Parents play a vitally important role in Suzuki lessons. You might be wondering how this role is best adapted for the online format. Following is a framework on how to participate in your child’s virtual musical journey, by age:
This age group requires continuous parent involvement during the entire lesson and beyond. You will play an active role in your child’s musical journey by learning the instrument along with them and practicing together throughout the week. Your presence, enthusiasm, and hands-on participation is essential to your little one’s progress.
Similar to the in-person format, your teacher may primarily teach you during the lessons, knowing that those skills will naturally trickle down to the child. We know that young children are like little sponges and soak up everything around them. A parent’s willingness to play the instrument themselves first allows the child to learn simply from immersion. It also creates a natural desire for them to learn too.
Both lessons and practice time for this age group are always centered around play and exploration. Parents can best support this approach by keeping things light & fun and repeating the games & activities that your child experienced during their lesson. So, if you have a 3-5 year old, stay on the zoom lesson the entire time, and then enjoy some relaxed musical playtime together throughout the week.
If your child falls in this age group, you will also have a very active role in lessons and practice. You will still learn to play the instrument along with your child and are still responsible for creating opportunities for playful music practice at home.
However, as long as you remain in earshot, you may be able to walk in and out during the zoom lesson. It can actually be quite confusing and overwhelming to have multiple adults instructing the child at once. Therefore, giving them a little bit of space to work one-on-one with just the teacher can be really beneficial! It may take a few lessons to find the perfect balance, but in general, be there for the instruction and then give your child room to practice and play with the teacher individually for a few minutes. The teacher will then call you back and the child can show off what they learned!
Around the age of 10, children have developed enough independence to take their own notes and practice on their own. Parents can transition into more of a supporting role and a 5 minute parent check-in at the end of the lesson would be sufficient.
Of course all children are unique and these age ranges and guidelines are just estimates to help you find what works for your family! Online music lessons can be very effective as long as children have the support that they need.
Thank you parents, in advance, for all you do to make virtual lessons a meaningful experience for everyone!