Children thrive on repetition and enjoy perfecting an idea they are comfortable playing. Parents must have a positive attitude toward review and refinement by understanding and enjoying the aspects themselves.
Review is a habit. A review habit should be established early in a child’s musical training. By establishing a routine, the student receives all the benefits of the “add on” repertoire, which are pieces always ready with skills under their fingertips. Reviewing regularly will develop better memory skills, which is a skill applicable to other areas other than music! Dr. Suzuki felt that the quality of review pieces was the true measure of a child’s ability.
The children should be aware of the teaching points, what string or finger a piece starts on, and the bow direction. When doing review, ask the child questions about their pieces to help them keep an awareness of the teaching points. The rate of a child’s progress will be directly related to the amount of time spent reviewing pieces. It is also a good idea to talk about the composer of the piece, and as they advance, the key of the piece and expressive details.
To keep review interesting, try playing the pieces with different moods or colors in mind. Start on different notes, and in upper books, different positions. In this way, review can double as etudes in the development of technique without having to add on extra work to your weekly assignments!
Review during each practice session; it should be a planned part of the practice. Your lesson notes will guide you in which pieces or portions of pieces your teacher wants you to review during the week. If review is done regularly, it can become the “easy” part of the practice during which you and your child can relax and enjoy the music rather than worrying about the notes.
“Repetition is the key to success.” -Dr. Shinichi Suzuki