Hi! First, let me guess why you are visiting this site.
You are the kind of person who encouraged your child to begin Suzuki lessons because you wanted to instill a love of music in your child while developing a closer connection with him/her through this musical adventure. As a Suzuki parent, you know that practicing regularly is integral to growing musicianship, and probably imagined you and your child happily practicing together while he/she learns new pieces of music quickly and easily.
You are probably coming to visit me here because you found that practicing with your child is hard, and is not always the blissful, emotionally bonding experience you had hoped it would be.
Here’s why I started this site.
I am here because after 20 years of teaching Suzuki violin, my own 5 year old child began to play Suzuki cello, and I felt like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when it came to practicing. I don’t mean that in a figurative sense either. Literally, seriously, what in the world am I doing?! My son didn’t want to practice when I thought it was time to practice. He didn’t want to practice what I thought he should practice. He didn’t think that I knew anything about the cello because I “only play the violin.” (What have I been doing all these 17 years of teaching public school orchestra?!?) I was resorting to threats to practice. The practice sessions were torturous for both of us. I was afraid he was going to HATE the cello and music for the rest of his life!
That last thought was the one that stopped me dead in my tracks. I absolutely love music. I love to play the violin! Ok, sometimes have trouble getting a practice session started, or maintain focused energy throughout my practice, because I’m a real person. Oh, maybe my son is a real person, too. Sometimes he loves to practice for an extended period of time. Sometimes he volunteers to get out his cello without prompting. Sometimes we have fantastic practice weeks, and sometimes we have completely dismal practice weeks.
So, really, you are not alone!
How do we manage to make sure a majority of the practice time is quality and helps to maintain a healthy emotional relationship between me and my son? That is exactly why I am here for you. This is the place where I will share my secrets for success and my terrible disasters when it comes to practicing with my child, because we can all learn something from the bad as well as the good.
My name is Molly, and I have two boys ages 6 years and 18 months. I have taught Suzuki violin lessons for more than 20 years. In addition, I have been a public school orchestra director for 17 years and a youth orchestra conductor for 10 years. Music is my life, and it is very important to me that music is something my children are thoroughly educated in, so I am working hard to make sure it is a positive experience for them. Working hard is an understatement!! I need to go back and apologize to all the parents of all the Suzuki students I taught before I had children. This Suzuki parent stuff is ridiculously hard!
This is definitely a community for you!
This community is a place where you can go to get tips on how to make practicing less of a burden on you, and more of a fun, emotionally bonding experience for you and your young musician. We will share our best secrets and tips, and be able to help each other on this musical journey.
I know when my son looks back on his childhood he will certainly have lots of memories involving music. Here’s to the work that needs to be done to make sure he will look back on it fondly. Let’s help each other go on this musical adventure!