Child interrupting moms practice

Ashley said: Aug 3, 2008
 Violin, Suzuki in the Schools
23 posts

I have a 4 year old student who is has been playing for almost 2 years, and is doing marvelously. She is halfway through Book One, and loves to play. Her mother is taking lessons along with her, and is working on Etude. At our last lesson, mom informed me that she’s feeling frustrated because whenever she tries to practice her own individual lesson assignment, her daughter will drop whatever she is doing and run to get her violin to play with her mom.

While this is not the worst problem to have (she loves to play the violin!!!) mom doesn’t know what to do because she realizes that she really needs to spend time on her assignment (Etude) in order to improve. However every time she thinks she has a moment alone to practice, her daughter will either come and start playing other pieces while mom is trying to play her material or will try to figure out Etude (to which I said it is good she is exploring her violin but I want to make sure she doesn’t learn things wrong on her own before we get to that song in lessons).

Mom doesn’t want to discourage her daughter from playing, and is glad she is enthusiastic enough to want to play all the time, but she wants to find a way to get her own practicing in as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how she can either tell her daughter that it is MOMS turn to practice (without making the daughter feel discouraged from playing) or to incorporate the two practicing together, mom playing her material and daughter playing hers?

Any suggestions would be great!

Jennifer Visick said: Aug 4, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1076 posts

Kerstin Wartberg has a trio book with “easy” harmonies to all the book 1 pieces. Maybe you could teach the daughter the harmonization to Etude and she can help “accompany” mom?

said: Aug 11, 2008
 1 posts

I think Mom needs to lighten up and let the child “interrupt” her practice! This is not an interruption—this is exactly what is supposed to happen, but seldom does. Mom doesn’t need to learn to play the violin past mid-book one in order to help her child. A four-year-old halfway through Book one is great progress—and I think Mom is discouraging her by telling her “no, it is my turn to practice, not yours.” In my opinion, if Mom is practicing, and daughter turns up wanting to play, Mom should put her violin down and listen to her daughter play. It’s not like Mom is a professional who needs to practice, or even like she played the violin before her daughter—her only reason for playing is to encourage the child, so what’s the problem?

Rebekah said: Oct 12, 2008
Rebekah HansonInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
24 posts

I am in a very similar situation and while I do think it is great that the daughter is enthusiastic about playing- it’s not a great way for her to learn the rep. If she is anything like the student I have, she will play the pieces her mom is playing incorrectly, making it much more difficult for her to re-learn.
I gave my student some of the easy duet parts to the earlier book one pieces to keep her excited about learning and talked to her about playing pieces before I taught them. I want her to maintain her enthusiasm so I told her she could learn and play any pieces she wanted to, as long as they are not the pieces in Suzuki book 1. My rule is that I teach those so that they are not learning incorrectly.
I think it is fabulous that the mom is interested in playing and I think her daughter should be okay with sitting and listening to her mom while she gets in her practice.

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