Student does not want to practice with parent

Alexandra said: Aug 2, 2013
Alexandra Jacques
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Mesa, AZ
35 posts

Hi, I had a question and would love input from both teachers and parents who have ideas. I have a 6 year old early Book 1 student who recently does not want to practice with her parent (usually her dad) at all. I think this is pretty normal for her age to want to be more independent, so my ideas are to let her have SOME independence in her practicing. Give her a few tasks to do on her own, but explain to her that some things must be done with a practice buddy. I will also ask her dad to let her decide the order of what they practice, so she feels like she has some control. Her dad has a full size violin, so another idea I had was to give her some opportunities to be his “teacher”… I think she will love that but we’ll see. I think there’s been a few posts on related issues before, so I’ll look, but I would love some more ideas if anyone has any! Thanks! :)

Sue Hunt said: Aug 3, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
391 posts

It looks like you have it sorted. DIY tasks should be part of daily practice from the beginning. They make it much easier to achieve full independence when the time comes.

Practice is all about parent and child making a good team. This can be a challenge, as children are daily programmed to “be grown up” and do everything else by themselves. Accepting help from a parent is therefore seen as a humongous step backwards.

A wonderful teacher Sharron Beamer tells her students that they are the boss and that their parent works for them in various specific ways. They have a discussion of the rolls of employer and employee. This winds up with an agreement that the parent should be rewarded for all the help and they decide what payment is best—usually a hug and thanks for a good job. BUT, if the parent falls down on the job and doesn’t offer enough help, the student must get straight on the phone and report the outrage. This makes a huge psychological difference.

You may find these 6 Free Games and Practice Advice empower your student.

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