Students at the beginning of every new school year feel anticipation and
excitement! Learning potential is fresh; new idea joyous! We buy new clothes and see all the friends we have missed over the summer. Who will our teacher(s) be? We are all determined to do our best and get along with everyone. We are, after all, social creatures, meant to live in communities. We are defined by our families, what school we go to, our grade level, who our friends are, and how successful we are.
Parents also are ready for something new. New clothes are bought, lunches prepared, schedules figured out, bedtimes at night are earlier as is getting up in the morning. There is a feeling of relief over the idea of an organized schedule and having our children taken care of during the day. It’s been fun to take trips and visit family and long-distance friends. The feeling of open-ended days is fun at first. However, parents are ready for the routine which school brings. The beginning of school is welcomed.
Teachers feel mixed. Letting go of “vacation” freedom is an emotional challenge.
Teachers have a big responsibility. They take this quite seriously. Questions arise: What kind of class will I get this year? Will my schedule be doable? Will my students learn what I think is important? Are my creative ideas going to work? Have I got it in me to do a good job for another year? What will the inevitable challenges be?
Suzuki Music Teachers welcome this fresh, new start, too. We look forward to our returning students entering our studios refreshed and excited. We talk with the family’s combined wishes regarding performances, “extra” music we wish to learn, who we want to play for, what schedules are necessary. We discuss goals for the upcoming year. We are eager to learn about our student’s new grade, new teachers, and new subjects. Our new student families are learning about the Suzuki philosophy and how this is applied to the study of an instrument. However, what looms large is: HAVE OUR STUDENTS PUT INTO THEIR SCHEDULES A DAILY PLACE AND TIME TO PRACTICE? Is their system a priority, or merely a hope and vague intension? In this busy fast age, it is easy to “put off” that which seems dispensable. This year I am hoping and sending out a plea to the families of
Suzuki students to make daily practicing top priority in your homes. Music is indispensable: for the brain, body, and heart.
NO MATTER WHAT!!
The promise to you is beauty, self-confidence, joy, and the pride that comes from achieving something most of my friends will not, even though they wish they could.
The success of the Suzuki Experience is due to:
- Caring parents who oversee their child’s daily practice;
- Motivated students who practice because they are encouraged, not
shamed or made to feel guilty;
- Know that their musical education is every bit as important as any other
education they are receiving;
- Have a special place to practice where it is neat, organized, clean, and
- Know exactly what it is they are meant to do to prepare for the next lesson;
- Use equipment that is kept up with yearly checkups: any necessary
adjustments, bow re-hairs, and new strings;
- An easy place and equipment for listening to the assigned music they are
- Celebrate as often as possible!