No special musical background or advanced expertise is required to be a great Suzuki parent. The first lesson or two you actually have without your child in attendance. In these sessions your child’s teacher will go over the philosophy and approach for the lessons, and explain how you can be a powerful positive leg of the Suzuki triangle in your child’s journey with music. Active engagement in lessons by the parent is necessary. This includes attendance, note taking from the lesson and, when possible, making videos. Helping create a schedule at the home that includes lots of listening to Suzuki piano recordings and daily home practice are also part of your role as a parent of a Suzuki student.
For at least the first several years parents will help lead their child’s practice at home. It is especially important to remember that the goal of each practice is to have a positive, happy experience with the instrument and music. Every small success is praised, and every challenge is treated with kind patience. There is no challenge your child cannot master. Sometimes we need more time to master something. Sometimes we need to break a challenge into smaller constituent elements, mastering each of those smaller chunks before proceeding to combine them. In all of that engagement and problem solving, we commit as Suzuki parents to approaching the practice with calm patience and celebrate each small success with our child.
If you are most engaged, we encourage you to rent or purchase a violin yourself, and practice with your child at the house. The message that you give your child if you, too, are teaching yourself violin, is a powerful one indeed. And, sharing the joy of discovery and quest of learning to play violin with your child is a rare and wonderful opportunity.
Remember, the goal of Suzuki lessons is to grow beautiful people and great and happy citizens. The process is everything in the Suzuki philosophy. Musical expertise is a byproduct of those other, ultimate goals. The encouraging, supportive, non-stressful environment is of great benefit to your child in their quest with Suzuki violin study.