Congratulations! You are giving your child a very special gift — the gift of music! Learning music builds brain power that lasts a lifetime, along with instilling a deep appreciation of a powerful, expressive art form.
Learning the violin is not easy, but it is more about the journey than the destination. Children are learning many important skills in addition to the instrument. Parental support is absolutely vital on this journey.
The Suzuki Triangle represents the balance between the student, teacher, and parent. You will notice how the parent role is at the same level of involvement as both the student and teacher. It is absolutely critical for the student’s progress and development that they have support at home.
Along with bringing your child to lessons, you must provide an encouraging learning environment at home. First, create a space for music. A small, private corner where your child can practice anytime. Next, get into a daily routine of helping your child practice their music. Pay close attention at lessons so that you know what they need to practice that week. Along with structured practice every day, allow them time to play and improvise on their own. Also, remember that listening is key — listen to the assigned music as much as you can — in the car, during dinner, while cleaning the house, doing homework, etc. I cannot stress enough how much listening is vital for the student’s development.
Being a parent isn’t easy and there is a lot to learn along the way. It is the same with being a Suzuki parent. Children need a lot of guidance and encouragement in their lives, and learning the violin is no exception.
If your child is just starting out remember that just learning all the basics up to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star takes about one year for small children. Click here to read a great blog about one family’s Suzuki violin journey.
The best advice I have is to make violin practice, or “violin time” as I call it, a regular part of your daily routine with your child — just like eating breakfast or reading a book before bed. Kids thrive on routine, and if they are raised with the idea that practicing violin is just a normal part of the day they will do well. Practice charts, small incentives, anything to make it fun!
Click here to see my list of great books for kids about the violin! Look them up at your library or give them as a gift!
Need help tuning your child’s violin? I recommend the DaTuner Lite app if you have a smartphone. It works great and is free. Tune the strings to G3, D4, A4, E5. If you child is old enough, we can start teaching them to tune as well.
Check out the About page on this website for more about the method and I’ve listed some great books that are very helpful at explaining the philosophy.
Remember to enjoy the journey — slow and steady. The benefits of playing a musical instrument are far reaching and will last a lifetime.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. Thanks!