Students without parents

Friederike said: Dec 12, 2015
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Plano, TX
71 posts

I have 2 elementary school students, that come without the parent and also don’t have much help from the parents. practice is also an issue( as for many of my students). One( Student L) is stuck at Perpetual Motion and beginning of Allegretto since September, except that she worked on Deck the halls for our recital tomorrow. Her reading is not very good and she constantly struggles with the notes. I’m thinking to change my approach( I like Suzuki best, but may be it doesn’t work well for all students, esp w/o parent help) . I want to concentrate on reading for both of them( the other reads by the finger number( student I), which is not good at all and she is at Aunt Rhody). So I’m looking for any good book for them to learn to read and also play to give them a feeling to learn something new and not be stuck. I let L read the first page from Joannes martins I can read book and she did well. But then when I let her read one of Canons from Stars canon book, she had trouble. Not sure if Joannes book would be a good idea, if yes, I think I would need an additional book with it. Thanks for any suggestions.

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

MaryLou Roberts said: Dec 15, 2015
MaryLou RobertsTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Ann Arbor, MI
244 posts

You can contact the parents via email, and give them your suggestions. The environment cannot help the child unless you have some kind of support from them. Ask them to play the cd, that is super easy. Send them a short article to read about how Suzuki works, and tell them you want their musical experience to be a positive and good one. Do what ever it takes to reach the parents, and the children will benefit in so many ways. Persist and don’t give up!

Holly Blackwelder Carpenter said: Dec 16, 2015
Holly Blackwelder CarpenterInstitute Director
SAA Board
Suzuki Association Member
College Place, WA
87 posts

I have parents with conflicts of work that happened after lesson scheduling, so they are not resisting they just simply cannot come.

I take short videos of what the student needs to work on and their progress and what I would like the parent to help them with (i.e. if you could put your hand on his elbow while he is playing that would really help with the bow arm opening and closing, like this, and then I demonstrate on the video). While this family doesn’t have the parent sit there all the time during practice, I have been in their home, and they have the practice station set up where the parent can see, and watch, and if the issue comes up that they need help with, the parent can go help them. But I have found the video when the parent cannot attend really helps. I also include compliments, not only is that integral to how I teach, but the parents will watch because they want to hear how well their child is doing!

I agree with MaryLou, don’t give, text, email, send videos, engage them at recitals, etc. And keep inviting them to lessons periodically “If you ever have a free moment in your schedule during lesson time, we’d love to have you come!”

Holly Blackwelder Carpenter
Director, Japan Seattle Suzuki Institute
SAA Board of Directors

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