“Practice only on the days you eat”
Dr Shinichi Suzuki
New Suzuki families will learn a lot in the early days about how to make practising at home successful. Below are a few tips for you to consider. It may take some time to make each of them part of your habit and your dedication will surely be rewarded.
- Make listening to the repertoire CD part of the daily routine
- Practice should be enjoyable, not unhappy! Remember, babies are never scolded when they are learning language
- Keep the practice environment void of distractions, and conducive to focus
- Work ‘with’ the child (child-focused), rather than ‘telling’ them what to do. For example, give the child a choice of equally favourable options
- Never ask the child a question for which you are unprepared to accept the answer! It helps to avoid closed questions (with yes/no answers)
- Daily practice is a given, not an option. Consider using language like ‘lets play violin’ rather than ‘its time to practice’.
- Consider what time during the day is best for your child to practice. Mornings may be best for young children
- Focus on one point or skill at a time, as introduced during the week’s lesson
- Play the recording, rather than correcting errors
- Be attentive to the child’s capacity for concentration, and finish the practice the moment that concentration ends
- Short practices at first are fine. Quality is important, not quantity
- Focus on successes
- Encourage repetition. Children naturally love repetition
- Offer genuine and specific praise. Praise the effort, not the child; i.e. avoid ‘good girl’ and instead ‘you did that (specific behaviour) well’
- Offer encouragement and show your child you know he can do well
- Practice patience!
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