27 Oct

Ability breeds ability.  We are motivated by situations that we feel 99% successful and in control. We crave instant success and gratification which is often difficult to achieve in a long term process like playing a musical instrument.  You will help your child stay motivated by creating both short term (preparing for your weekly lesson) and long term (what do you want to perform on the recital) goals. Create a reward system if your child need reinforcement on the way to these goals.

There are motivational ways to practice with your child and de-motivational ways to approach the practice session. Constantly interrupting and criticizing your child is de-motivational, and honest praise is motivational. Work in small steps when introducing new skills so that your child is assured of success. We want to do more when we feel successful.  Learning new notes and new technique all at once is overwhelming and counterproductive.  This is one reason that the Suzuki Method uses review to build ability, particularly in the early years, instead of etudes or other studies. The notes are easy in a review piece, leaving your child free to focus on the new technique.  Use positive reinforcement with your language.  Say, “I really love your bent bow thumb” and they will be encouraged to continue to play with a bent bow thumb.  Remember to never equate love with accomplishment; LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL.  So praise the action and not the child.

“If you ask a child, in the midst of praise, “Can you do better?” He will respond, “Yes!” -Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

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