Three year old

Wanda Guzman said: May 31, 2017
 4 posts

Hello, my daughter started violin lessons when she was 2.9 years old, she has alaways been obsessed with music, and now she is obsessed with violin, the starting age where I live is four but since she has a long attention spam the director wanted to give it a try and she is actually passing her mates that are over four and five years olds, she turned three in April. We are starting solo classes besides the kinder music classes, her teacher will use mainly suzuki, my question, what is too much for a three year old? She learns inmediatly the class practice for a few days then just stats “making” stuff with the violin on her own, which makes me think she is bored, suggestions? Advice? , also how can I keep the interest in her? She sometimes treat the violin a little harsh when at home, and that stresses me out big time, should I get her a toy violin too? please help, We are new at this, thanks!

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 2, 2017
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Los Angeles, CA
49 posts

Since she’s only 3, she probably thinks the violin is a toy….there’s a lot of toys out there making music. I say let her make her own music. How many people can do that? Just be sure she plays her assignments & has fun doing it.

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 6, 2017
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1017 posts

Nothing wrong with creating her own sounds and exploring the instrument. This is part of how children learn. (Going with the Suzuki philosophy of music acquisition as language acquisition… we don’t stop babies from babbling with whatever sounds they want to try, why should we stop beginners from “babbling” on their musical instrument?)

Maybe you should look into Alice Kanack’s “Fun Improvisation for Violin” book & CD. Letting your child experiment along with a recording might be a good idea!

Just make sure that there is time to practice the teacher’s assignments alongside time to practice making her own sounds.

If you’ve invested a lot of money in the small violin, you can and should teach that she take care of it. (That doesn’t mean it will never be damaged, though).

If it breaks, and she is already suitably horrified, be matter -of-fact in acknowledging that this is bad, but it can be fixed, and after it’s fixed we can care make sure it doesn’t break again. If it breaks and she’s not upset about it at all, you yourself should be suitably (but not overly) horrified in her presence as a model of what an appropriate reaction is—and then matter of factly take it to get repaired.

(pretty much every student does some kind of damage to their instrument at one time or another—sometimes it’s just cosmetic damage, sometimes it needs professional repairs, and very occasionally you need a new instrument). Sometimes children need to see that a thing is breakable before they actually realize what kind of care is needed.

Wanda Guzman said: Jun 6, 2017
 4 posts

Thank you, she was so focus until two weeks ago (failed recital) it wasnactually a group think, she was excited until people started clapping to others participating and she freaked out big time. She definitely loves her violin but she is not so willing to follow instruction like she was a couple of weeks back, there is a lot of stuff we know she can do and she just doesn’t. I don’t want to get stressed we promised we wouldn’t but sometimes I get very frustrated, specially with practice, she does it once or twice and that it , and after that rock and roll time lol! , today I got the other violin out, the pone that it’s partially damaged and I said we would practice together and that helped a lot!, got her to play the notes and she even got her finger in the right position, and even when she was playing rock and roll she was was putting her little finger in the right place,. We asked her to give the violin a name, and she loved the idea, that has helped with the handling of it.

How can I encourage practice without being to pushy? How much time is appropriate of practicing is appropriate for her age?,

Monday was her first solo class and she loved it, but she wanted to look herself in the mirror with the violin most of it lol!

I hate to think I might kill the fun of it for her :(

Thank you for the answers, really helpful, I have been letting her do her improvisations, have to admit I still need to get more lose about it. Thank you so much!

Wanda Guzman said: Jun 6, 2017
 4 posts

Jennifer, I’ll look for the book and cd! Thanks!

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 7, 2017
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Los Angeles, CA
49 posts

Yes I still remember the agonizing cry I heard coming from the music room after my teenaged daughter threw her violin to the floor. After I checked in on her to see what was going on, I took the broken neck and rest of the violin from her and casually told her I’d have it repaired. I didn’t need to react, she was already pretty upset. She never did that again. She’s in her forties now and has never forgotten.

Wanda Guzman said: Jun 10, 2017
 4 posts

Yeah we have been doing better thank God, we still have to loosen up a bit more.

She learns the stuff but then don’t want to play them again, not at least to me, I find it hard to practice with her or encourage practice since she wants to do her own stuff most of the time, yes she is learning what she is being taught but is not perfecting it think, maybe I am just thinking like a grown up, how long should she practice everyday?, she “plays” the violin all day long, but I mean practice practicemwhat she was taught that day, she lately wants me in the class so I go in with her, but she likes to goof around and sometimes fight back when trying to be directed.

She has never been to school or anything before so I don’t know if that is backfiring.

She was very introvert and good following what she was taught and she is getting extroverted and wild lol! The teacher says she is very young and she will find her point in between. Anxiety!!!!!! Lol!!

Lori Bolt said: Jun 11, 2017
Lori BoltPiano
San Clemente, CA
243 posts

She sounds like a normal three year old. She’s learning about who she is and what’s expected of her. If her violin teacher is willing to teach her, then work through the challenges with the teacher’s guidance—nurture (through music) with love. Violin lessons may be the vehicle to help your child grow into a lovely young lady with a noble heart. Don’t give up :)

Maybe read some materials about child development and three year old behavior to see what’s typical. DO buy the book, CD recommended by Jennifer! The teacher may like it too. Best wishes for a successful Suzuki journey!

Lori Bolt

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 11, 2017
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Los Angeles, CA
49 posts

I try not to use the word “practice” Most young children don’ t know what that means ( I have some 12 year olds that don’t either, LOL). I have a three year old on my roster and I always ask him if he played the piano this week and had fun. When he says yes, I ask him if he played a twinkle. After he knows a couple of pieces I’ll start asking him to play for his mom (or dad) while they are fixing dinner. All my students play a “dinner concert” each day….I don’t tell them this, but it’s their review. On the first lesson of each month I have them play their concert for me. For the very young it takes a long time to get them to this stage…but eventually…..don’t rush them.

Jo S

Heather Reichgott said: Jun 12, 2017
Heather Reichgott
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
South Hadley, MA
100 posts

I love the dinner concert idea! Thank you Joanne!

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 12, 2017
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Los Angeles, CA
49 posts

Heather
On the first lesson of the month everyone plays their concert for me. I usually move across the room with a clipboard and write a comment about each piece. I give this to them with the comment that this will help them improve their pieces for the next time I hear them. Some months I sit next to them at the piano and make one suggestion for each piece….sometimes I don’t even listen to the whole piece, just enough for a comment. Each month they never know what I’m going to do…..but they know one thing: I’m going to listen to their concert. It really gets them scrabbling when the first of the month arrives…especially the older ones and the parents of the younger ones. When we’re really busy—like our Christmas jazz pieces we perform at the local jazz place, I don’t hear it at all…I just don’t tell them. At any rate, it is well worth taking the time for.

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