Things you would like to tell your parents before they start lessons

Henry Flurry said: May 25, 2016
Henry FlurryInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Prescott, AZ
22 posts

Hello again!

I’m giving a 50 minute presentation to parents at our academy entitled: Things you wish your teacher had told you — A big picture overview of philosophies, approaches, best practices,expectations,and attitudes helpful to you and your child’s success.

This overview is a subset of what I cover in my Parent Ed classes with parents. Since I find that many of the families coming to our academy have not had the benefit of a parent ed class with their teacher, I thought that this might be something useful.

Some of the things I will attempt to highlight:
- Review of Suzuki philosophy, including the parent-teacher-child triangle
- Importance of listening, regular practice, engaged parents, etc.
- Importance of love, respect, child-centered learning
- Difference between growth-mindset and fixed-mindset, and how to foster the former
- Setting up an appropriate home practice environment
- What is expected of a parent & student during a lesson, at home with practice
- Helping the child develop self-evaluation & self-correction by guiding instead of correcting
- Focussing on “complete musical growth” rather than “repertoire progress”
- How to communicate with the teacher, how to address issues, how to make studio transitions smooth
- Where reading fits into a Suzuki program

As this is a big picture, and I only have 50 minutes, I’ll be moving at break-neck speed, and after developing my initial outline I may narrow the focus.

Having said that, what might you consider adding to this list?

Thanks!
Henry

Anita Knight said: May 25, 2016
Anita Knight
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Kent, WA
19 posts

Henry,
This is awesome material—all relevant and concise.
Could you give explanation to: “Difference between growth-mindset and fixed-mindset, and how to foster the former”.
Thanks!
Anita

Anita Knight
“Joyful Sound Violin Studio”

Friederike said: May 26, 2016
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
71 posts

do you have some stuff written out about this? Thanks, Friederike also if you have only 1 half hour to explain these to a new parent, what would you specifically say?

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Henry Flurry said: May 26, 2016
Henry FlurryInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Prescott, AZ
22 posts

Here’s someone’s blog entry on growth vs fixed mindset:

http://michaelgr.com/2007/04/15/fixed-mindset-vs-growth-mindset-which-one-are-you/

I find this a very useful way of understanding and approaching kids who at first excel at the instrument because it was easy and then reach a plateau because they are unwilling to put in additional effort. Ditto with kids who think that they are “bad” at music. My goal is to avoid both of these situations. It is also a useful warning to parents to praise the efforts and rewards, not the “talent”.

There is a book on the Growth Mindset which goes into many “case studies” and “self tests” that is a quick read and may offer more details useful to you: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. I found it interesting to reflect and discover that I had growth mindsets in many areas, and fixed in a few.

(The link above actually will give me a few cents if you purchase through it. If you prefer not to do that, you can search for it on Amazon directly..)

Re: writing down the actual talk—not yet! Much of it already comes from my existing parent ed manual and classes, so I hope it won’t be hard, and i’ll likely tackle it one evening after my current deadlines are met.

Thanks,
Henry

Carol said: May 28, 2016
Carol Preston
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Damariscotta, ME
3 posts

I would suggest covering your studio/school business policies. So many people don’t read written material. Make sure parents understand payment policies, policies about missed lessons, recital fees, etc.

Jennifer said: Jun 6, 2016
Jennifer Louie
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Tuscaloosa, AL
9 posts

I agree with what Carol says about covering your studio/school policies. I teach at a university-based Suzuki program and I found that some parents thought that if they missed one teacher’s group class, they could go to another’s group class to make up, which is not allowed in our program. We require that our families have to commit to the teacher’s private and group lesson schedule. I recommend discussing policies if a parent requests a teacher change.
I think that offering parent education talk in the format you suggested is a good idea, but I found that the information being placed on the web has attracted families that are more committed to the program. Good luck.

Jennifer

Jennifer Louie

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services