Assuring Your Child’s Musical Success

Every Child Can!:    I love the quote from Dr. Suzuki, “(Hito wa kankyo no ko nari)” – “People become children of their environment”.  Dr. Suzuki says that it is important that each child has the opportunity to learn. No one is just born completely gifted and talented.  It depends on how they are taught, encouraged, and developed their ability.  Neither of my parents can play the piano or violin well enough to even volunteer at church!  But I can because my mother gave me the opportunity to learn and encouraged me. Every child can learn music just like learning their native language. “Beautiful tone = Beautiful heart ♥” – I love music and I want my students and their families to experience the joy of music as well.  One gift that parents can give their children is the opportunity to learn music.  Music is a gift you can give to others. “Every Child Can!”

Working Together :  To have success in playing the piano and/or violin, it takes the cooperation of the student, the teacher and you, the parents. I will be spending only 30 minutes with your child each week; you are with them every day.  It is the parent’s responsibility to see that their child has enough time each day to practice and that they are practicing what they are supposed to. Please spend time observing their lessons and at home. For piano students, gently remind them of their notes, to count out loud, to keep fingers curved, maintain an upright position, use correct fingering, etc.  For violin students, make sure their violin is in tune and they hold the instrument and bow in the correct position.  Listen to them play and put their CD in the car or home stereo so they can listen wherever they are.  Listening is a very important part of learning to play a musical instrument.  I teach music basics and piano and violin skills (technique, theory, sight reading, and ear training).

Successful and satisfying study is dependent upon correct and consistent practice habits.  I recommend the following:

*     Arrange a set time every day for your child to practice and insist on keeping it.

*     Provide a practice setting free from distractions (telephone, TV, siblings, etc.).

*     Make sure your child brings all of the correct music and materials to every lesson in a music case or tote bag.

*     Check the 3-ring binder regularly for communication from the teacher and help your child follow the directions.

*     Practice right after a lesson could be very effective.

*     The night before a lesson, the child should play for you what is expected for the lesson.

*     Make sure your child finishes all written assignments and is prepared for each lesson.

*     Arrive 5 minutes early for all lessons.

*     Keep your child’s nails clipped short. (Especially for left hand for violin students).

Please feel free to contact me concerning your student or with any suggestions. I look forward to working with you and your child.  Thank you for choosing me as your child’s teacher!

Lillian Barrus

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