In previous generations, high-level music performance was available only to a few fortunate children whose families could afford a daily tutor. Suzuki, however, believed that musical education is the birthright of every child. The Suzuki method ensures that any family can allow their children to attain the highest musical accomplishment, given the assistance of a qualified teacher and your own willingness to learn and support your child.

Some of the qualities of an excellent Suzuki parent include the following:

  • Practicing with your child every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. Try to choose a time that fits well into your family’s routine, and keep the same time each day as much as you can. Apply the same persistence as you do in other areas, such as cleanliness or keeping regular mealtimes and bedtimes.

  • Making practice time special. We live in the age of distraction. Violin practice is a wonderful opportunity to create a time that you and your child treasure together. Please turn off your cell phone and make sure that other family members are taken care of so you can give your child your whole-hearted attention.

  • Appreciating and thoughtfully nurturing the many aspects of character development that attend musical study. Among other things, your child will learn mental discipline, imagination, concentration, problem-solving, attention to detail, leadership, self-confidence, sensitivity to others, an appreciation of beauty, and poise. When challenges arise during your practice, use these as opportunities to provide the “deep parenting” that increases your child’s self-knowledge and enhances their emotional self-regulation and well-being.

  • Honoring your child’s learning process, even as you strive towards each goal. Even mature players cannot concentrate on posture, intonation, bow angle, tone, and expression, all at the same time. Your child will only be able to concentrate on one thing at a time. Strive for excellence, but also relax and allow the learning to unfold at a own natural pace.

  • Respecting and listening to your child. Provide guidance and direction on the important things, but find ways for them to participate in smaller decisions so they feel empowered and included. They will more willingly follow your observations and suggestions if you express interest in theirs.

  • Being willing to learn. It’s okay if you don’t have a musical background. In many ways this is actually an advantage! You just have to be willing to learn, work hard, and share your love of music with your child.

If you are ready to be a Suzuki parent, please continue to the next page!