Is your child tired at the end of the school year? Are you finding everything with schoolwork and Suzuki violin practice more difficult to do?
Let’s look at some smart Suzuki violin tips and ideas to practice on the days your child just don’t have the energy for a full Suzuki practice. On these days they can still learn music without pushing them and without loosing the value of daily practice.
Alternatives to a Full Suzuki Violin Practice
We all strive for optimal ways we can incorporate practice into our schedule. We all want our children to develop their full potential. Yet, there will be days when your child cannot focus. If that happens, don’t skip practice. Just change the pace of the Suzuki violin practice with the ideas below.
Use more listening to change the pace of practice
The more you listen, the less you have to practice…this is what I tell my students in my studio.
Your child needs to listen daily! Listening to music will develop their ears, make them fluent in the language of music, as well as develop appreciation for the arts. Just like developing a new language, listening will help your child develop skills just by absorbing information in the process. So the more your child listens, the faster they will learn and the less they need to practice.
Use listening activities to help your child on days when they are tired or unable to find focus.
- Listen to the CD and air bow the pieces.
- Listen while discussing the parts/form of the pieces
- Listen to the CD and sing along (you could add movement to make it more exciting, or have your child relax when doing this).
- Alternate between listening and playing a piece
Simply enjoy the time together listening to music with no agenda
- Relaxing while listening to you assigned (Suzuki) CD
- Listening and exploring music unfamiliar to you and your child
- Use Youtube! Watch videos of other performers.
Fit Suzuki violin practice into your daily activities
- Make home baked cookies and list to your favorite CD while baking them! Play a few songs as the cookies are still in the oven!
- Perform a concert for the family as the table is getting ready for dinner.
- Perform a concert as mom is working in the kitchen.
Use Suzuki Violin Games
- Games are never out of season! I don’t recommend that parents use games consistently! You want your child to appreciate the music itself and not get into a habit of expecting a game and external reward each time (the way they might expect a candy or another external motivator)! However, when used wisely, games can help learning with enthusiasm.
- For specific game ideas see Treasure Games and Numbers Game
- If you are a teacher looking for different games for Suzuki violin private lessons or group classes, check Star Wars Games, Teach a Small Suzuki Violin Class, Posture Games
Use Suzuki Violin Practice Cards
Using practice cards can be very effective for some children. If you feel your child may enjoy having variety of practice in that way, check these great summer practice cards. They are seven practice cards with different tasks that your child needs to do every day. They are creative and fun!
Not having energy for practice? How about a concert?
Young children love to show their new skills to their sibling and parents. The end of the year is also time to celebrate what they have learned. Have your child do a review by performing a home concert.
- You can never read enough with your child! There are lots of books with music themes you can use. You can integrate literacy and music to help your child make connections between different areas of their learning. It also provides a change of pace to the practice.
- One activity I have done with my students is reading a story about music. At the end, simply play one piece of the child’s choice.
- Reading stories about music can be very motivating to kids. You could be working indirectly n their Suzuki violin practice away from their instrument.
- Here is a list of my favorite music story books.
The Suzuki method required consistency of practice and attention to your child’s development. However, expanding the practice and offering different ways to ractice can not only help your child whn they are tired. t can also motivate your child to practice violin in ways you didn’t think possible.