Inexperienced parent


Steve Last said: Nov 22, 2015
 2 posts

I have a now 8 year old playing violin and really want to develop a love of music. He really loves the process of playing and likes to make progress, but I am just wondering on ways to help develop his love for music? Right now he seems to be interested in the number of days practiced in a row and the progression from song to song more than the actual music.

What is a hurdle for me is that I am just discovering a love for this instrument and all things music so we both are learning at the same time. So it has been a humbling experience to say the least taking up this instrument at my age. So I feel inadequate in methods to help him being so new to this world myself. We practice everyday and while he has progressed very well I wish there was a way to make him feel more connected to the music rather than the process. I try to get him to listen with me but he becomes disinterested pretty quickly.

Ally Ci said: Dec 1, 2015
 7 posts

Some things we do:

  • buy or borrow CDs with music you are interested in. Let it play in the background, when you drive or have dinner. They don’t have to focus on the music, but they get used to it.
  • go see your local orchestra or opera for kids. The orchestra in our city had programs for kids, no longer than 1 hour without intermission. My kids don’t pay attention the whole hour, but they learned a lot about different instruments, what is a conductor and what orchestra looks like.
  • attend music fairs, musical petting zoo (events where kids get to touch and try different instruments); this is how my kids chose theirs.
  • read books about different composers and music styles (I should do more of this with my kids).

I think your son is doing pretty well if he’s interested in his progress and wants to play. It can be a struggle for many to get to this point.

Maria Stefanova-Mar said: Dec 1, 2015
19 posts

I think the previous suggestions are excellent!

The fact that your son is enthusiastic about playing and wants to make progress is wonderful. Enjoy the the time spent making music! Sometimes kids and adults show their appreciation for music differently. Allow your son to go through the process and find his own way!

Steve Last said: Dec 2, 2015
 2 posts

Thank you both! We have been doing much of what you posted Ally so I think we are heading down the right path.

We took him to a performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto and he made it through but got restless near the end. I think reading more is a great suggestion as he loves to read so I think I will give that a shot as well.


Alan Duncan said: Dec 2, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
81 posts

I’d say first that learning together is invaluable. Having that shared experience is so worthwhile. Although I’m a pianist by training, I went out on a limb and started learning violin when my daughter began lessons. So I can sympathize with you about the difficulties of taking up a new instrument as an adult!

My feeling about deepening interest in kids relates to the underlying theory of the mother-tongue method. With language acquisition, it’s all about immersion—being immersed in an environment that’s not only rich in the sounds of the language; but in the meanings of the language and the way those are connected. So, we are constantly listening to music, talking about what we hear; borrowing CD’s of favorite composers from the library, talking about the music in a historical context. (Kids are fascinated to be reminded that the classical composers were the pop song writers of their day!)

Still, I think listening is the key to wiring the brain as a musical engine.

Gina Devirro said: Dec 7, 2015
 19 posts

Good chance once he is far enough along to join an orchestra the appreciation for the music will simply flourish. Down the road, check out what youth orchestras are available in your area.

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