Random Observations of a Suzuki Mom
from Mary Carroll (former UNI Suzuki School mom)
Recognize that nagging and dragging out a lesson when it is painful and everything is at odds does little to enhance the musical experience (thought it may do something for endurance). Try to end on a positive note.
Try not to bribe with monetary or food rewards. The emphasis for a thoughtful lesson is then misdirected. Rewards are useful but they should be related to the topic at hand. A special record, a new rosin, a trip to the library to find a special book on a composer's life, making music cookies to share with the neighborhood children at a concert, etc. (Write up a program and invite several youngsters in, or just have it spontaneous-making certain your child will have a positive performance.)
Hints on note-taking. Write the compliments first and read them at the beginning of each practice. Hmm, let's see...what were we trying to achieve this week?
Help you child learn to expect the best from himself, to be able to count on himself to make it through no matter what.
Participate in every opportunity for your child to play his instrument. Self-confidence is a gradual thing.
Mechanical aids: tape recorder, endless tape, oven timer, stop watch, record player.
Recognize that you are giving your child a memory-a childhood fulfillment that will be a part of his own life forever and always. It is an investment in his (and your) future just as surely as regular investing in a savings account. The interest is in a lifetime of feelings of worthiness and accomplishment.