Starting 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 yr. old siblings at the same time?

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said: Jun 5, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Guitar, Flute, Cello, Viola
120 posts

I have a 6 yr. old student who’s in pre-Twinkle right now. I anticipate that she’ll be finishing pre-Twinkle in the fall. Her parents would like to start their two younger children. I am hesitant to start them at the same time, so I am looking for advice either way. Any thoughts on “for” or “against” starting two siblings of these ages at the same time?

They have been listening to the CD for “years”, according to their mom. Their older sister is a transfer student, so I think she has been a pre-Twinkler for well over a year. Mom is a very good home teacher for her. Occasionally the younger siblings attend the lesson, and they are well-behaved. They seem ready to learn (good attention spans, can focus well.)

Jennifer said: Jun 5, 2008
Jennifer Moberg
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Dehbori Kabul, Afghanistan
71 posts

I think this would depend on the relationship between all the siblings. Naturally, one of them is going to go faster than the others. This can result in rivalry, competition, or maybe just motivation.

What worries me about your situation is the great variation in age. Is there a Music Together or KinderMusik program near you that at least the youngest could enroll in?

“Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.”

www.ViolinsAndChinrest.com

said: Jun 5, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Guitar, Flute, Cello, Viola
120 posts

The rate of progression is something to think about.

The relationship between the siblings seems very good. They are all really pleasant children, get along well, and the relationship between all of them and their mom is also good.

If anything, I think it would make sense to start the 4 1/2 yr. old and let mom get used to practicing with two kids—the 6 yr. old and 4 1/2 yr. old brother. Then in 6-12 months add the 2 1/2 yr. old sister, who will then be 4 (she’ll be 3 in November). My main concerns are 1) the age of the youngest, and 2) going from practicing with one child to THREE. The two younger ones, though, do know all the twinkles and can scrub them on their arms.

More thoughts would be appreciated!!

Lynn said: Jun 6, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

Slowbow posted a similar question September 2007 in the Suzuki Forum. You might want to look at some of the responses there. Sorry I don’t know how to attach the link!

said: Jun 6, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Guitar, Flute, Cello, Viola
120 posts

Thanks, Lucy. I hadn’t remembered that thread until you pointed it out.

I will go ahead with starting the two siblings, and make sure that mom knows that she must practice with all three kids, that the 2 1/2 year old will not get the same assignments as her 4 yr old brother, etc. Also, since the oldest one, 6 yrs. old, is in school, she should be able to practice at separate times with the oldest and youngest kids.

I see more positives about starting two at once now from reading that thread.

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 8, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

On the other hand, there’s no harm in letting a 2 and a half year old wait 4 months or 6 months or a year for formal instruction: The informal instruction alone (gotten from watching 2 older siblings) might be more instructive and better for the very young student than adding formal lessons and formal practicing.

said: Jun 8, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Guitar, Flute, Cello, Viola
120 posts

Yes, it is a quandry—start the 2 1/2 yr. old, don’t start her. :) It wouldn’t hurt to wait 4-6 months.

But, I’ve agreed to do it based on how good the mom’s been about being the home teacher with her 6 yr. old and the commitment she’s shown. Also, every 2 1/2 yr. old is different. This one seems ready, and she’ll be very close to 3 yrs. old when we start.

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