1. Attend the lessons. Keep in the background, as a child has trouble learning from two teachers at once. You are the at-home teacher.
2. Help your child recall the lesson. This begins in the car on the way home from the studio. Never wait 24 hours as it will be difficult for either of you to remember details of the lesson. Take notes during the lesson and also encourage your child to remember what they need to work on.
3. Handle the violin yourself at home, learning to play the first book. It is good for your relationship as it boosts their ego and confidence when they see you make mistakes and learn too. They get a sense that you are in it together and it is a bonding experience.
4. Become accustomed to repetition in practicing. Generally children like repetition and do not tire of it as they find pride in playing music well. Be mindful to not make comments of boredom at the repetitive nature. Instead, with each repetition find something to improve or a positive aspect to comment on.
5. See that the violin and bow are in good condition. Keep in mind the following essential elements before the technique of playing can be at all effective:
Good horsehair, at proper tension ( rehair about once a year)
Good rosin, daily
Good strings (not dull or false), new about once a year
Properly adjusted violin (good bridge correctly fitted, and sound post in proper position, pegs and tuners that work, and no unglued joints or cracks.
6. See that your child attends all recitals, group lessons, and special events since these are scheduled for motivation and musical education. Show interest in other students, but avoid making comparisons between your child and others. Such comparisons tend to be unfair to all concerned, especially since you know a great deal about your own child and very little about the backgrounds of all the others.
7. Keep growing-musically, as well as in other ways. Children grow best in an atmosphere of adult growth. It is contagious. Curiosity is contagious.
8. Avoid discouragement. Talk with other parents and share ideas and concerns. If the child recognizes some progress toward the end of each practice period it will be more likely that he will look forward to each practice session. He may need help in finding that progress. The most helpful type runs something like this: “Your tone is better today!” “You certainly could play that part of the piece faster than yesterday!” “You stood much taller today! “How smoothly the tones are connected,” “I never noticed those accents before,” Progress can also be better noted in one of the review pieces than in the newest number. Form a pattern of ending each practice session with a favorite piece, where success is assured. It is most important to end each practice with a good sound in the ear.
9. Practice with your child until he can work effectively on his own. Two or more practice sessions a day are far better than one long one. When practicing with your child sit to the left of them so that he/she can look directly along the strings and over the scroll at you. Keep in mind the helpful slogan: nose, strings, elbow, and foot (left). Dr. Suzuki advised one mother of a three-year-old, “Two minutes with joy, five times a day.”
10. Be responsible for getting practice started, as well as helping your child learn how to practice. Don’t blame your child for not remembering to practice, or for not wanting to stop doing something else. Experiment with ideas form other parents. Remember ,too, that nothing works forever. Keep inventing new challenges during practice. Talk to them while they are playing as this helps them be able to take corrections during the lesson time without stopping.
Remember that practice can be lonely and children like company when practicing. If your child starts resenting your help, take note of your ways. Keep a light touch, without diminishing the sense that practice is important.