Advice for very little child practice

said: Oct 3, 2009
 4 posts

I would like some ideas for young children every day practice at home.
My 2 and 1/2 years old son wanteds to start violin for months and fortunately we found a very good teacher in our region who accepted him.
Even at the beginning he wanted to practice 2-3 times a day, now it’s more difficult to convince him to practice at home.
He likes individual and group courses and does his “maximum” (he can concentrate 10 minutes but no more).
Somebody has experiences for this kind of ages?
Thanks in advance for your answer.

Sara said: Oct 3, 2009
 Violin
191 posts

Edmund Sprunger has a book called “Helping Parents Practice”. It may have a lot of helpful ideas.
Have you talked to your teacher about this? He/she needs to know you are having a struggle. Because h/she knows your child, h/she may be able to offer helpful advice.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

said: Oct 3, 2009
 4 posts

silverstar

Edmund Sprunger has a book called “Helping Parents Practice”. It may have a lot of helpful ideas.
Have you talked to your teacher about this? He/she needs to know you are having a struggle. Because h/she knows your child, h/she may be able to offer helpful advice.

Thanks, I’ll try to get it.
His teacher told me that at the moment she prefers he enjoys lessons and loves the instrument but in some suzuki books I read the importance of everyday practice.

Sara said: Oct 3, 2009
 Violin
191 posts

Your teacher is right in that it is important for the student to develop a love of lessons and yes, daily practice is important, but not at the expense of the student ultimately detesting the violin. I should have also suggested reading all of Dr. Suzuki’s books: “Ability from Age Zero”, Nurtured By Love” anything by Schinichi Suzuki will help you develop a better understanding of the approach to assist in your child’s learning.

Have you attended the “Every Child Can” course?

Also, it can be helpful with some children to have a daily job chart that lists everything: brush teeth, make bed, and practice violin is just part of the list. (don’t make the list very long at this age. Probably just 1 thing per age year. For a 2 1/2 year old just put two things:brush teeth and practice violin. When she turns 3 add making bed at 4 add sweep floor or something) If they can put a sticker on every square that they do they can see their own accomplishments and progress and it makes it fun.

I am not a big fan of rewards, but I know some parents that have had success in turning in job charts at the end of the week and if the stickers are on all the required days of the week, then she can choose some sort of prize or privilege.

Good luck!

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Laura said: Oct 3, 2009
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
358 posts

Yes, it is important to practice every day, no matter how little.

For that very young age, it’s important to find the balance between “it’s something that’s good to do every day” and “it’s something you MUST do every day”. As much as possible, be encouraging and have a positive reason to practice every day.

There are so many ideas for encouraging little children to practice. Many of them are visual (charts and stickers) or treats (a jelly bean after the practice is done). Some other ideas are more unique, like treating the violin like a person and having the child empathize with it—for example, “Mr. Violin is lonely today and is crying because no one has played him yet today! I think he’s waiting for you to help him wake up and get out of bed!” (the bed is the violin case, of course)

It is indeed preferable that the attitude towards practice is positive and that your son is actually willing to do it. You therefore do everything you can to lure him into it, and praise him for when he does. (Like training a puppy!) Other times, however, you simply have to be firm and insist on it anyway. (Also like training a puppy.)

The main point is that you want your son to eventually learn that practicing every day is completely normal. You might have use all sorts of tricks and games to encourage him, but no matter what, there is no option. Many people compare it to brushing teeth.

Another encouraging point: the younger the child is, the easier it is to set a routine that will stick. It may seem hard to start the routine, but it’s easier to start with a 2.5 year old than a 7.5 year old, for sure! With all of our children, we have always prayed before meals since they were born, regardless of whether or not they understood why we were doing that or even if they were impatient to start eating. Now, they don’t start eating without praying first—it is simply a habit that they grow to appreciate.

said: Oct 4, 2009
 4 posts

Thank you! Very good idea this job chart and the introduction in the everyday routine, I will do it!
Today we had a very good practicing :)

I have the book of Dr. Suzuki and I started to read it.
Thanks!

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