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Suzuki Mamas Tribe - Page 21

post #401 of 459
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
Sources for fractionals?

We're looking to move from 1/8 to 1/4 - wow. It seems like a huge jump in size! And if the tone is not very pleasing, well, you have all that much more of it. So I feel like we need to tread carefully.

Currently we have a rental from a long-distance shop - Summerhays in UT. Up to this point we've been fairly pleased with their selection of rentals. The one we are currently renting is a nice Andare. They also just shipped us a 1/4 Richter and a 1/4 Pygmalius to try. These two are miles apart in tone and I don't see us being happy with anything like the Richter. The Pygmalius, on the other hand, just rings in your ear. If I were a student I'd want something like that on my shoulder.

Rental for something like the Pygmalius is quite a bit more, and has made me consider purchase options. Is this a good time to buy? I would have to travel or have them shipped. Anyone have any recommendations about places with good selection and easy to work with over long distances? Are there some violin classified ad websites I should check? I could make a visit to SLC to shop hop and try a bunch. But it sure would be nice to have some other options.
First, I'm envious of the move to a quarter! I think my youngest has another year or so before that's in the cards for her.

I do think that this is a good time to buy. It gives you more selection for instruments, and it also softens the hit later. If you buy a quarter you'll have equity to offset the cost of buying what will no doubt have to be an even higher-quality more expensive half-size in a couple of years.

Unfortunately my luthier contacts are all in Canada, and since most decent fractionals are Asian-made these days NAFTA won't help if you shop across the border meaning you'd be hit with duties and all sorts of expensive complications.

Hope someone else has some US suggestions.

post #402 of 459
Hey mommas! DD turned four in May. She has been asking to play a "real instrument." We have a friend who is a musician who did Suzuki as a kid and recommends it. Here are my questions:
--Neither DH or I is particularly musical. I played violin for a few years in school. DH is a good singer. But I don't think either of us could pick up sheet music and understand it easily at this point. Is that going to be a problem?

--How do I find a teacher? I've been Googling, but not finding much. We live in Los Angeles, so it seems like it shouldn't be too hard, so I'm surprised. Any guidance?
post #403 of 459
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo View Post
Hey mommas! DD turned four in May. She has been asking to play a "real instrument." We have a friend who is a musician who did Suzuki as a kid and recommends it. Here are my questions:
--Neither DH or I is particularly musical. I played violin for a few years in school. DH is a good singer. But I don't think either of us could pick up sheet music and understand it easily at this point. Is that going to be a problem?

--How do I find a teacher? I've been Googling, but not finding much. We live in Los Angeles, so it seems like it shouldn't be too hard, so I'm surprised. Any guidance?
Dr. Suzuki's philosophy was that anyone can play an instrument and that talent is not an inborn thing, but something than anyone can work towards and achieve throught good training. Being a Suzuki parent means you'll be attening your DD's lessons, taking notes there, and practicing with her at home. You may even wish to learn you're daughter's instrument (some teachers require this, others don't). IMO it's more important to be a willing, able student yourself, than have any musical skill.

As far as teachers go, I'd try asking members of your local orchestra and checking out conservatories; the people there will have lots of contacts.
post #404 of 459
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo View Post
--How do I find a teacher? I've been Googling, but not finding much. We live in Los Angeles, so it seems like it shouldn't be too hard, so I'm surprised. Any guidance?
post #405 of 459

This is our luthier in this area. We paid the same price monthly to rent a (very tiny!) 1/32nd when dd was 3 in another city, and it was not so great of tone. Her teacher wanted her to move up to a Chinese violin, which was $500 plus the bow ($150) when she was only 5. We chose to go another route and worked through Marquis Violins in the LA area (and my friend who plays viola). That was a good transition instrument; also a Chinese instrument, probably different shop. This was probably it: http://www.marquisviolins.com/instru...-preludevn.htm

Potters' rentals are very high quality compared to our other rental experiences. They say they will rent long-distance, if that's what you want to do. At this point, dd is playing on a purchased (used) Doetsch, 1/2 sized violin. This is a lot, but we trade up in price as we go up in size, and therefore we only pay around $200 for the trade up.

Must attend to a messy diaper. Hope this helps a bit, slightly disjointed.
post #406 of 459
Hi there! My son is three and recently started on the violin. We've just gotten a real rental violin to take home (he had been practicing with a box violin). It's only been a few days but he very much prefers the box violin to the real one.

When he started practicing with the pretend bow, he preferred to do the more familiar things at that point, too, and avoid the bow. Now that he has a real bow, he prefers the pretend one, etc.

On the other hand, he says that he is frustrated that he isn't doing something "harder". For instance, his teacher told him one time which hand was his bow hand and which was his violin hand, and she put stickers on his hands which he promptly ripped off because he wanted the game to be sufficiently hard (and he's still only been told once which hand was which and has never forgotten, even though he has yet to learn right and left). So, some (most?) things he enjoys the challenge, but holding the bow for whatever reason isn't working out that way.

All of the bow exercises are fun, but he seems to have put up a mental block.

For background purposes, taking music lessons was his idea and something he asked for for over a year before we pursued. Violin was his second choice (after the first didn't pan out) and he clicked with the teacher right away. He'll happily do practice everyday, sometimes will ask to do it multiple times a day, he is just frustrated with holding the bow at the moment.

I'm just curious if this is typical, or if anyone experienced it, or if there are any tips to help him enjoy this part more.
post #407 of 459

Looking for some transition advice...dd is 8, and has been doing Suzuki violin for 3 1/2 years (progressing slowly), and is ready to switch to cello. She heard a cello piece on the radio almost 2 years ago and knew then she wanted to play, but didn't want to switch teachers. Now she's ready...so, I've asked her to complete her current violin song and keep her daily practice on note reading (even though I know it will be different when she's doing cello), but any thoughts on making the transition smooth? I didn't want to just stop mid-song and quit practicing until cello lessons could start, because she would be a challenge to get back into a practice rhythm. We will be trading in her rental violin for a rental cello, so it's not like she can come back and play a song now and then. It just seems so final, that all those songs she's learned, and the picking it up and playing around with sounds/music will have to start all over with a new instrument. And, maybe this is about letting go for me ; )   Any advice from more experienced parents out there? How can I honor her passion for cello, and all that work and beauty on the violin?

post #408 of 459

HotMama, how exciting to be changing to the instrument she is passionate about. I think you will be surprised how many of her skills are easily adaptable. Note reading for example is not really that different. Once you have the basic concepts of how music is notated in one clef, the other clefs are all perfectly logical.


b_light is your son by any chance a little bit of a perfectionist? By the way, although my DD has known left and right since she was a toddler she has been occasionally forgetting lately and we find it helps to say "your bow hand" or "your violin hand"  upsidedown.gif

post #409 of 459
greenmama2 - I think he is a bit of a perfectionist, as am I with some things. Do you have any suggestions to help us with violin for a child with a touch of perfectionism?
post #410 of 459

For the perfectionist ...


The reticence is about fear of failure. So I would remove the possibility of failure for now by making the bowhold for him. One trick that many kids enjoy is the Abracadabra Magic Bow-hold Trick. You take a silk scarf or playsilk and drape it over the bow and hand. Then the parent reaches under the scarf with both hands and tries to position the child's hand on the bow properly, and entirely by feel. Once everything is set up, the parent makes a big production of doing an "abdracadabra" over the scarf and then with a flourish removes it, yells "taDA!" and you both ogle the bow hold and express awe and excitement over the magical appearance of a perfect bow hold. Or else you laugh yourself silly or smack yourself on the forehead in a goofy way if the thumb isn't bent because you "forgot" to make the child's thumb bend. It's a great way of the parent taking responsibility for the mistakes, rather than the child feeling like he's risking his own self-concept. And you model a healthy reaction to mistakes by pointing them out with easy-going silliness. 


"Some day," you tell your child, "you might want to learn to do the Abracadabra Magic Bow-hold Trick yourself. For now I'm the magician, though. If you want to help a little you can. You are the magician's assistant." If you reach in to position his thumb and discover that it's already bent on the frog, remark on what an awesome magician's assistant he is. But don't ask him to try doing it all on his own. Leave it up to him to decide when he wants to try making a bowhold himself under the silk scarf without your help.


You could also offer him privacy if he wants to try it on his own. Leave the scarf and his bow in his bedroom and suggest he go there if he wants to work on the trick by himself a bit. 


Once he is confident that he has learned enough in these risk-free ways that the possibility of failure is minimal, you will probably find that the reticence will drop away and he will be super keen to do all the bow exercises and show off his learning. Perfectionists get highly invested in particular types of success, so when they accomplish those things they are really delighted and that delight often breed a confidence that carries them forward in a great rush of learning accomplishments.


And yes, this sort of push-me-pull-you reaction to new challenges is pretty common!



post #411 of 459
Miranda, I think I could kiss you! I can't wait to try this at practice time. That sounds like EXACTLY what he needs. (and he does do better with lots of things with privacy, like he'll ask us to avert our eyes or he'll go into another room when he puts new clothes on, I hadn't realized why he was doing that)
post #412 of 459
Thank you, thank you, thank you! The magic bow trick has really helped!

He's moved on and really loves holding the bow now. He had a rocky, insecure week or two. His teacher really took notice of why he was unfosed as well, and had me make some mistakes to help him relax a little. He seems much more focused now and I think he'll be ready for something more challenging at his next lesson.
post #413 of 459

My question is about suzuki violin.  To make a long story short this is our children's first year in music lessons. Our 4 year old is in suzuki piano, our just turned 7 year old is in traditional violin ( but using the suzuki violin book 1, but not the method?!). There is clearly a BIG difference in the teaching method. I clearly prefer the suzuki method, maily as the piano teacher has a lot of ideas to try if something isn't working and I really like how she is teaching me to teach my child. Where as with the violin ( an instrument I had no knowledge of) I feel like I don't know how to teach him, although he is picking up the songs. I am trying my best to adapt what I am learning from the paino lessons to our violin practise, especially with motivational ideas.


My question is


1. if you were in suzuki violin what are some of the early bow exercises you do? Our traditional teacher gave us 4 exercises at the beginning, but no further and when I ask for more ideas (as he is comlpetely bored with the same 4 over and over) I don't seem to get anywhere. We practise using the entire bow "open string" on various strings to learn to use the bow on 1 string only. He does well, but when playing a song often hits 2 strings at the same time. Also do the same thing trying to go loud and then soft. He can't seem to get this at all. Also do "fly" where he uses the bow a little at each end and flys the bow over the strings, I think this is mainly for better control. He still doesnt' hold the bow quite right, and tells us to keep working on it, but HOW? he repositions his hand at the beginning of each song, but somewhere along the way is becomes incorrect. How do I fix this. As the teacher tells us, the songs he is doing now he could do with a fist and it would sound fine, but of course for the long term it need to be right or he will have to relearn it when the techniques get harder.



2. he is using the suzuki book 1 , with tradiotnal method, and is learning to read the notes. Although at home we are mostly going line by line and he is memorizing it. The teacher says if I stop writing the letters on the top and make him think about the notes and read them, even though it will be slow going, in 2 months he will be reading the notes well. Is this realistic (age 7)? at what point do you start reading with suzuki and how is it done. With piano and the 4 year old, obviously we are long from that so I am not sure how it is usually done.

post #414 of 459

Another question,


Do you think it is too late to switch over to suzuki violin for next year, age 7 turning 8?

post #415 of 459

Great posts. Thanks people.

post #416 of 459

Babymommy2, I don't think 7/8 is too old to start with a Suzuki teacher. Why don't you look around and see if there's one near you who has an opening? A good Suzuki teacher will handle an older beginner differently than they handle a 4/5 year old beginner, and part of that process will include more music reading. (However, it really is very difficult to watch the printed music page at the same time that you are learning to "drive" the violin, so most likely, music reading will begin as a separate component.) Best of luck!

post #417 of 459

I'll just share how my daughter's suzuki teacher is handling note reading (she's almost 7, started at 3.5).  She separates note reading completely from the suzuki book at this point, because, as the previous poster noted, it's just too darn much, even after 3 years of violin, to try to manage her bow hold, positions, posture, bowing, pitch, etc. AND learn to read music at the same time.  Instead, she uses a separate string method book to teach the notes, and we don't worry so much about the other aspects when working out of that book.  I think it's working great.  She's still getting the wonderful ear training from the Suzuki method, as well as learning to read music.


I'm quite sure you could find a suzuki teacher who would take your child.  There is a girl my daughter's age just before our lesson who is a beginner.  She just moves faster through the pieces than my daughter did at age 3 or 4.

post #418 of 459

They keep using ear training in book 5 and onward...  ;)

post #419 of 459

Great posts girls. Thanks for the info.

post #420 of 459

 Hello mamas.  I have a question that I hope somebody can help me with.  My daughter is 5 years old, has been playing Suzuki cello since 3 1/2.  This summer I'd like to take the plunge and add Suzuki piano to the mix.  I would be her piano teacher.  It seems to me that there would be quite a confusion  with finger numberings.  For example, on the cello the index finger is referred to as finger number 1, whereas on the piano it is finger number 2.  I'm really hoping to avoid unnecessary confusion and frustration with my easily-frustrated girl.  Does anybody have any advice or experience regarding this finger-number thing with Suzuki kids?  Should I just explain the difference and let her learn both systems albeit with some initial frustration?  Use a different system to get her through these early years and then show her the "real" finger number system a few years down the road?  I've become quite adept and knowing what works and doesn't work with my child, and  I just *know* that this is going to be a big hurdle.  Anybody with experience, thoughts, or advice?

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