Parent Report Card

Paula Bird said: Jan 17, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

I just posted an article for parents (and teachers):

Parent Report Card

Please comment if you have any other items to suggest. Thanks!

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Teresa said: Jan 17, 2013
Teresa Skinner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
69 posts

Paula,
Thank you for posting this article. I would like to use it in my own studio, with you permission. Too many times I hear parents ’scolding’ their kids for 1.) not listening to their cd, 2.) forgetting their shoulder rest/music/supplies, 3.) not practicing, etc.

On another note, your blog is beautiful! HOW do you have time to keep your blog active? I tip my hat to you!

Aloha,
Teresa

…if you listen to the music, it tells you what to do…

Lindsay said: Jan 20, 2013
Lindsay LogsdonViolin
55 posts

I love this! Thank you for sharing. Your blog is fantastic!

Lindsay—Violin teacher, homeschooling mama of four, small-time publisher
http://www.essextalentacademy.com
http://www.talentpress.net

Paula Bird said: Jan 20, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Hi, Teresa, (and thank you too, Lindsay!)

I have a friend now living in Hawaii. Maybe you will run into her at some point—Neela Karinawala.

Of course, you have permission to post anything I’ve written. Feel free to encourage your parents to subscribe or follow or whatever it is that readers do. I usually post something more general on Mondays, and then I try to do at least one essay a week, sometimes 2. Any more than that probably gets dumped in with all the other excessive emails we get.

I make time every day to write. I do the 750words.com thing, and sometimes I start my articles/essays there and then carry them over to the blog. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and the blog was my discipline exercise to build up the writing habit. Recently I printed out all the blog articles I’d written from October 2010 through December 2012, and the service printed out a 2-volume book of over 500 pages. I was stunned to see how much I had written. Step by step, day by day, it all added up.

I am currently revising a book I wrote for parents, sort of a parent course. It has action steps included along with the written stuff. It covers just about everything that I wanted my parents to know and understand and believe about the Suzuki Method and philosophy and good parenting. I still have to remind my own studio parents of all of these things.

Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoy the blog. I appreciate hearing that. I’m closing fast on having 100,000 all-time page views. Maybe in another week or so. That will be a major milestone for me!

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Rachel said: Mar 10, 2013
 19 posts

Great reminders. Only one item triggered a cringe in me.

  1. Although I attend my child’s lessons, I do not participate verbally in my child’s lessons unless the teacher invites me to do so. (More than one teacher in a lesson can be confusing and distracting for the student).

While I understand conflicting messages can be confusing, I think the Suzuki triangle of equal responsibility, voice and participation is critical to progress and a positive experience for all parties. Dialogue and clarification throughout the lesson, in my opinion, fosters a trusting equilateral relationship. There are times during the lesson when my child exhibits frustrations with the teacher similar to what we experience at home. I want the teacher to be able to know this is a difficult task and we both desire some guidance. Likewise, if the teacher easily breezes through something that is a struggle at home, I will take notes, but also want to identify to my child that he just did something he had previously deemed “impossible”, so as to remind him that he is growing and learning.

I guess I wanted to express that a parent staying quiet during the entire lesson doesn’t always yield the right dynamic. I am so glad our teacher considers us equal partners and we can share openly throughout the lesson with each other—all 3 of us!

Paula Bird said: Mar 10, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Again dragonfly, I totally agree. You may be new to my writing so you may not have understood what was meant here. I write frequently about this issue. I welcome questions and requests for clarification in lessons, and we do maintain a dialogue throughout lessons. What is meant here is that both teacher and parent arr not doing the teaching. For example, if I’m working on a bow hold issue, it doesn’t help the child or the teacher if the parent is correcting some other teaching point at the same time. Another example: while the child plays, the parent tries to have a conversation with the teacher at the same time instead of listening and taking notes.

There is plenty of opportunity in lessons for dialogue and clarification, but the default position at lessons should be that the parent listens more than talks. Otherwise, the child gets bored waiting, fidgets, and then the parent feels the need to step in and correct this frustrated behavior (which was caused by the parent taking the focus in the lesson away from the child).

There is a good time and place for things. Problems at home can be addressed many ways outside of or in place of a lesson, such as a parent-teacher conference, emails, phone appts, etc. the teacher-student time should be given more honor and attention, in my opinion. That’s the purpose for going to a teacher. The 3-way partnership involves different areas of responsibility between the parties, although all parties are important. My feet and hands are both important, but the hands lift and carry things while my feet carry me. Both are important but have different areas of responsibility. Again, my opinion, and as written about by Jeanne Luedke in her materials. Jeanne studied the method in Japan, and I’m sure she will tell you that the atmosphere during lessons is different there than in America.

Try including your questions in your notes and reserving them for times that are appropriate, such as when the teacher gets ready to move on to another teaching point or task.

Thanks for your comments and giving me an opportunity to clarify my point.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

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