Many of my private students come to lessons telling me funny stories about their pets.
I have a student whose two cats come to the room, curl up and listen carefully every time she practices.
I have another student whose Pomeranian rushes into the room and sings every time the girl plays an Etude form Suzuki Violin Vol 1. Apparently this particular dog likes the step-wise motion of the piece and can not help but “practice” with my student! The Pomeranian has now developed his ear a bit further. She sings on more than one piece and my student plays the pieces that the dog likes EVERY single day!
The short term result: my student is doing a great job reviewing her pieces because she cannot miss having fun with her dog!
The long term result: the student’s playing is marvelous! The consistent repetition has strengthened the set of technical skills she needs to succeed.
Many public libraries in the US have programs where they use specially trained dogs to aid children to read. The dogs act as a calm and supportive “partner” to encourage the kids to struggle through the difficulties and improve on their reading skills. These programs are growing and receiving very good reviews.
Man’s best friend? Is it time to start using our pets for home music practice to aid motivation?
|Coco, the Suzuki pet in training|