Andrea Coyle’s Violin & Viola Studio is committed to the following Ten Principles.
Every Child Can
Your child has learned to speak because you provided the environment and opportunity for them to learn. If a child is surrounded by music, given the opportunity to actively participate in music and to learn an instrument, and is praised and rewarded for their efforts, then learning will be achieved.
Preschool age children learn fast and intensely. They learn through exposure, guidance, exploration, and repetition. Because of this children as young as three can begin the process of learning an instrument. Children should be exposed to quality music from birth. While young children excel at learning through the mother tongue approach, older children and adults also benefit from learning to play an instrument though the Suzuki Method.
The parent is the expert at child appropriate learning. You taught your child to speak and you can guide your child in their music education.
You should plan to practice each day with your child. Make practice part of your routine by having a set daily practice time.
Your child will learn at their own pace. Be encouraging and patient through their learning process. Praise first, feedback second.
Give your full attention to your child during the practice session. Avoid distractions from phone calls, other family members, or answering the door while practicing. Your child will be more engaged and will be appreciative of your attention.
Work on one thing at a time while practicing. This will develop focus and provide a cohesive plan for practicing. It will also keep those involved with the practice session from getting overwhelmed or frustrated.
Your family’s music education is a part of your life. It won’t always run smoothly, but don’t give up! Create accountably for your practicing and quality efforts. Be encouraging, but also expect quality.
Your child should listen to the recording everyday. Through listening, they will develop awareness of tone, rhythm, pitch, and musical expressiveness. Just as a child needs to hear language before attempting speech, a child needs to be familiar with the pieces they will play before attempting to play them.
Learning by Ear
We will first learn by listening without the aid of written music, just as one would learn a language. Your child will train their ear to concentrate on pitch, rhythm, musicality, and tone and begin to connect those to the physical aspects of playing their instrument.
Observation and Experimentation
Young children enjoy and excel at imitating what they see and hear. This allows them to more easily learn simple songs and the motions necessary to learn an instrument. Older students are more thoughtful in their experimentation, but can be quite successful as well in this process.
Learning to play an instrument is difficult. Praise from the parent and teacher will encourage and support the child. Employ the compliment sandwich! Praise – Constructive Criticism – More Specific Praise. Try to provide a relaxed and calm practice environment where the child can learn in a healthy environment.
Reviewing, renewing, and repeating previously learned pieces and skills will help solidify the child’s musical ability. It will also help develop memory, concentration, and the learning process. There is the added benefit of continuing to polish a piece to the child’s current best. Imagine if you only used words you recently learned! To really develop fluency in music the child must continue to review everything they have learned. Dr. Suzuki once said “Ability breeds further ability!” As the child continues to internalize and polish review pieces and skills they are preparing to developing new skills and future pieces.
You are responsible for providing a positive and inspiring environment for your child. This begins with sharing your enthusiasm for music. It is important that you play high quality music for your child regularly. Take your child to observe other children and musicians. Joyfully accompany your child to all student recitals, workshops, and concerts. Talk to your child about music and what they have learned. Provide new and engaging musical opportunities at home such as a spontaneous concert for other members of the family. Your active participation in your child’s Suzuki education is incredibly important!
Group class provides each child with an opportunity to learn from a peer and become a leader or teacher themselves. It helps to grow their confidence and self-esteem. Group classes also provide a supportive environment to practice performing, develop ensemble skills, and develop social skills. Review in group classes greatly supports the review efforts at home. Older students get extra review practice, while younger students have the opportunity to be active listeners of pieces they will soon play. Playing with others is one of the most joyful musical experiences!
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“For things we have to learn before we can do them; we learn by doing them.” ~ Aristotle