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Suzuki Mamas Tribe - Page 23

post #441 of 459

We could rollcall or something!  :)


I have a 14 year old daughter playing in Book 6 Suzuki violin, also working on Meditation from Thais and Fandango, who also does Scottish fiddling for fun and composes.  She's in the regional youth orchestra intermediate level and the advanced orchestra in school.


I also have a non-Suzuki 12 year old dd playing piano (conventional) and trombone (school).


My son, age 8, tried Suzuki violin and it was a poor match for him.  He started "laid back" guitar a couple of years ago to good effect and we're sad his teacher moved to Jordan.  The Suzuki guitar program didn't sound like a good fit for him.


My 6 year old dd is in Suzuki book 1 violin working on May Song.  The bow distribution is giving her fits.


My 3 year old vacilates between wanting to play violin and playing flute (I found a teacher trained in Suzuki flute who doesn't have a studio right now; but I would love to get her to teach my little one when she is ready).


I am a student midwife right now, and being a book 1 Suzuki parent again is hard with 4 kids in public schools and a totally variable schedule.  The minor blessing is that dd1 can help with her practices.  Basically we do what we can.  DD 1 started at age 3; dd3 started at age 5 b/c I wasn't ready sooner.  Pretty much, we're trying to hang in there based on tuition; we've got a big tuition bill each month...  It's tough.  But she figured out a one octave scale all by herself and she's really motivated, so it was good timing and she is thriving.


That's what's going on musically here.  We're a Suzuki and non-Suzuki family.  I found with my own kids that the best teachers aren't always the Suzuki ones, and even the good ones don't always mesh with kids of certain personalities.  :)

post #442 of 459

The biggest fun is that my 14 year old can critique the playing on the Suzuki CDs by David Cerone or the other guy (Preucil?).  She especially hates the non-emotive versions of Romantic era pieces.

post #443 of 459
Roll call is a great idea! I'd love to see this thread become more active. And wow Bekka, I will never complain again about having three kids doing different things. :-)
My 16yo is a rock n roll drummer so he doesn't count. ;-) He is doing jazz band at school this year for the first time. It is an amazing program and I'm very excited for him. I practiced with him ONCE, btw. Following the drum score was BY FAR the hardest thing, musically, that I've ever done in my life.
My 13yo daughter started Suzuki violin at age 6. Right now she is working on de Beriot Concerto in A minor (ugh! octaves!), Kreutzer & Schradiek, some unaccompanied Bach. Currently our biggest struggles are over her increasing independence. Which she does not want. She would rather have me tell her what & how to practice so that she can get mad at me, kwim?
My 9yo son also does Suzuki violin. He is just finishing up book 3. He also works out of Wohlfahrt & Schradiek, Barbara Barber bk 1, Dolflein, etc. With him the biggest struggle is getting him to slow down and CARE about details. He has a lot of native ability (perfect pitch, huge hands, loves to perform, etc.) but he is also ADHDish and I still have to remind him to keep his pinky on the stick. Frequently.
I grew up in a musical family but knew nothing about the Suzuki philosophy until my daughter and I stumbled into it. Our lives totally revolve around it now, and I know I am a way better parent because of it. The small fortune we pay for lessons? It is a tithe.
post #444 of 459

Fun to see this thread active again.


I have four Suzuki kids, was a Suzuki student myself, my mom a Suzuki teacher. I teach part-time myself. My sister and one brother are Suzuki teachers. My poor kids: they come by it honestly. All that rich Suzuki heritage aside, we live in a very rural area with no teachers nearby. My training is limited and my kids have been unwilling to work with me beyond age 11 or so. Things have changed in the past couple of years. My mom is moving back to her home town and will no longer be able to teach my kids. The senior kids have moved on. Living here my kids don't have much musically to inspire and sustain them. It's mostly just their mom... and them.


Dd18 is four days from starting her BMus in violin performance. She's working on the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and the Paganini Caprices. She's amazing. She was basically self-taught from age 13 onwards, until this past year when she moved across the country to get regular lessons with a qualified teacher. Her ability just soared, and I'm sure in a university environment it'll continue along its current trajectory.


Ds15 is languishing teacher-less for the second year in a row. He's an advanced violist with musicality that just pours out of him, but although his heart is in music, he doesn't have the work ethic to match. So it's really impossible to justify the time and money it would cost to get him lessons. 


Dd13 is teacher-less for the first time this year. She's a violinist, just barely post-Book-8. Her motivation has really suffered the past couple of years  and her progress has stalled. She has been on and off with lessons for the past year, even with my mom here. Now it's off for good.


Dd9 is teacher-less now as well but she and I work reasonably well together, so I can continue to guide her. She's working on Meditation from Thais and beginning Suzuki book 7. She's also begun picking up viola, is working on alto clef reading, learning the Telemann Double at the end of viola Book 4. She's reasonably self-motivated right now. But other than her siblings, she's the most advanced string player by far around here (the other dozen are Books 1-4, mostly 1-2) so I think she may have a tough time as her older siblings' commitment to their music wanes. 


I'm feeling a little sad about our prospects for the future here. The kids' musical lives would have been so much different if we'd lived somewhere that they'd had access to teachers at their level, other students at similar levels, youth orchestras, chamber music, etc. etc.. I'm sure they would be totally immersed in music, progressing like crazy, happy as heck to have that community. During summer institutes that's what it's like ... they truly wish life could be a Suzuki institute, or at least include teachers, and orchestra and other music kids. But it can't. :(



post #445 of 459

Miranda, I sometimes find myself desperate for that speed of lifestyle...  multiple orchestra rehearsals, and our church does Messiah every other year, guess what, this is the year, etc. and we hurtle madly toward the holiday season with concerts, now fundraising for school orchestra, etc. etc. ad infinitum and we all are basically a wreck by Dec. 15th.  But I asked DD1 what she would do if she wasn't busy, and she said, I'd be bored.  Shrug.  What can we do.  I wish she could ride her bike to the HS; but we're too far by a bit.  I'm excited that tomorrow afternoon we have no activities at all.  Of course, I could get called to a birth...  :)

post #446 of 459
Thanks for the role call suggestion. I have a ds 8 who has done non-Suzuki piano for 3 years. It has been a total slog for the past year and after taking the summer off he is adamant that he doesn't want to continue. I would really like him to continue with an instrument and when I asked him what he'd like to play he said "French horn". I think that's a terrible idea because he has a fairly low frustration threshold but we live in Philadelphia where lessons in every instrument are available so we're going on Tuesday to meet with the registration coordinator at the settlement music school to discuss lessons

I have a dd6 who has been doing Suzuki flute since she was 3. She is in book one. Her teacher is taking the fall off so we will be checking out the flute offerings for her at settlement as well.

I also have a dd 3 who has been doing Suzuki flute for a year. She had learned to 'toot' on her sister's flute with totally incorrect mouth position so she basically spent the year trying to undo a bad habit. She has a tough personality and I wish we had waited until she was older to start an instrument. I may sign her up for a group fun class this fall if there is one available during her siblings' lessons

I also have a 15 month old and work 36 hours a week as a midwife (funny-2 midwives in this group!).

I find getting the practicing done a challenge!
post #447 of 459

Hi, all. I'm glad to see this thread. I am about to start Suzuki violin with my 4 year old daughter. My older two boys started at ages 7 and 4 but we quit after a miserable 3 years because of a teacher mismatch and because i decided that the stress and the conflict that it brought into our family just wasn't worth it. The younger one hasn't touched a violin since (he takes traditional piano lessons, though); the older one tried out some different workshops and classes and eventually settled on laid-back traditional lessons at our house.  We love our  new teacher who comes to our house and she can't wait to start the Suzuki method with DD next week.  


What would you all say are the essential ingredients for success in the program? I'm worried about my track record, my past "failure" as a Suzuki parent. On one hand, I feel like I failed because I let my kids drop out; on the other hand I feel I failed because i let the agony drag on for so long before I freed them.. I also feel like I failed because it was not an enjoyable experience and it was detrimental to our relationships, when I had been told it would deepen our relationship and build my children's character. It took a lot of healing after we quit to restore peace to our family.  We won't be in the same program as before, so the stress of running around town right after school twice a week and being overscheduled will be eliminated; however, I am still wondering if practicing will pose the same problems. My boys started out enjoying practicing, but it turned into a daily conflict. If you have truly enjoyed the process, and you can honestly say that it has enhanced your relationship with your child, what do you think you did to nurture that? Why might I have been successful in other areas of parenting but not in music study? Thanks for your time and advice.

Edited by Super Pickle - 1/4/13 at 1:37pm
post #448 of 459

I'm about to start Suzuki violin with my four year old daughter. I'm also enrolling my 7 year old son in conventional piano lessons. I was a good horn player through college, but didn't start any sort of lesson until horn lessons in 6th grade (and I started piano in 8th--way too late), and I can see how it held me back, so I want to give my kids the opportunity to be good musicians should they choose.My daughter has been actively asking to play violin (my preference would have been piano since we already have one and I have some clue about to play that!). I have no idea what to expect. I was so glad to find this thread!

post #449 of 459
Pickle, sorry to hear you had such a hard experience with Suzuki before. I feel like in our house practice sessions often have the potential to turn horribly contentious and I think because I have been reluctant to engage in fights and battles with my kids that they have not progressed very quickly (
post #450 of 459

Hi all! We're hopefully starting my son on suzuki in a few weeks. 
He's only 3 but he literally begs me daily to learn how to play the violin. I'm not expecting miracles, but if he loves it, then I'll be happy. I played for years but never learned suzuki. 

Any advice on getting started with a really young kiddo? :) I'm SUPER excited. 

post #451 of 459

Hi!  I just found this thread and am not up to reading 450 posts.  So, here's a quick intro.

My older DS, 6, has been playing Suzuki Piano for about 2 years now.  He's got Go Tell Aunt Rhodie down.  He's at group class right now as a matter of fact.  He's also learning Iron Man, or at least part of it.  He's REALLY excited about that.  

post #452 of 459
Yes: I have some advice! Take it a day at a time, and just do your best.

I have started listening to the recordings and doing now holds with my toddler. Good times!
post #453 of 459
Yes: I have some advice! Take it a day at a time, and just do your best.

I have started listening to the recordings and doing now holds with my toddler. Good times!
post #454 of 459
Ooh, I'm glad this thread has been resurrected. My 6 year old has just jumped up to a 1/4 size violin & is working through the minuets in book 1. Her progress is slow as she gets used to her new fiddle & we are keeping her practice sessions very short at the moment. My three year old has just started Suzuki piano. He likes it but isn't too enthused about practicing yet.
post #455 of 459
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post

My 6 year old has just jumped up to a 1/4 size violin & is working through the minuets in book 1. Her progress is slow as she gets used to her new fiddle & we are keeping her practice sessions very short at the moment.

How long has she been on the quarter? Has she changed sizes before? Does the quarter fit her properly? (It seems a mighty big size for a 6-year-old, but obviously I can't see her!) The reason I ask is that in my experience with my own four kids who have grown through a total of probably twenty different size-changes, it's never taken more than a few days for them to adjust. As a teacher I've found similarly: I'll give the go-ahead to change sizes at one lesson and by the next lesson the kids and I have often pretty much forgotten the issue of adjusting. Sometimes there's a bit of 4th finger or bow-on-highway attention that needs to be given, but it's pretty self-limiting.

If it's been more than a week or so and your dd is still feeling like the new violin is requiring some significant adjustment, perhaps it's either too big or needs some adjustments (chin rest, shoulder pad, bridge curve, eg.) to work well for her. Does her teacher have any suggestions?

post #456 of 459
She is fine now after two weeks. She borrowed a 1/4 from her teacher before we decided but I think it was perhaps it was a little lighter than the one we ended up buying and yes, she started on a 1/16 & moved to a 1/10 at almost five. We also bought a new shoulder rest but her teacher felt it wasn't deep enough for her shoulder so she is back to her old one. As for her size, she dances & is currently taking extra classes with 9 turning 10 year olds with no noticeable height difference. There is definitely some bow on highway attention needed, but her fingers are actually better as her 1/10 was really far too small.
post #457 of 459
So you skipped from a tenth to a quarter? That might be why it took longer to adjust!

As long as he can bow to the tip without locking his elbow, it's an ok size.
post #458 of 459
Yes, she did. After trying a 1/4 in her lesson it was obvious that a 1/8 wouldn't last long so we borrowed the 1/4 for a week to be certain. It's all fine now smile.gif
post #459 of 459

Very excited to discover this thread!


We're currently looking for a Suzuki piano teacher for my 4 y/o dd. We tried the traditional method / teacher, but they started right away with reading music - one of her homeworks was to trace the treble clef, and she can barely scribble her own name. Not to mention that I have absolutely no knowledge of music, so I couldn't help her at all with her practice.


At least with the Suzuki method I can attend the lessons and learn with her. So I ordered the book and CD and hopefully we'll start in January. She talk about playing the piano, I think she misses it.


Another thing: we don't have a piano at home :o. We were practicing on a small keyboard.


I have some questions for mamas of piano players: how do you help out with practice if you don't play the instrument yourself? (Or do you have any advice for me?)

And where did you buy your piano? We won't be able to buy a new one, but as we don't know anything about pianos, how do I make sure that the used ones are in working order?


I have been thinking of buying a keyboard, but I've read a lot of negative comments about them, especially from Suzuki teachers, so I wouldn't want to buy one, then having to buy a piano anyways.


I would also like to mention that ds also started Suzuki guitar when he was 4 and we had a very positive experience with the program.

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