As a Suzuki Teacher I would like to share with you a few Dr. Suzuki pedagogical methods. Remember, you are not only a Parent, but your child's “Coach” at home:
- Don't talk at the lessons. You are paying me to do the talking. Sit back, relax and take good notes. If you have questions, save them for the end or find a good “break” that will not disrupt the flow of the lesson.
- Yes, I do play games with your young child or spend a few minutes of the lesson talking to your child about things other than piano. It has no waste of time. In order to teach your child, I must develop and maintain a good working relationship.
- Never compare your child to another! Never compete with another child!
- A child progresses from skill to skill, not from piece to piece. Believe me, I know when to move to the next piece.
- You are the “coach” at home, not the teacher. Don't try to fix everything-that is my job. (I may not fix everything in one lesson. Don't worry, I have my reasons. This is a long process and cannot be perfected in the short term.) Do your listening, review and work on your assignment. Enjoy the process!
- DON'T EVER embarrass your child in front of me (especially a teenager)! The triangle of parent-child-teacher should be balanced so that parent and teacher support and encourage the child. To embarrass your child in front of me tilts the balance so that it looks like adults against the child. If you can't find a positive way to state the problem, talk to me after the lesson or call for a conference 416-831-8131.
- Use rewards for tasks or cooperation with moderation, being careful of the value of the prize. There is a fine line between a reward and a bribe.
- Dad, relatives, pets, stuffed animals can be the audience Let your child perform for anyone and everyone! “Let's practice this new spot and then show it to Daddy/sister/brother/grandparents tonight!”
- If you are stressed out over the piano lessons or practice, so will your child. Learn to relax and convey a sense of peace and well-being to your child. Remember-the ultimate goal is to foster a beautiful human being!
- Watch me with new eyes over the next few weeks. What techniques used in the lesson could you incorporate into your practice at home? What do you see that would not work at home?
- Try to decide together with your child about what times might work best for your practices. Try to practice at the same time each day, if possible. Keep in mind that every day that you skip a practice makes the next day more difficult. This is partly because we get out of the routine and partly because we fear we won't sound or feel as good when we come back to it.
- Be careful not to use practice as a punishment. Make a family policy to practice every day-even if it's only for five minutes.