Parent Education

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Eleanor Bennett said: Mar 7, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Villa Rica, GA
62 posts

Can anyone tell me how to get started on this? I have been very lucky to have had great parents who knew how to work with their children with minimal help from me. Now I have some parents who need a lot of help. I have been researching Helping Parents Practice, but can’t zeroe in on how to present the ideas to the parents. Asking one parent to read the book did not help, since the parent has as much trouble focusing as the child and just could not make it through the book.
Thanks in advance for all your help,
Eleanor Bennett

Eleanor Bennett

Mircea said: Mar 7, 2013
Mircea Ionescu
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Crestwood, KY
23 posts

Dear Eleanor,

It is encouraging to see that you desire for your parents to be involved. I face the same challenges that you are encountering. Here is what has helped over the years:

  1. Short Articles: take just a few minutes during the lesson to show a parent a good article that you have read on how to … (whatever issue you want to cover). Ask the parent to just look at the article during the lesson and tell you what she/he thinks at the end of the lesson. I have tried to bring in about one article per month covering on issue.

  2. Setting Goals: set realistic practice goals for the parent and student for the next month.

  3. Get Your Money’s Worth: I have said, “I ask parents to take notes in a notebook so that they know how to help their child at home, because most students forget what to practice the moment they walk out that door. This will help you get your money’s worth and keep your child moving forward.” Try encouraging from the economic standpoint every other week or so. When I have do this, I am seeking to reassure the parent that I want her and the child to get the most out of lessons. =) Keep smiling =) and don’t give up, baby steps.

Edmund Sprunger said: Mar 7, 2013
Edmund SprungerTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Saint Louis, MO
99 posts

Helping Parents Practice, Vol. 1, is for parents who are already practicing with their children. My new book, Building Violin Skills, is for the raw, beginning parent. You may get some ideas there—it’s the sequence I go through with the parents who begin in my studio.

The other suggestion is to sign all of your parents up for Parents as Partners Online. That’s what I do with the parents in my studio every year, and then I host a “Pie for Parents” event on a Sunday afternoon during it—ostensibly so they can talk about the videos they’ve seen. I bake pie and they sit around our huge dining room table and talk…and I listen, speaking only when invited, and even then only a little. They need to talk to each other! And I get ideas for what I need to address in future lessons, in small doses.

Edmund Sprunger
sprungerstudio.com
yespublishing.com

Rose Lander said: Mar 7, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
55 posts

i think you hit on the most challenging part of suzuki education. it is much more difficult teaching the parents! many of them do not listen,or cannot follow directions. they are also very stressed out with too many responsibilities.
i have sometimes had success in having parents oversee the practice of their child in your presence. it is a real eye opener. treat the parents as you treat the student—give them lots of encouragement, praise when it is due, and then zero in on what needs repair.
these problems never go away. but it is great to have the support of thousands of suzuki teacers to help.
good luck,
rose lander

Mircea said: Mar 8, 2013
Mircea Ionescu
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Crestwood, KY
23 posts

Good points Edmund and Rose. I have not learned about Parents as Partners Online so I am going to check it out. All the best to all of you.

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