Important Ideas to Remember In Your Role as a Suzuki Parent
Charlotte Kufchak used a creative and unique approach when it came to maintaining practice schedules: “We bought two sizes of dried beans and some sparkly paint. We had a lot of fun making the beans as colorful and pretty as possible. Then we paid the kids in beans for practicing. It was great – we never ran out of ‘cash’.
Each large bean was equal to 10 small beans. (There were some math lessons in there too). Each quarter-hour of practicing was worth a certain number of beans. Each child could save, exchange, or spend their beans as they liked – we had a list of prizes. Examples were special treats, legos, $5 deposit in their bank account, a symphony concert. The beauty of it is that it can be tailored to each child’s needs, each family’s budget and priorities. And, the kids were willing to practice!”
Barbara Nakazawa: “I teach a practicing method called “the three penny practice.” (Be sure to have a jar of pennies in your possession.) You put three pennies on the left side of the stand. On a troublesome measure that you are “practicing” you play it once and if you get it right, you put the penny on the right side of the stand. You play it again and get it right, you put the next penny on the right side of the stand. You play it again and miss a note or rhythm, then all three pennies get put to the left. You must play the measure correctly three times in a row in order to keep the pennies. The next step is to connect the troublesome measure to the measure before it and continue playing. This teaches a student how to practice and not just simply play through something once.