Parent Education help

Natalie said: Oct 12, 2009
Natalie Hockamier
Suzuki Association Member
Grand Rapids, MI
1 posts

I need some advice on parent education. I’m a newly trained Suzuki teacher, and am going to start teaching my first 4-year old students. What would you do for the first few lessons? Should I just teach the parents up through Twinkle at first before I get the child involved? How long should that take? Should I show Suzuki videos, or any other ideas? Thanks!

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 13, 2009
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

Definitely teach the parents “the basics” of playing before you start lessons with the young students. Get them listening to the music at home on a regular basis during this “prep” time. Since you’ll want them to help at home, talk about your expectations at lessons, and include some ‘practice teaching’ for the parent—that is, have them not only learn to play but also have them learn to help someone else get into the right posture to play, etc.

Susan Kempter publishes a workbook, called “Between parent and teacher” which has some excellent ideas for parent education before lessons begin.

If you’re undecided as to how many lessons to do with the parent first, more is usually better than less.

Having the parents read Nurtured by Love—or watch the documentary—is a great idea. Other “parent ed” books—for the readers of your studio—might be Ability Development from Age Zero (Suzuki), Helping Parents Practice (Sprunger), Diamond in the Sky (Cannon), The NEW Pre-Twinkle book (Merill & Brandt), Teaching from the Balance Point (Kreitman), The Suzuki Concept (Mills), In the Suzuki Style (Mills), How Muscles Learn (Kempter), Raising Musical Kids (Cutietta)….

Sara said: Oct 13, 2009
191 posts

I don’t necessarily give a set amount of lessons or time before the child begins. I tell the parent they need to know twinkle before the child starts. That way it takes the pressure off of both of us. If for some reason they aren’t able to practice or whatever and don’t learn it in x amount of time, I’m not obligated to start the student before the parent is ready. Also, on the other hand if they are really fast learners and can learn twinkle quickly then we can start the child sooner.

All of the above mentioned books are vital to Suzuki teacher. Be sure you read them!

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

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