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Suzuki Mamas Tribe - Page 3

post #41 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
As for lesson readiness, my own inclination is to wait until kids are 4 - 5. There's so much informal musical learning that can happen before that. Even structured informal learning. (Try looking into Alice Kay Kanack's "Musical Improvisation for Children" book and CD; I think it's fabulous!) Get copies of the Suzuki repertoire CDs, start listening every day, start attending group classes and lessons as observers. My favourite beginners to teach are the ones who have been attending classes as observers for up to a year beforehand. They've already learned so much, and they and their parents thoroughly understand the expectations that take root in a private lesson and group class environment.


I'm meeting with a mom & daughter tomorrow about starting lessons in the fall -- the child turned four in April and while they've been observing classes on and off for 18 months, the child has only recently been able to understand that Suzuki violin expectations include not interrupting another child's lesson with questions and trying to get physically involved with the lesson, not squirming and chatting or laughing or wandering around. Nothing wrong with that sort of behaviour coming from a 3-year-old -- it's developmentally appropriate, but it's tough to run a goal-oriented private lesson or group class with a noisy preschooler moving around based on her own bio-developmental prerogative.

So you can get the best sense of her readiness by observing lessons. Not only will you be able to see what lessons are all about and develop a gut feeling about whether the structure will suit her, but by bringing her along you'll get a good sense of whether she can adapt to the behavioural expectations of a private lesson studio.

Miranda
This is great advice. Thanks.

Where would one find the Suzuki CD's you recommended?
post #42 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZanZansMommy View Post
This is great advice. Thanks.

Where would one find the Suzuki CD's you recommended?
Try Young Musicians.

Miranda
post #43 of 459
Thread Starter 
Gossec Gavotte question -

For the plucking at the end, what is normally taught? When I think back to my playing days, I just did whatever felt right. If the passage involved lots of fast plucking, I'd probably end up with the bow/frog in my fist and have a good grip and have my thumb on the corner of the fingerboard. If it wasn't a fast passage, I might keep the hold intact and just stick out a finger and float. But for DD, whose hand is so small and I'm kind of stumped. Her teacher is wanting her to keep her hand hold and just stick her index finger out, but that's frustrating for DD whose index finger is just not very long. (Fractional bows are much shorter, but not much *smaller*.) Also, finding the right string to pluck seems to take an eternity. We should probably do some plucking exercises...?

Ideas?
post #44 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
Try Young Musicians.

Miranda

Thanks Miranda.
post #45 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
Gossec Gavotte question - For the plucking at the end, what is normally taught?
I teach keepin the bowhold intact, extending the index finger. It's tough for kids to get at first, but there are lots of fun ways to practice. Play Twinkle Rhythm A on open E, then touch nose with only tip of index finger, then play on open E as fast as you can. Do the same exercise but touching the top of the bridge instead of the nose, then again touching the G-string, etc. etc..

Miranda
post #46 of 459
double post
post #47 of 459
Hi! I hope you don't mind if I join. We have been considering Suzuki violin lessons for my 4.5 year old ds. So, I'm just kind of soaking up the language here. I have to admit that as a parent with limited musical skills, it is a lot intimidating... I played the flute in hs, and while I enjoyed it, I was always last chair, and not the best musician. I love the whole philosophy of Suzuki, but I'm a little nervous about actually trying to learn to play a little violin myself so I can teach ds.

We have been taking our boys to Music Together classes semi-regularly, and they both love music. Ds1 loves to sing and listen to music and he seems interested in the violin. We know a great teacher (she taught one of our MT classes). I wanted to start ds1 this summer, but I'm due w/ #3 in September, so out teacher recommended waiting until January so we wouldn't get interrupted right after starting. Ds will be 5 at that point. So, I hope this thread is still going strong in January when I'll really need the help!

Melissa
post #48 of 459
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I teach keepin the bowhold intact, extending the index finger. It's tough for kids to get at first, but there are lots of fun ways to practice. Play Twinkle Rhythm A on open E, then touch nose with only tip of index finger, then play on open E as fast as you can. Do the same exercise but touching the top of the bridge instead of the nose, then again touching the G-string, etc. etc..

Miranda
Thanks for the input and the ideas. We'll give that a try. It seems to always boil down to breaking it down to little steps. Oh, and keeping it fun helps, too!


Melissa-
We loved the Music Together program when we did it. I particularly appreciated the freedom our guide gave the class - to move pretty much however we felt at the time. It was very open and loosely structured. What a great place for little ones to feel free to express themselves! I thought it was a wonderful intro to what music can bring to our lives. To be honest, the transition to Suzuki felt a bit harsh after the freedom of that program. Yin Yang, I suppose. I'm bicultural asian-american and the differences between eastern and western approaches always seem quite striking to me.
post #49 of 459
Great thread. We've been discussing starting dd soon and the comments on preparing to start (for example: sitting in on lessons and attending a concert) were so helpful. thanks.
post #50 of 459
I'm happy to hear about the inter-mountain institute success. Our (Swedish) Suzuki teacher has taught there for several years, as does his wife, and they love it. We went to our little local workshop this year and last, but are considering adding the I-M institute next year.

Insahmniak, did your little one learn Zorro's Mark?
post #51 of 459
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Girl View Post
I'm happy to hear about the inter-mountain institute success. Our (Swedish) Suzuki teacher has taught there for several years, as does his wife, and they love it. We went to our little local workshop this year and last, but are considering adding the I-M institute next year.

Insahmniak, did your little one learn Zorro's Mark?
No -we didn't learn Zorro's Mark. But we did learn a Swedish folk song from Sven, our techniques instructor. Spot-a-Snyoos it the phonetic way I'd spell it. Something about spitting the tobacco juice? Anyhow, we had great fun with Sven every morning. He got us warmed up with physical and brain-teasing exercises and he was full of high energy.

So, now I'm wondering what Zorro's Mark is!
post #52 of 459
It's a fiddle piece. Our violin teacher, Goran, taught all of his fiddle students that piece at the institute. (Or most of them--I didn't give him the third degree about how many students he taught that particular piece. )

We had Sven at our workshop last year--he's incredibly fun and SO high energy! My DD still talks about him.
post #53 of 459
You are getting me all excited about our own upcoming Suzuki Institute. It starts on the 3rd and is small by most standards (84 students) but huge by the standards of our little town of 600 in the middle of nowhere ... the population of the town increases by 25% that week with the music students and their families.

My eldest has been away at two Suzuki institutes on her own (she'll be back Tuesday) and yesterday had the thrill of playing a full concert at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal with the senior string orchestra. She'll be doing our institute and then two further weeks of (traditional, non-Suzuki) music camp after that. She lives for summer institutes, this kid. Actually, all my kids do. My 5yo has a count-down calendar on the wall that she made. It's down to 9 days today, she excitedly told me. Can't wait!

Miranda
post #54 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkaha View Post
Are the sizes the same for all strings? DD is currently (not) using a 1/2 violin. She's decided that she would rather do cello. This would work well because I have and play cello, so maybe it would go more smoothly than violin as far as practicing goes. So should I be asking around for a 1/2 size cello?
It depends on her size. My DS (newly 7, but BIG for his age) just moved to a Japanese 1/2, the German 1/2s are still too big for him.

If she is average for a 7yo she will probably still be on a 1/4. Again, the German 1/4s are bigger than the Japanese 1/4s, so maybe look for one of those...

The cello size definitely differ though from the violin, so make sure you do size her properly.
post #55 of 459
We just got back from a week at institute, and had a great time! We are doing another one in a couple of weeks also.

My 3.5yo DD tried violin and did shockingly well. We observed some lessons this spring and she was really not ready at all to start, so I had decided to wait until she is 4, but then she demanded to play violin, she already has a box and we have been playing feet position, bowhold and holding the box games, so I let her. We got a 1/16th, which fits her perfectly, and she loved the lessons!

When she decides to she can focus like nobody's business, so she did alternately wonderfully and then had tantrums when she didn't want to, sigh. She is more motivated to start than my DS was because he already plays (cello), so I am going to keep playing games and start her in the fall. She already has a great bowhold.
post #56 of 459
Miranda, what fabulous experiences for your daughter! It's so great to be able to travel, and when you travel as a musician, you're traveling with a purpose, so you can avoid that traveler's angst that sometimes hits me when I'm just off on a vacation.

Our own workshop is small too--about 40 kids, I think--but each size has it's own best capacities.
post #57 of 459
My son started violin the month before he turned five. He's seven now, in Suzuki Book 4. Our program isn't "pure Suzuki" as it isn't available in our area, but I do all I can at home to adhere to the tenets of the Suzuki method, and in sensing my desire to stick to Suzuki, his teacher seems to be doing the same thing. He's currently on a 1/2 size Carlo Lamberti LV11, which is a lovely instrument, and one I don't see him outgrowing any time soon. (Fingers crossed!)
post #58 of 459
I just found this thread by wondering around on MDC. This thread is great since our school doesn't have a parent support group. Currently, my DD6 is finishing up the book I, and DS4 is on Lightly Row. We are planning to have a private concert to celebrate the book I completion and Twinkle graduation in November. We'll have a piano accompanist. It seems my DD is more worried about how she wants her hair done, and what to wear!? I hope all will go well.
post #59 of 459
Hi all. We've just wrapped our Suzuki institute and are all flying high. All four of my kids were well-placed and enjoyed themselves immensely. What a lot of fun! And what a great bunch of people. Suzuki families are just such amazing human beings.

We figure ours may be the only Suzuki Institute that has ever had a black bear hanging out for an afternoon within view of the classrooms. That was rather exciting for a lot of the families!

Miranda
post #60 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by greencat View Post
We are planning to have a private concert to celebrate the book I completion and Twinkle graduation in November. We'll have a piano accompanist.
You just reminded me that we never did this. My youngest had wanted to do something similar ... but somehow we forgot all about it once she was far enough beyond Gossec Gavotte for a graduation recital to be comfortable and easy for her. Oh well... I guess if it was still important to her she would have mentioned it again. I do think it can be a nice tradition if it's handled well.

Miranda
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