Expectations for Very Young Suzuki Flute Students
You may have experienced an early childhood music class. Families and toddlers sitting together on the floor laughing, singing, and playing with tiny drums and shakers. There is so much learning taking place during this informal, interactive play. It is sometimes easy to overlook because it’s natural, fun and there are no expectations or per-requisites for the child or the parent.
Instrumental lessons for three and four-year-old students can be thought about in the same way; play oriented, child-centered, fun, and engaging! We must continue teaching these very young students in a manner that encourages their curiosity, creativity and individuality.
“No step is ever too small, as long as it’s successful! ~ Shinchi Suzuki
The youngest students of the academy work in very small steps, taking time to practice each skill separately. As a parent of this age group, you must lower your expectations, not regarding your belief in their potential, but in your mental timeline of your child producing results. It may be several months to a year before your three-year-old can make a sound on the flute. This is normal! They will develop the skill by spitting rice and observing their parent and teacher. Suzuki calls this, “Planting the seed of ability.” With nutrients, stimulation, love and patience it will grow!
Suzuki Flute Listening and Singing
Emphasizing listening and singing teaches the child to learn the songs they will eventually be able to play on the flute. These young students know what a beautiful tone sounds like long before they ever play it themselves, just like they absorbed & listened to language before they spoke their first word.
Why Start Suzuki Flute at Early Age?
A child starting lessons at age eight will obviously learn much faster. They might zip through Book 1 in less than a year. So why not wait a few years to start lessons? Students that begin at age three or four have such an advantage: learning music at a time when connections are rapidly forming in the brain. Consider the way we learn language. We don’t wait until the child is physically capable to speak to talk to them. We begin the day they are born. For years, they just listen. They imitate. And finally, they speak, and we never doubt that they will!