Need ideas


Gustavo Woltmann said: Feb 29, 2016
 2 posts

I’m hoping to start a parent class in the fall, and I wanted to get some ideas of what has worked (and not worked!) for different teachers. At the moment, I work parent education into the child’s lesson the best that I can, and I’m finding that I’m not able to teach the parents as much as I would like. It would be great to have a class where I can get all the parents together, teach them about the method, prepare them for lessons and practice, and hopefully teach them how to play Twinkle as well. I do worry a little, though, because no other Suzuki teachers that I know of in my area require a parent class in their studio (I could be wrong), and I wonder if parents would instead look for a teacher that doesn’t require as much work up front to start lessons.

At the moment, my idea is to have 6 weeks of parent classes at the beginning of each semester for parents of new students, and the new student will not start private lessons until the parent classes are over. Parents will still pay the normal tuition rate during that time, there would be no extra fee for parent classes. I’m also thinking I will ask them to rent a full size violin for the duration of parent classes, and then trade it for a violin in their child’s size once the parent class is over, so they’re not paying for two violins.

Linda Louise said: Mar 3, 2016
Rochester, NY
18 posts

Gustavo, Your ideas are in line with the Suzuki Method. When these classes and discussions are lacking then parents are not really being given the method for their child that promises to do more to train the brain than other methods. The parent-child /hometeacher-student relationship can be downright ineffective if the parent and child do not understand their role in those beginning years with violin. Having a parent learn to hold the violin and play Twinkle helps them to have more empathy for what they are asking their child to do and gives them an experience to realize that it is best to tackle one thing at a time. I can appreciate your fears aplenty. Parents who do not have prior Suzuki method experience may just do their own thing and let you have all the responsibility for the decreased results. SAA has some colorful double-sided flyers to sell that give the main ideas of the Suzuki violin method. I can appreciate that parents in two income families may not want to engage to the level we are planning ideally. In such situations, they have not yet chosen to prioritize the violin lessons and will be disappointed in the outcome. In such situations, I would make my parent suggestions very brief and frequent. I might ask them to observe the difference between a week with no listening of the CD and then observe a week of daily listening to the piece on CD to see if their results improve. The former makes for very tedious lessons and unhappiness for all as the child does not know for what they are listening and so flounder. I do the listening week first, as by the next week, some parents are not willing to waste a week by imposing no listening to the piece for a whole week. Good luck. I will follow.

Linda L Ford

Gloria said: Mar 3, 2016
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

Gustavo, you should check this site
I have been training my new studio parents for years now, with great success. It was a leap of faith at first, and it also works as a filter, which I very much welcome, but it is one of the best things I have ever done for my students.
If you would like more detailed info, let me know and we can talk directly.

Diane said: Mar 3, 2016
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
14 posts

Yes, Jeanne Luedke is a great resource

Friederike said: Mar 4, 2016
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Plano, TX
87 posts

I don’t see a sign up option on the website from Jeanne Luedke, only sign in. I was signed up for a workshop with her years ago, but couldn’t go, bec I got sick, such a bummer, only time I had to miss a class like that.

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Gloria said: Mar 4, 2016
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

You should contact her directly and ask her. At the bottom of the front page there is this [E-mail Jeanne], so you can get in touch with her.
I have used her materials extensively, and they have always helped the parents tremendously to stay on track and clear headed.
I wish you better luck this time!

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