Rambunxious three year old

Sara said: Feb 12, 2010
 Violin
191 posts

Hi all!

Just wondering what great ideas out there to tame a really energetic, imaginative three year old.
During lessons she turn into a “bird” running about the room waving her arms about. Or she simply won’t follow directions. I tell her to stand tall like a tree—we “grow a branch” stick her arm in violin position and from there she digs her chin into her chest and opens her mouth and sticks out her tongue.
She will intermittently reach out and pinch my nose, or give me a hug.
When I put the bow into her hand, she holds her hand so loosely it just falls out when she doesn’t want to be holding the bow.
So my main question is, how do I help her be cooperative with me? I have tried tossing a ball back and forth for part of the lesson to help her to calm down and to build focus. we do action games that involve moving to music. But she is getting so difficult it is hard to introduce any new technique. We barely make it through the review stuff. She has been taking for about 3 months now and all we have learned is rest and play position, a bow hand with “up like a rocket….” moves and to clap tucca tucca stop stop and she can sing the lightly row song.

Thanks in advance for any input you might have!

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

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 13, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

Maybe have a parent-teacher conference without the student present and suggest that the parents continue lessons, and continue practicing for their own development at home, and have the student go back to being an observer at the parent’s lesson, but have the student stop taking “formal” lessons until mental development, focus, and motivation all come into better alignment at the studio.

Some children are not ready to begin formal lessons at age 3, although they can still soak up the environment and excitement from their parents and by watching group classes.

Diane said: Feb 14, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
245 posts

I’ve been teaching a fairy princess for almost 2 years now. Our 15 minute weekly lessons are filled with puppets, dolls, magic wands, beads, dice, stickers and much much more. Her violin’s name is Madison. My music stand’s name is Fred. It’s best if I’m always the voice of whoever is teaching her—meaning—the voice of a puppet or doll or stuffed animal.

To an adult—taking almost 2 years to be able to play Variation A may seem excruciatingly long. But to my fairy princess it just doesn’t matter and I love the lessons it’s taught me about adult expectations!

Now that she’s close to putting together all of Variation A her posture looks fantastic and relaxed. It will be something that she takes for granted as if she’s always known how to hold the violin and bow.

Here’s some practical advice:

The pencil with stickers on it for finger placement can always be used when the bow just won’t work.

Talk to her body parts. “Oh thank you feet for being in playing position!” (At this point I put a sticker on each foot as thanks). “Hi Mr. Thumb! Are you awake? Oh so sorry to wake you up! Could you join us Mr. Thumb? (Put a sticker on the thumb).

Everyone in my studio knows my fairy princess. They are so excited to see what she wears at the recitals and just knows that her musical expression later on in life will be so interesting to listen to.

Can you tell who the fairy princess is? Notice her improvement a year later???
http://myviolinvideos.com/MyViolinRecital-MyRecital-Video-SuzuKEYNOTES11.08.html
http://myviolinvideos.com/suzukeynotesvideotwinkle11.09.html

Diane
http://www.myviolinvideos.com
Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Sara said: Feb 14, 2010
 Violin
191 posts

Thank you so much for posting your recitals! Yes, I spotted that darling little “fairy princess” right away and what great progress she made. Thank you for sharing your experience with her. Thanks for the ideas! I will try getting the puppets and also talking to her body parts. I haven’t thought of that one before.
THANK YOU!

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

Diane said: Feb 14, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
245 posts

I’m still laughing about a group class we had recently. My 5 year old fairy princess, a 4 year old fairy princess and a 4 year old prince were in the class. They were instructed to do their bow hands and make sure that they had rainbow shaped pinkies. Then if they could close their eyes and their rainbows stayed in a rainbow shape, they would feel the magic wand’s approval. I waited until all eyes were closed and then waited some more. Their anticipation of the event was riveting. The magic wand gently tickled their hair one by one and they squealed with delight. My fairy princess called out “Is that real magic?” The other two glared at me waiting for the response I would make. “It is realy magic—if you believe…” was my answer. Both princesses and the prince screamed out “I believe!!!!” All the adults in the room made secret eye contact with one another. It was magical!

Diane
http://www.myviolinvideos.com
Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Sara said: Feb 19, 2010
 Violin
191 posts

THANK YOU so much to “my violin recital”! I can’t believe what a different lesson we had today with my little three year old. I tried what you suggested and got a finger puppet and talked in it’s voice etc. She was soooo well behaved and attentive I couldn’t believe I was teaching the same little girl. We actually made progress today! Now I can’t wait until next week! At this rate I think we will actually get somewhere.

Thanks again! :D

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

Diane said: Feb 19, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
245 posts

Your welcome!

Big smiles all around!

Diane
http://www.myviolinvideos.com
Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Deanna said: Dec 1, 2010
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
90 posts

I just want to say thank you!

I had a wonderful lesson with a 2.5 year old girl that would have lasted about 10 minutes if I was teaching her. Instead, she focused for 25 minutes because at the 10 minute mark “Gus” the bear started teaching her and she loved it! Talk about a joyful lesson! Thanks so much for the idea!

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