Parent training

Sara said: Apr 18, 2010
191 posts

What would you say to a parent that is constantly asking the 3 year old student if they want to learn the violin?

I asked what the response would be if and when the answer is no and I was told that their philosophy is that they don’t want to force their children to play a specific instrument. They want them to choose. So as soon as the answer is no then they will switch instruments to something else that the child chooses.

I explained that it’s better to not constantly ask but to just simply make it a part of the daily routine: you brush your teeth and you practice violin.
However it wasn’t convincing to them. What now?

Thanks in advance for any ideas or comments!

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

Alie said: Apr 18, 2010
Columbus, OH
21 posts

I agree with what you’re saying! Parents need to understand that it is their responsibility as the parent to make appropriate choices for their child. Is it permissible for the child stay to up all night because he doesn’t want to go to bed? What if he doesn’t want to wear a seatbelt?

At a school that I taught at in Arizona, we offered an “Instrument Exploration” class. It consisted of 2 weeks of lessons on each of 5 different instruments. At the end of 10 weeks, the child picked an instrument. Children do get excited over new things simply because of the novelty factor. Many of my young violin students have gotten excited upon discovering my guitar. I let them play it, and they lose interest as the novelty wears off.

Is the parent in your studio willing to make a commitment towards the Suzuki lifestyle pending a selection of instrument? If that is the case, they should be explaining that to both you and the child!

said: Apr 19, 2010
 89 posts

Remind mom that her tuition is not refundable.

That might cut down the questions until the end of the term, anyway.

Barb said: Apr 23, 2010
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
678 posts

In addition to what’s already been said:

If the child plays violin for one year, piano for one year, cello for one year, etc. They will possibly be nowhere at age 10. If the child stays with one instrument until they are age 10 (or 12 or 14 or something way down the road), they will have a very firm musical foundation that will likely carry over to starting an instrument of their choice at that time, when they are more mature, have more experience, and are more likely to be able to decide for themselves what instrument they would like to play (and will be big enough to have more choices).

Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

said: May 22, 2010
 63 posts

I’m a firm believer in expectation—let me explain. If you’ve read the book “the secret”, that will help.

How far do the parents think that they will be able to take their children in violin? Not what they “wish”, or “want”, but expect. As in, what can they visually picture in their mind, the greatest accomplishment their child can achieve in music, and do they believe it can be done? Can they picture their child playing that piece in book 2? 3? the concerto they saw in a concert?

I completely agree with everyone above. Just check in with the parents as their questioning is betraying an underlying short-sightedness in what they see for their child’s future.

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