parent taking lessons

said: Sep 25, 2006
 9 posts

I would love to hear any thoughts about the advantages (are there disadvantages?) of a young Suzuki violin student’s parent learning to play violin. Do any teachers actually require a certain amount of proficiency? Does it make a BIG difference if the parent learns some (say, through Twinkle… or perhaps through Book 1)? Or does it depend more on the personality of the child and any other musical knowledge that the parent may or may not have?

said: Sep 25, 2006
 122 posts

I think it makes a big difference if the parent can at least play the twinkles with a good set up. I haven’t noticed much difference though between a parent who can play just the twinkles and a parent that can play all of Book 1. I find getting the parent to twinkle helps them practice well with their kid at home when the child begins lessons.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 26, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I think a young student gains a lot of motivation from watching their parent(s) learn to play. Older students, not so much!

And if the parent is going to be the teacher at home (a necessity for young students!), there is no question that being able to play the instrument at a basic level is EXTREMELY helpful in teaching the basics.

Christine said: Sep 27, 2006
22 posts

I started violin with my kids. For us, it makes helping my kids so much easier. I can’t imagine trying to help them without having a violin of my own. I’ve tried to stay a song ahead of my oldest (9yo), but she’s going to surpass me very soon.

The best part is that we just have fun playing music together. We love the trio and duet books and we have some 3 part Christmas books.

said: Sep 27, 2006
 38 posts

I have a few parents that have enrolled in 45 minute lessons, and take 30 min for the child and 15 minutes for them. Its working really well. There’s something about the parent being excited to learn, and having the hands on experience of what its really like to make a tunnel finger for “Lightly Row” than me just telling them. One parent told me that she and her daughter practice together, and her daughter helps correct her technique as well. It really is a win win situation.

Gloria said: Sep 30, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
70 posts

After I started requiring new parents to take training (3 months) before lessons started for their kids, I noticed that the success rate of those children went up tremendously, and one of the main reasons turned out to be the parent taking lessons. It changes the whole dynamic at home, with the teacher, I could go on for one hour. It is REALLY worth it; I know, it is one step in a different direction, and that takes some guts, but my results have been so good. Parents are happier, beacuse they are getting something for themselves as well; they are much more willing to support the child in any way they can. Go for it!

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 2, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

the only possible disadvantage I can see is if a parent models bad tone or bad intonation or shoddy rhythm for their child at home. BUT—with diligent practice and good teaching, the parent beginner on the instrument should be able to avoid those pitfalls.

—of course the whole dynamic changes if the parent is already a professional or proficient musician —-

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