Keeping the interest

Sara said: Apr 30, 2010
191 posts

How do you instill or keep the interest in learning the violin with a three year old?

She just doesn’t want to anymore. Am I too boring? Is she just not developmentally not ready yet?

We manage to have a bow hand and can do some bow moves. But that’s the extent of what she can do willingly.

She’s not interested in any of the games anymore. She tells me she “I don’t want to” right at the beginning of the lesson. So anything we do is by a lot of talking into.

Any suggestions?


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

Jennifer Visick said: May 1, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

It is true that not every 3 year old is ready for formal instruction.

Is the parent participating in lessons? Are there group classes? Is there violin music (not just Suzuki CD) being played frequently and discussed with excitement in the child’s hearing? Do the parents LIKE violin music (and show this) when talking to other people while the child is around—other adults?

Are the lessons short?

What kind of music does the student like to hear?

Ruth Brons said: May 1, 2010
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

Three year old pre-Twinklers can be the most challenging, yet fun, lesson of the day for me.
Isn’t there some famous quote from Dr. Suzuki about him being seen before a lesson “preparing to enter the three year old mind”!

I need to wrench myself out of the normal private lesson routine mindset, where I am the teacher with a mostly compliant student and get into more of a play-mate zone. I have a few small toys, markers, paper that come in handy to inspire games that are improvised on the spot, or to use as manipulatives to keep track of repetitions or number of activities.
For example, yesterday a three year old and I alternated short violin activities with racing cars across my carpet.
And last Saturday, in a lesson in a large classroom, another student and I made an imaginary train of chairs and did one violin activity per chair before hopping to the next.
It helped the child to know that the lesson would be over at the last chair, and the child was proud to look back at the line of previous chairs which represented all the work she had done.
And of course there is the old stand-by response for when a three year old states that she is not going to be playing the violin today: “Wonderful, because Mommy has been waiting to take her turn and have a lesson!”

Keep the faith,

Ruth Brons
Things 4 Strings[tm] bow accessories

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