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Hunt, Sue: 10 Tips for Making Violin Lessons Fun
Please imagine: Your music school invites interested parents to present them their programs for preschoolers.
You have only 4 or 5 minutes … to tell them about the most important points for Suzuki lessons and practice. Please look at the video below.
10 Tips for Making Violin Lessons Fun
Music teaching lessons can be expensive. How can we make sure that it is a worthwhile investment. We all know that music teaching lessons can make you brighter because of the workout that music gives the brain.
Hang on a moment…… music by itself don’t make you brighter, it is the practice that does the trick. So, how do we stack the deck in favor of your child benefitting from music teaching lessons?
There are many things which you can do to optimse the process. The following 10 points will help make the most of your investment in music lessons.
No. 1: A small child will learn more easily with the help of a loving practice partner. Your job is to support and encourage your children, not to criticise.
No. 2: Attend your child’s music lessons and make notes. You can use these to plan practice sessions. If you write each task on a card, you can use them for lucky dip games. These really help empower children.
No. 3: Set goals. Keep a record, in practice book, of what you have done in each practice. Your teacher will give you useful feedback during music lessons. It will help, to put assignments on separate cards and write the practice points on them, as they come up.
No. 4: Keep the practice time short. You don’t want to strain vulnerable young muscles, or to make children feel trapped in a situation, from which they can’t escape. Aim to stop before the first yawn. If your child wants more, you can do another mini practice later in the day.
No. 5: Move at each child's path. Learning an instrument isn’t a race. Your children are children and when you remember this, it makes it easier not to pile on the pressure. Focus on all the wonderful things that your children are achieving through music lessons and celebrate with them.
No. 6: Set aside time for reviewing old pieces. Children improve their musical ability by repeating what they already know. The brain and body, both need about 10.000 correct repetitions to turn knowledge into ability. What is learnt in early music lessons, is an important foundation for further development.
No. 7: Plan regular practice times. You will find it easier to make practices happen if they are linked to a regular event in your family’s daily life. After breakfast is a great time as everyone is generally still fresh.
No. 8: Ask, don’t tell. Children who are engaged in practice, stand a greater chance of internalizing what has been taught in music lessons, unlike those who are just ordered around.
No. 9: Have a good collection of music practice games to hand and use them regularly. Children almost always respond better to games than to dry instruction. Everyone learns better, when they are enjoying the process. There are lots of music practice games for making music fun.
No. 10: Praise, praise, praise. Healthy praise is honest and directed towards your children’s efforts and focus, rather than the clever things they can do. Listen to how your teacheruses praise, during music lessons and copy at home.
Good luck with implementing these points. They will take you a long way, towards making music teaching lessons fun and profitable for both you and your children.
Sue Hunt was born in Bermuda and now living in the UK. She studied music at Darting College of Arts and the Conservatorium van de Vereniging Musieklyceeum, in Amsterdam.
Mother of 2 suzuki kids, now grown up, Sue teaches a small group of violists in South West London.
Sue is passionate about how the Suzuki Method develops the individual, helping to create great brains, healthy bodies and beautiful souls.
After many years of research into the best ways to help parents and children get full value from music lessons, she started the website, www.musicinpractice.com with the purpose of helping families to practice happily and productively together.