3 Years in Suzuki book 1

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said: Jun 21, 2010
 1 posts

Is this normal? My daughter started when she was 6 years old. She is almost nine and she is still in(but at the end of book one). I think she plays well. Everytime we ask the teacher she keeps on stalling her from moving to a new song..wastes time talking about things that I dont pay her to talk about

Should I move onto a new teacher or am I overreacting

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 22, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Suzuki repertoire is specifically designed to introduce new skills in every piece, so that the end of “Book 1″, if it is played well, is at a high level. Taking several years to reach this level is not unheard of. However, reaching this level in one year is also not unheard of, either.

What kinds of things does the teacher speak of? Perhaps you can ask the teacher to explain what these things have to do with learning to play music on the instrument?

How frequently do you and your daughter listen to and watch professional musicians—specifically the music she is supposed to be learning, but also music of the same genre or with similar instrumentation?

How focused are your practice sessions?

How frequent are your practice sessions?

Are your lessons usually very regular, or are they often re-scheduled or cancelled?

Laura said: Jun 22, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
358 posts

Do you know how long some of the teacher’s other students take to get through Book 1? That would be a fair question to ask.

In general, there is a wide range of how long it takes, because of the many factors involved. Some have to do with the teacher, and some don’t.

It would also be fair to share with the teacher that you wonder why it seems to be taking so long, and see what she has to say.

I’ve had students take that long to get through Book 1. Three years does seem to be on the longer side, for me. On average, if the right factors are all in place, it shouldn’t take that long. (There has been another thread on this exact same topic earlier this year.) It’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, and depends on each individual student’s situation. Some reasons, if addressed, will drastically improve the learning pace, for example:
- more consistent, focused, and/or adequate practice
- more regular and varied listening
- more consistent and/or adequate parental support during practice
- making it a student-parent goal to address and master all things the teacher has taught

And sometimes it is just the way it is, for example:
- starting extremely young (like age 2-3)—but I realize that isn’t your situation
- student learns at a naturally slower pace (incorporating new information, physical coordination, etc.)

RaineJen has touched on some of these with her questions. Overall, if she is learning to play well and still enjoys the process, things might be just fine.

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