The Suzuki Triangle: Student, Teacher, Parent.

All are equal components of a successful Suzuki experience, but what exactly is the role of the parent? Suzuki education differs from traditional methods of teaching primarily because of the parent’s involvement in the learning process.

In Suzuki lessons, parents attend all lessons. The job here is to observe, take notes, and ask questions. The teacher may invite you to join in a game or support your child during an exercise. Otherwise, simply allow the teacher to have this opportunity to work with your child. Young students are easily distracted. If both the teacher and the parent are giving instructions, it can be very confusing! However, it is necessary for the parent to step in for discipline. The child might need a quick reminder to keep his listening ears on or might even need to step out for a short break to regain focus. It is completely acceptable and appropriate for mom or dad to jump in to keep the student on track.

 Musical experience is not needed to be a successful Suzuki parent

Particularly when the student is young, the parent learns to play the instrument too. Parents often express some anxiety in learning this new skill along with their child.  Know that the teacher will explain everything you need to know. No prior knowledge about music or flute playing is necessary! Playing the instrument yourself ensures that you can help your child at home. Remember that the teacher only sees you once a week. During the other six days, the parent is the “at home teacher.”

Before leaving the lesson, the parent and teacher should confirm the goals for the week. The teacher will provide creative ideas to make practice fun, but it’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure that it actually happens.

The main requirement for families taking Suzuki lessons is that you have time to spend with your child. Everyday life is so hectic. We must strive to make time to sit down together and enjoy learning music. Practicing a new song, singing together, playing a fun music game, listening to a live concert- this is valuable time that you are choosing to spend with your child. When you can’t find time to practice, take a small step back and remember what a wonderful gift you are giving them.

You are your child’s most important role model. They look up to everything you say and do. Be involved, practice yourself, set a good example, find joy in music, and they will too!