Today I tackled learning an instrument and hopefully shared a lot of tips that you can use. For instance, I told you to buy a Yamaha Clavinova – the least expensive type they have. This will save you from having to pay a piano tuner for the rest of your life.
Our daughter playing piano in church
Also, I told you to buy a violin from Amazon. Don’t mess with rentals because it is just not worth it. Violins can be resold easily. Get on a forum for homeschooling parents and watch it for six months. Somebody will be selling a violin – guaranteed. Continue reading »
Nurtured by Love was written by Shinichi Suzuki when he was in his 80s. His wife, Waltraud, translated it into English. The subtitle is “The Classic Approach to Talent Education.” If your child is taking music lessons from a Suzuki-certified teacher, you will probably be required to read this book as a Suzuki parent.
Suzuki’s idea about learning an instrument has to do with fluency in one’s native language. Just as Japanese children become fluent in Japanese and master complicated dialects by the age of four or five, American children become fluent in English, their native language, and master the accent of the area in which they were raised. It works the same way for an instrument. Continue reading »
Ability Development from Age Zero by Shinichi Suzuki is required reading for Suzuki parents, those of us who put our children through music lessons with a Suzuki-certified teacher. My children take violin lessons from a Suzuki teacher and so I read this book as part of my preparation to support the teacher in her goals and methods.
The Bible of Suzuki parents, this book should be read once a year.
First off, this is a short book – only 96 pages. Even if you read only 14 pages per day (that’s turning the page only seven times, friends!) you should be able to cover it in one week. By the way, when a book gets boring, I tell myself I have to turn the page only five more times and then I will put it down. Or something similar. Because motivation to finish something does not come easy, but if I can focus on a short-term goal, that does not seem daunting, I feel better about the task at hand.
This book does not get boring very often though. There are stories and anecdotes about different parents and children who are using the Suzuki method. There is some repetition in it, but I suppose it is a good thing. I know I need some concepts drilled into me and it only happens by hearing them over and over again.
Last Sunday, my children had their violin recital. It was my daughter’s first. She started taking violin lessons in August and she has already learned the first five pieces in the Suzuki violin book number 1. By that I mean that she can play them by heart, but you understand she does not sound like a virtuoso yet, right? She sounds like a five-year-old who has been practicing five times a week for the past five months.
My son has taken violin lessons for two years now. He is working on the last piece in the second Suzuki violin book and then he will have graduated to book number three. He does well for his age but violin is a tough instrument. Just when you think you have fixed your fingering, the bow starts flying in all directions and you need to give it some attention. Continue reading »