Friday, September 25, 2009

My 10yo son began taking violin lessons from a Suzuki instructor a few days after his birthday last spring. He is relatively old to begin Suzuki studies.

Sometimes I'm taken aback by the size of some of his peers at lessons! Every time we have a group session--where all of the teacher's students come together both to play together and get to know one another--I can't help but laugh at the absolutely tiny violin cases that the smallest pupils carry.

Suzuki music lessons are predicated on significant involvement by parents. This idea of parental commitment is especially important for the very young children--some of whom are barely 3 years old. For a 10yo student, it is not quite so necessary to have mothers and fathers involved in their practice sessions. However, in a world that de-emphasizes the involvement of parents in their children's learning, the Suzuki expectation is a welcome change.

The Suzuki method also stresses a loving-parent model for the official music teachers as well. As he talks about in his book Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education,the founder of the Suzuki movement stresses that both parents and teachers should strive to acknowledge the child where they are, to celebrate and accept whatever the child does--instead of having some preconceived notion about progress and timeline.

Suzuki's work is in many ways aligned with attachment parenting principles and his book makes an excellent read even for those without children in music lessons.

I'm always inspired by the combination of intensity and love shown between Suzuki parents and their children as they work together:

suzuki parent

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