Dear friends,

I have been thinking a lot recently about the ways we feed our growth as string players and musicians in our individual practice of our Suzuki lessons. Of course, just playing at the house each day (or most days) is essential for us to grow with music. Imagine trying to learn to speak as a one or two-year-old if you only practiced speaking 30 minutes each week! Even after we figure out successful strategies to get the instrument out at home each day and play, however, we still have to figure out what do when we practice.

How do we practice? This is one of the biggest, and most interesting, questions in our quest with learning to play a stringed instrument. Students who find ways to practice well experience  growth as players and musicians. This is addictive.

At first we practice at home with our parents, with specific directions from our teachers about what to do. Specific foundation skills get practiced, with explicit guidance. Five minutes of bunny bow holds each day eventually lead to a wonderful foundation for bow technique. Later on in the student’s journey with music, one’s teacher will give more specific instructions identifying and analyzing an issue that the student needs to address, along with powerful practice strategies to address them. Over the course of years, then, the engaged student gathers up a collection of specific practicing tools to use in their own practice.

When practicing or teaching, the big questions that I always am asking are “What is one thing that could be better in this playing”, followed immediately by “what practicing techniques or strategies might I employ to improve this issue?” If I am always asking such questions and coming up with answers, I know my practicing is going to lead me to growth, which will feed my desire to keep practicing. This is what I wish all my Knoxville Suzuki Academy students experience from the very beginning of their journey with Suzuki lessons.

We hope you find inspiration and useful advice in our Knoxville Suzuki Academy faculty blog posts. If you are not currently enrolled in Suzuki lessons with Knoxville Suzuki Academy and would like to learn more about this possibility, please explore our website