The role of the parent in Suzuki education
Just as you are your child's first and most important teacher when it comes to learning to talk, so you have a vital role to play in Suzuki education, the Mother Tongue Method. Whether you bring your child to the Music at Heart Early Years or Recorder classes, your involvement in creating the best possible environment for your child to blossom, both in the studio and at home, is crucial.
As a Suzuki teacher, I will spend time with your child only once or sometimes twice a week; as a parent, you influence the small events of every day and shape how s/he sees the world. I will equip you with the knowledge, skill and confidence to help, support and encourage your child, our shared objective being the enriching of his/her life. You don't have to be a musician to be a successful Suzuki parent, but you do need to be committed to helping your child enjoy the process of learning - not just in music, but in all things. The success of any Suzuki programme depends largely upon the quality of the Suzuki Triangle, the working relationship shared by teacher, parent and child.
Your role in Early Years classes
Before every lesson, Suzuki said, "I am mentally preparing myself for children's minds. I want to come down to their physical limitations and up to their sense of wonder and awe." When you bring your child to Music at Heart, I will encourage you to be involved with your child, not just alongside.
Suzuki Early Childhood Education places great importance on the role of the adult (teacher and parent) in modelling the patterns of behaviour we wish to see developed in our children. The values of the world we inhabit and the people who surround us have a profound effect on who we are.
Be warm and loving at all times to build your child's trust, confidence and self-esteem - the way adults use eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice and gesture, and the way they physically handle children, influence the way the little ones feel about themselves and others. Never pressurise your child to do something before s/he is developmentally ready - cajoling, forcing or bribing rarely produces good and long-lasting results. Your child will be given many opportunities to contribute to the musical activities, but will never be expected to 'perform' on demand - an outward response on any given occasion is a bonus, not a requirement. Enjoy the moment, observe your own child and celebrate his/her accomplishments, however small.
Suzuki said, “True cultivators know that a seed needs plenty of fertilizer, water and sunshine. If you hold a seed in your hand and yell, ‘Sprout! Sprout! Sprout!’ you are being merciless to the seed. The seed will not sprout unless the conditions are right."
read more: But what if I'm not musical?