Feeling a Little Burned Out

said: Apr 17, 2010
 5 posts

What do you do when you really dislike a song and your child has figured it out?
My youngest (age 6) has guessed that a certain Book 1 song is, for me, like listening to fingers scratching a chalkboard. He’s doing his best with it and I explained that I’m VERY proud of him, but it’s just not my favorite song. Nevertheless, it has turned into a family joke and now we both have trouble taking the song seriously.
This is my second time through the Suzuki books—my older child is in book 5—and to be honest there are some early songs that I’m more than a little tired of hearing.
How do I keep that from showing? I want to be as excited and enthusiastic for my youngest as I was (and am) for my oldest.
My book 5 daughter is great at giving me an occasional night off by being “guest coach”, but she’s a busy kid with her own practicing to do, and I don’t want her to “fill in” too often.
In the chain of teacher-student-parent, I’m starting to feel like the weak link!

Jennifer Visick said: Apr 18, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

do you mean—you’re tired of hearing them “get practiced”, or you’re tired of hearing them performed? (E.g., listening to the CD recording is hearing a performance, but hearing that hard section over and over with incremental changes is hearing practice).

Diane said: Apr 19, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
244 posts

I’ve been teaching for 24 years! Do I get sick of Twinkle???

Not yet!

I get pretty absorbed in the child, the process, what their unique needs are to learning. That’s what keeps me from getting overdosed on the music.

However—I do get burned out with everything that supports the art of teaching! Organizing, scheduling, paperwork, banking, you know—all the “busy” work. Although I’m good at using my left brain and am quite organized—it’s the right brain activities of the act of teaching, performing and making music that feeds me.

Back to your child—because that’s really what you’re looking for. My son and I got totally hung up on some math concepts that he needs to learn. We both got quite agitated and couldn’t figure out a real life application to the math concepts he had to learn. Then came all the commentary “why learn it” “this is ridiculous” “who needs to spend the time on this when it’ll never be used”… you get the idea. But of course the point is that when you’re a student you don’t get choice about what you have to learn. You just have to do your best and move on.

Where I’m heading at here—perhaps go ahead and make a big fuss about the song, how sick you are. Maybe your child isn’t sick and then you can have fun fake arguments—Mom’s sick of this but I’m not! Be open and honest. But—then you must support the learning process. The song needs to get learned and with the best efforts possible!

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

said: Apr 19, 2010
 5 posts

RaineJen- I guess I’m a little tired of both practice and performance, but only of certain songs…

I had a chat with our teacher today, she had a few suggestions to try and keep things fresh and fun.
1. change practice locations (now that the weather’s nice—have the practice in the backyard, for instance).
2. experiment with different practice times or splitting the practice into short segments twice a day
3. spend more time with fun “by ear” tunes that my boy would like to try.
Good ideas that I’m eager to try!
I’m glad I talked to her—she was understanding and helpful.

said: Apr 19, 2010
 89 posts

Have you analyzed WHY you dislike it so much?

Kim said: Apr 25, 2010
 39 posts

:D I have a book 1 child too. Is it perpetual motion? Because if it is, I’m right there with you. So sick of that one! I recently heard some kids that are about a year further out than my daughter play and it gave me hope that we will move on.

Kathleen said: Jun 11, 2010
Kathleen AlkemaViolin
3 posts

Try thinking of the pieces as rungs on a ladder, or cars on a train that take you somewhere. They are means to an end, and not especially beautiful pieces in and of themselves. When they are played beautifully, of course, they can be a joy to listen to, but that is the ability singing out, and not the piece, necessarily. Someone with a beautiful singing voice can sing a nursery rhyme and make it pleasant, even if you wouldn’t put the song on your ipod. :0)

I have 4 kids, and they all started Suzuki at 2, and I’ve heard these pieces a LOT. Honestly, I’m so focused on the particular practice point that we are working on that whether or not I like the piece hardly enters my mind anymore. I do remember being overwhelmed by the repetitions back when my first son started. I think, once you are truly saturated with the sounds of the repertoire pieces, it gets easier to look for the nuances of style and technique.

I hope that helps a little—I DO have to admit that the Beethoven Minuet in violin book 2 has to be played excellently for me to even slightly enjoy it. I didn’t like learning it, I don’t like helping my kids learn it. Probably something to do with watching The Music Man years ago. hahahaa.

Best Wishes,

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