“I can learn better without a teacher”

Nadia said: Jun 30, 2015
 Violin
16 posts

My 10 year-old is in Book 5. In spite of 7 years of weekly private instruuction, annual Suzuki Institute, and daily practice, he still does not tighten or rosin bow before he starts playing. He says “it doesn’t sound good when bow is tightened and rosinned.” He still does not do the rest position correctly, either. He says he can learn better on his own without a teacher. He is known for being polite, but also for being passive agressive and will ignore whatever instruction he doesn’t believe is necessary. I so want to help him learn to do his best, but learn to receive instructions, but I feel helpless. He has been this way in every kind of lesson—swimming, school, etc. Anyone has suggestions what to do??

Alan Duncan said: Jul 1, 2015
Alan Duncan
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
63 posts

Is it a control issue?

My somewhat younger daughter gets into these phases. I’ve concluded that it revolves around a need for more control over the process. I also think it has something to do with being a little more advanced than typical for age, leading to a measure of overconfidence.

Apart from granting her more ownership over practice, I’ve tried to frame techniques that she’s struggling with or frankly refusing to try as an experiment—”I wonder what would happen if we tried it like this.” Would that work on a 10 y/o?

You mention that the behaviors resemble passive aggression. I know in adults that passive aggressive behavior patterns often result from suppressed frustration and inability to assert oneself. Is it possible that he’s looking for a way of asserting himself and can’t find a way to do that?

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