzuki experience.

1. Build Your Knowledge

Parents are integral to the success of the Suzuki process. If you start a young child in a Suzuki program, your role as a parent will be very active. Your knowledge and education about the Suzuki method and philosophy helps y…