What to Expect from a Suzuki violin teacher

said: Mar 18, 2007
 1 posts

I’m wondering what to expect from our violin teacher. At times, I expect the teacher to offer more guidance and motivation for my kids. Although I believe in the Suzuki philosophy, I have concerns that by being so neutral in reaction to progress or lack thereof, the approach might be demotivating, particularly to my achievement oriented pre-teen. I am concerned about my 10 year old losing interest in the instrument. Any advice on keeping this 6-year, book four student happy :( thanks!

said: Mar 19, 2007
 16 posts

Excellent question! My child’s school teacher mad a wonderful observation. She stated that the children at age 9-10 are becoming more and more social. Our violin teacher also started encouraging me to allow my child to play in the orchestra. My child now gets to socialize prior to orchestra practice. She has to keep working on her skills to get the chair she desires. We also look for other opportunities to have her play with others. We invite other children over who also play. There are so many opportunities out there. I think she would easily lose interest if all she had was practice and lessons. Having the opportunity to share her music with others is often enough to encourage her to continue. Unlike when she started and I was offering hershey kisses as incentives, music has become the reward. Isn’t that the whole point?

Institutes and workshops are also great motivators. If you get a chance to go, the parent classes are a wonderful place to pick up tips which you can incorporate into your life. Group classes are also wonderful, if you have one available in your area.

Rachel Schott said: Mar 19, 2007
Rachel SchottViolin
Harrogate, TN
127 posts

Please talk to your teacher about this if you haven’t already.

I am by nature a very happy, keep-the-chin-up kind of teacher—when one of my students seems to be slowing in progress I lean toward being easier on them, thinking I can give them a boost by pointing out little achievements.

Recently, a mom called to tell me (privately) that her early teen daughter confided that she thought I was treating her like a baby. We had been seeting a dip in ‘go get ‘em’ but neither mom nor I was sure why. After that little tid bit, I adjusted my approach in order to be more difficult to impress. It was hard for me, but I made an effort to be more direct and frank. This really turned the tide. Maybe your teacher will be willing to change if you give him/her a chance.

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