My first three year old

Sara said: Sep 17, 2009
191 posts

Hello, out there. I have taught the Suzuki method for over 4 years now, and taken book one twice but so far my youngest child has been 4. I have my first three year old starting in a few short weeks. I am very excited and want desperately to succeed with her. Do any of you experience and seasoned with three year old’s have any sound advice you would like to share?
I am doing the parent training with her Mother right now. She is learning up to Twinkle before we begin her daughter.
They are both listening to the CD.
Do you recommend the real violin or box violin for starters?
Do you teach lesson once a week or mini lessons twice a week?
What activities do you use to build focus and concentration?

I am just looking for lot of ideas to add to what I have.

Probably these would all be similar to what I have done with 4 yr old’s, but it just seems like there is such a difference still between 3 and 4.

Thank you!

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

Luciana De Araujo said: Sep 20, 2009
Luciana De Araujo CaixetaViolin
São Carlos, SP, Brazil
3 posts

I would use a box violin for one or two lessons and move on to the real violin. I would plan a lesson with a lot of variety: rest position, playing position, bow hand on left arm, rhythm variations on arm, clapping rhythms, play two notes and ask her if they sound the same or different/ higher or lower, march/stomp or clap the beat of a song, sing a scale with solfege, etc.
I have always taught 1 lesson a week (30min) knowing that in the beginning they won’t be able to focus for the entire time. This year I started doing a 30min combined lesson with 2 students—so each student gets 15 min. and then watches the other child for 15 min. It seems to be a good amount of time for them to focus. And they learn too while watching the other child. I had heard about this in a workshop and I like how it works with very young children.

Brigette said: Sep 30, 2009
Brigette Weisenburger
Suzuki Association Member
Aberdeen, SD
11 posts

When I’ve had very young children, I took the 1/2 hour lesson and divided it into 15 minute lessons twice a week until the student’s attention span could handle a half and hour. Also tons of movement and games to keep them interested and wanting more.

Jeremy Chesman said: Dec 19, 2009
Jeremy Chesman
Suzuki Association Member
Organ, Recorder, Voice, Harp
Springfield, MO
24 posts

Also, remember one of the many Dr. Suzuki quotes, “As soon as the eyes go up, the lesson is over.” Don’t try to force students to focus longer than they can. After a few weeks of lessons, their attention span gets better naturally. This is sometimes frustrating, particularly for the parent (who may have paid for an entire 30-minute lesson). If the parent is aware of why you’re stopping (won’t be productive after that point), they’re usually on board.

I teach Suzuki organ. With my students, once it’s clear that they’re done, we get off the bench and sit on the ground and play some theory games. That fills up some more time, and is beneficial to their learning. However, it’s more like a game.

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