3 year old losing interest

Victoria Pharis said: Feb 3, 2015
Victoria PharisViolin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Murray, KY
2 posts

I’m not sure if it is actually the child or the parent but, I’ve been teaching a three year old since September 2014. She started out very focused and enthusiastic. Then they took off the month of December and when she returned we just can’t get back to where we were.
We started out with Step by Step and got through the first line of Twinkle.
We are now back to bow holds and trying to place fingers correctly. She seems very frustrated.
Any suggestions?

Victoria Pharis

Sue Hunt said: Feb 4, 2015
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
391 posts

The results of taking time off for school holidays are always extremely frustrating. It’s an ideal opportunity to make sure that the parent understands that practice must happen every day. If it doesn’t, everything that hasn’t yet reached the stage of unconscious competence will be degraded or completely forgotten. Here are a few articles on daily practice.

This happens much sooner than you would imagine, due to a phenomenon called the Ebbinghaus Forgetfulness Curve. If a child doesn’t practice for a week, over 90% of it goes straight out of the window.

What you can do is to acknowledge her frustration and to praise her for trying anyway. She will pick it up again if you review what you have done, one tiny step at a time. She learn’t a lot in four months, and having to do it all over again will be disheartening.

Remind her & her mum of how quickly they learn’t first time around, BECAUSE THEY PAID SUCH GOOD ATTENTION.

While they are still frustrated, get them to commit to SOME practice EVERY day.

Laura said: Feb 4, 2015
Stanton, MN
25 posts

Ah, the usual after Christmas slump!

I have my families make sure that they do plenty of foundational work at times like this…bow hold, violin hold, etc. I will take out rhymes from The Pre-Twinkle Book to add some variation. Yes, the talk about how difficult it is when you break from a practice routine is important right now. I often ask about practice routines and give advice. I also bring in some games. How about the fishing game? Sue Hunt has this game in her packets. You make paper fish that each have an assigment written on them. Put a paperclip on their mouth. Attach a string with a magnet to the tip of the bow (careful not to do any damage—I use a clip with padding on a garbage bow that I lend out to students). The student makes a good bow hold and tips the bow over (like watering the flowers) to lower the magnet and catch a fish. It puts some fun into old tasks. Really regular practice is so important to get out of the slump.

Sue Hunt said: Feb 5, 2015
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
391 posts

This picture is from the http://www.musicinpractice.com/36-beginner-bow-hold-games/. Note the forearm rotation which helps activate the bow thumb.

Screen Shot 2015 02 05 at 17

Screen Shot 2015 02 05 at 17

Image by Sue Hunt

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