Hints for Success

“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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