Advice for parents as you begin violin lessons

These four videos include:

  • Advice from a master teacher on how to have the most success with your child’s violin study.
  • Insights into what worked and didn’t work, from the parents of students who went on to become outstanding violinists who loved music.

Watch these videos as you begin lessons to get your child off to a great start!

Introduction

This video covers the most important things you need to know as you begin your young child on the violin. What to do in lessons, how to practice, and much more!

VIDEO

Parent Stories

Parents of high-achieving students share how to nurture children’s ability while fostering their love of music … from pre-Twinkle to pre-college.

VIDEO

Challenging Moments

In this video you’ll learn some of the pitfalls to avoid, hear other parents’ breakdowns and breakthroughs, and how a snapped string inspired one one player’s change in heart.

VIDEO

Practice Games

Practice games can extend your child’s attention from 20 minutes to 45 minutes or more. Have fun with various types of games, and find out which ones match your child’s temperament.

VIDEO

What Makes a Great Practice Parent

Consistent daily practice

See article to the right

Know what's non-negotiable

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Discipline in learning a new skill should not be thought of an undesirable restraint on a child’s freedom. Rather, it is an inner quality which must be caringly taught and modeled by the parent, so that the child becomes capable of sustained effort and self-mastery.

While Kaleidoscopes is designed to make violin study enjoyable and approachable, it is not reasonable to expect that every violin practice will be a delight-filled discovery of music. The physical and mental challenge of violin means that practicing often feels like a hard work. Children (like adults!) naturally prefer easy things to hard ones.

Be frank with your child in letting them know that practicing, like going to the gym, is work — although of course you will both strive to make it as enjoyable as possible.

Your child will be willing to work hard because they love and respect you; when you acknowledge their work, that honors their love and effort.

Begin and end with something fun

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The mind remembers beginnings and endings more strongly.

Make it enjoyable.

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Your child will feel more positive about practice if you end while it’s enjoyable instead of a grueling push to get everything done.

Empower your child by offering choices

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When children feel that their desires have been considered, they are naturally more cooperative. Even if the activity itself is not optional, having some choice gives the child a sense of control.

For example, you may offer a choice about where or when to practice, which song to play first, or or whether to focus on easier or harder activities.

Celebrate small achievements

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Children want to please the grown-ups in their life. When they feel they’ve done a good job they strive to recreate this feeling.

Try to “catch” your child doing the desired skill; then praise their success.

When there is a behavior you want to change, set things up so they can easily do the right behavior, then offer praise.

Why Practice Every Day?

Daily practice gives the following benefits:

  1. It tells the child that violin study is important – both in general, and to you.
  2. Your child will make good progress and see the results of their hard work. This will give them a positive feeling about practicing.
  3. Daily practice will become a routine for them. Their mind and body iwll adjust to this rhythm. This builds the foundation of mental and emotional discipline.
  4. You will adjust to this routine as well, so you both reinforce each other.

When you skip practice:

  1. It tells the child that practice is optional. As a result, they will want to practice when they want to practice.
  2. It tells the child that studying violin is nice but not very important. They won’t be willing to work as hard and will progress more slowly. They will become an average player, and will not connect their average results to inconsistent practicing. When they hear another player their age who is much better than them, they will think that child simply “is” better.
  3. Whatever was learned the previous practice will erode during the day off. After another missed day it will be gone. The child will conclude that practicing does not yield results. When they do practice from time to time, their heart will not be in it, because it seems pointless.
  4. You yourself will get out of the routine. Other things will begin to take the place of practice.
  5. Your child will not reap the full developmental benefit of playing the violin.
  6. Your money on lessons is not being well spent. Violin lessons are an excellent investment, but only if you practice and achieve results.