Q. Should I stay for my child’s lesson? (see-Lesson Expectations- Parents)
A. This in some part depends on the age of your child. Parents are always welcome to observe lessons. If the child is under 9 or 10 years of age, you definitely need to observe the lessons, take notes and supervise practice at home if at all possible. Children this young are rarely able to retain what is learned at the lesson and put it into practice at home by themselves. It is helpful beyond this age also if your relationship with your child permits. As the child becomes older, your role becomes less and less involved.
Q. Are siblings welcome at the lesson?
A. If the siblings are able to remain relatively quiet and not distract the student, they are welcome at the lesson. My studio is large enough to accommodate an area with toys and activities for siblings, out of the student’s way. This has rarely been a problem and many students have younger (and older) siblings attend their lessons.
Q. How much should my child practice?
A. The old adage “practice makes perfect” is only true if you practice perfectly! The saying should be changed to “practice makes PERMANENT”. Practice should be judged more by its QUALITY than QUANTITY. Obviously, the more you practice WELL the better and faster you will improve; however, correct practicing is mentally exhausting and few students under the high school years have the capacity to do this for long periods of time. Regular and consistent practice is more important; hence, GOOD practices of shorter periods every day are better than one or two longer practices during the week.
A rough guideline is the child should practice the length of his lesson each day at home; however, this may not apply to very young children who would probably practice a shorter time than that and optimally older children (high school or serious middle school students) should practice longer than that.
Suzuki says-“ONLY PRACTICE ON THE DAYS THAT YOU EAT!”
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