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Training the Parent

You know how you or a family member arbitrarily sign your child up for some type of extra curricular activity be it Tae-Kwon-Do, softball, dance, gymnastics or violin lessons...? Yeah, this will make them well rounded and if it sticks and they love it then, swell! Well, it took me almost 6 months to realize that not only was my daughter taking lessons, but so was I... Okay, stay with me here. Let me paint this picture for ya.

Jeanetta Hopkins, Founder of BCMS had told me once before, as I was busy getting my standard 30 minutes of "paid childcare" in while typing away on my surface or scrolling with my thumbs on a client's social media page, that my child was learning the Suzuki method.


I thought to myself, not really understanding what it meant but thinking that maybe my child would know how to karate chop straight through a violin or piano one day with her Suzuki talents.

I was super, ridiculously wrong.

As my child struggled with playing the violin, I came to understand that Suzuki meant, that everyone was involved and was a vital part of the method. Beginning with the Child, then the Teacher AND the PARENT. That did NOT mean, I should only bring her to lesson, maybe drop her off for a hot sec and run to the grocery store (I swear I never really did THAT...) and go home after lesson and go about my business-as-usual. No. Being a single co-parent meant that I had to really commit to being involved with my child's process because it affected her confidence while playing. It also affected what she retained from her 30 minute, once-a-week lesson.

I committed to becoming an all-in Suzuki parent from the moment that light bulb came on.

That meant, I would be keeping her violin with me at all times to make sure that she had at least 15-20 minutes of practice each and every day. Since her Dad and I rotate each day picking her up from school and dropping her off, that meant that the days that she would go home with him, meant she practiced in the morning before school with me and on the next day, when I picked her up, she would practice after school and after homework time.

The gain was almost immediate! I was pleased to see that her willingness to play had gone up tremendously within a couple weeks. Especially, when I asked her to teach me the "right way to play". My 6 year old, took great joy in correcting her Mommy's posture and fixing my fingers on the correct strings and when my finger stubbornly would not "crimp" the way hers had been trained to do, she would proudly take the violin from me and show me the "real way" to do it correctly.

I must say, we have definitely bonded over learning the violin and the Suzuki method together and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am also proud to say, that I can tune a violin with the best of 'em now.

Well...maybe not the BEST... but good enough until we get back to our weekly lesson! :D

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