So then we transfer this to the violin....in an ideal Suzuki violin world, the child would begin listening to the Suzuki pieces being played live by people he/she loves every single day. Then when s/he is ready, the ability to play is pieced together in very tiny bits coupled with much praise. Throughout the day, the student would have access to the violin and be able to try things in 3 to 5min increments, gradually building stamina as ability is acquired. Constantly being surrounded by the music s/he will learn to play. Pressure to play "better and better" is non-existent, yet the environment is always conducive to learning, and the instrument is always available.
This is a tricky environment to create in our over-booked American lifestyles, so we modify. Thankfully we live in an era when technology is so accessible. It is easier than ever to find ways to listen to the Suzuki recordings. So often when I encounter students who are struggling to learn new pieces, or struggling to remember notes in old pieces I discover that the parent is not yet understanding how or why their child should be listening to the Suzuki CD. It is so sad to me to see a child brimming full of talent, who would love to play and who puts great effort into practicing....who has loving parents willing to sacrifice time and finances to get the child to their lessons and to practice with the child....it is sad to me to see this, only to recognize the child is genuinely struggling week after week to learn and retain simply because the "play" button is not being pressed reliably at home.
I recognize that we feel demands and pressure on all sides, and that adding the task of "listening" seems to be just another thing to add to the list. I'd like to list below why I think that daily listening to the entire CD will actually decrease your feelings of stress and pressure regarding the violin:
- - Your child will learn notes and rhythms correctly from the beginning, eliminating time required to "re-learn" incorrect notes and rhythms.
- - Your child will retain review pieces, so that review time can be spent only on new techniques, rather than spending this time on re-learning forgotten notes.
- - Your child will gain an ear for pleasant sound, thus reducing time spent discussing proper sound.
- - Your child will absorb proper phrasing and expression, thus reducing frustrating regarding not understanding the "why" behind the teacher's instructions regarding dynamics/phrasing/bow speed/bow division, etc.
- - Your child will be able to progress more easily through the Suzuki literature, thus boosting feelings of confidence regarding their skills on the violin.
- - Notes for old pieces are frequently being forgotten or stumbled over.
- - Rhythmic mistakes occur frequently and are very difficult to correct.
- - Notes are difficult to learn, and/or are learned incorrectly.
- - A significant portion of lesson time is spent on learning notes (it should not be necessary for the teacher to spoon-feed notes after Lightly Row).
- - Feelings of discouragement and inadequacy regarding violin.
- - Press "play" when the child turns out the light at night.
- - Press "play" when homework begins.
- - Press "play" when the child comes into the kitchen for breakfast.
- - Press "play" when the child is relaxing and having their down-time after school.
- - Press "play" when the bath/story-time/bedtime routine begins.