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#31 of 42 Old 05-05-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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I think that starting a tribe here would be great. I haven't really gotten the hang of the tribe thing, but it sounds good.
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#32 of 42 Old 05-05-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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We moved up to a 1/8 size (and moved from a rental to a purchased instrument.) The improvement was enormous! We paid $500 for the new instrument, case, and wooden bow. We managed to get a used violin--the tone is richer than that of a new instrument--and the price was lower. We have two local shops--each of them accept the old instrument and give credit toward a new, larger size, when you are ready.

One of the families in our group went through one of the online shops; shar music, I believe. They paid about $600 for a used set-up.

One exciting improvement in the 1/8 size is that you can get Dominant strings--big help with the tone.
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#33 of 42 Old 05-05-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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You can put dominants on a 1/10th ... you just use the 1/8th or 1/16th size strings (sixteenths if they fit). If there's too much length on the eight-sized strings you can just clip a bit off the peg end with nailclippers. Our luthier uses Dominants on D, A and E on tenths. Can't remember what he uses for a G, sorry.

Anyway, I think $500 is a good ballpark figure for a better-quality instrument. We spent just over that on my dd's current tenth-size, which we bought used, and it's beautiful. It's serving her very well though it's still a bit too big. (A too-big instrument is normally a no-no, but we were desperate.) The Scott Cao's are often excellent. I've never heard one that's less that very good. My dd's is actually an exceptional Suzuki Nagoya and it has a better sound than the Cao's we compared it to, but most Cao's would out-play most Suzuki Nagoya instruments by a fair bit.

Oh, for tone development ... you could put imaginary honey on the bow and ask your dd to feel the stickyness of the hair on the string. Twinkle Theme is still our favourite tone exercise.

Miranda

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#34 of 42 Old 05-05-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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: mostly

I was planning to start my then 2 and 3yo last fall but have opted to wait another year (when they are 3 and 4.5) my teacher does start kids at 2yo (only if they are PT though!) but my kids just weren't ready and I want them to start together NOT a year apart.. she is also a friend and I learned how to play violin at the age of 27 using the Suzuki method!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#35 of 42 Old 05-05-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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I'm going to need a bigger violin for my dd soon too-- I think a 1/8 but I have to have our teacher verify that for me...but I was thinking of going through Shar for like $200-$250...we only spent $60 on the one she has now! Am I crazy for thinking she could get a decent violin for that price???

She's working on Minuet 1 so she's getting close to the end of book 1 so I was hoping we could hold out and give her a new violin as a book 1 graduation gift.

My 4 yo (dd2) worked on the Twinkles for several months and we are working on Lightly Row but still polishing up the Twinkles...so our teacher doesn't insist on perfection before moving on. dd2 plays them well but still doesn't always play them perfectly...and she tires out of i ask her to play all five variations...so we plays games to pick which one to play and keep it short and sweet.

I also just wanted to mention that since Minuet 1 was composed by Bach I borrowed several library books about him and it's helped dd1's interest and motivation to feel connected to this person from so long ago...so again it isn't always about "rewards." We often borrow books with violin and fiddle included in someway and it helps...
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#36 of 42 Old 05-05-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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You might be happy with a violin for $250 if it's well set-up. It's partly a question of what you're used to (kids in our area, and in my family, have pretty good quality instruments) and also of what level you think your child will likely be at when the instrument you're purchasing will be outgrown. The 1/10th I just spent $550 on will likely last my dd well into Book 4 and maybe even book 5, so I felt it was reasonable to spend that much money. Her violin is so small compared to that of most kids playing at her level that I did my best to "buy her a bigger tone." Personally I think a $200-300 instrument can be sufficient up to late Book 2 or so.

Miranda

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#37 of 42 Old 05-06-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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personally I would get the best instrument you can afford. the quality and tone really do make a difference! I rented from a (semi) local place for a year (it was like $15 a month or so, decent violin w/ the option to switch or find a different one you liked better at any time) then I bought ( a much better violin, not the one I rented) from them and they gave me a deal. I plan to do the same with the kiddos. ( www.swstrings.com )

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#38 of 42 Old 05-06-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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I guess I have to know when does a child outgrow a 1/10th?
I will discuss this with her teacher as well...I suppose I need to get some understanding of how long to expect her to be using a 1/10th and then go from there.
She loves violin so I imagine she'll continue for quite some time...although kids do change. As for now, she is really having a blast and gives every reason to think she wants to keep on playing.
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#39 of 42 Old 05-07-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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Mary-beth, in my experience kids spend an average of about 18 months on a size (plus or minus 6 to 9 months). My dd moved up early, and her 1/10th is still a little big for her even though she's been on it for 3 months already. So I'm assuming she'll be on it a total of 2 years at least.

As for when it's time to move up, teachers vary hugely in how they size kids, so you need to get your teacher to make that call.

Miranda

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#40 of 42 Old 05-11-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Thanks to everyone with replies to my post. It really helps to get a sense of what others have been through and what the expectations are. I think we really just have a super perfectionist teacher. My dd does still enjoy it so we will continue for now. I think I will try to look around over the summer for different teachers and also talk to the Director about my concerns. It is a fairly large school and the Dalcroze (3rd class) will be replaced with theory sometime in the next few years. Thanks again for the responses.
I continue to reread this thread - it is a great source of info.
How do we set up the Suzuki tribe?

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#41 of 42 Old 05-12-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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I think a Suzuki tribe would be really cool too. I have 2 suzuki fiddlers, one is 15 (in book 5 but taking a little break from the Suzuki repetoire to focus on Irish, Scottish and old-time fiddling with her teacher) and one age almost 7 (started at age 4, just beginning "Perpetual Motion").

Both of my kids have had the same teachers, we started at the "big" Suzuki program in our area, but we left it last year for a number of reasons, including:
1. The tuition doubled! Probably due to a big construction project at the conservatory where our program was. So I would have paid $3900 per year for both kids instead of 2006-2007 $1850 tuition for both kids.

2. A new person took the helm of the program during that year, and to my great dissapointment, children who were involved in an inner-city school Suzuki program, taught by one of "our" faculty, were no longer participating in the Saturday morning Suzuki classes, ie, Group, Theory, Orchestra, and Performance Hour. As I personally was under the assumption that Dr. Suzuki felt "every child can" learn to play an instrument, and the fact that these kids were enthusiastic and just as important to the gestalt of the Saturday morning deal as the "preparatory" (tuition paying) students, I was pretty forlorn!

3. Due to a move, it would be an extra 150 miles of driving per week, and the carbon footprint seemed big. (We live about 33 miles from the place, and I would have to drive there and back twice weekly, for private lessons on Thursday nights and for the Saturday stuff).

So, we started with a solo Suzuki teacher this fall, we love him, and his style is definitely more relaxed than at the "big" program. He also teaches Irish, Scottish, and old-time to both girls when they need a break from the Suzuki repetoire. He is more playful than our previous private lesson teacher, who was a very gifted, empathic, and playful teacher as well. The increased playfulness has decreased the amount of resistance to practicing--which the 15 year old has done independantly since age 12 anyways, but now I need to remind her to practice only about 2 times per week, as opposed to daily. And, my almost 7 year old now brings the violin to the couch about a half hour before we leave for school, saying, "Let's do our violin now so we can do x, y, or z after school," as opposed to saying "But I hate the violin" when asked to get ready to practice.

Although they would both quit if were an option at my house; it isn't, although we aren't mean about it, we have explained to both of them that it is good for their brains, we send them to schools with little to no homework, so giving back to us 15 to 20 minutes per night is a reasonable request.

Once though, in a fit of bad mothering, I told the oldest, who was balking at practicing, that even though she hated the violin and me at that particular moment, she could look forward to the day when she'd be able to play "Ashoken's Farewell" (theme from Ken Burns' Civil War documentary) at my Irish wake. Which cracked us both up, broke the tension, and thankfully I haven't regressed to such an infantile level in 3 years.
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#42 of 42 Old 05-12-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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After hearing some interest voiced here I started a Suzuki Moms Tribe thread in Finding Your Tribe. Here's a link. We can continue the discussion over there if you like.
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