The Parent's Role
The parent-child relationship in music lessons is comparable to the parent-child relationship when crossing the street:
At first, the child is totally dependent on the parent to make it to the other side – being carried, holding hands
Gradually, the child learns to take on more responsibility – without holding hands, learning to look for cars, helps decide when it is safe to cross
Eventually, the parent relinquishes control to the child to cross the street on their own.
In Suzuki lessons, one parent is designated the "practice parent" and attends the child’s lesson to take notes for practice at home. This parent is the home teacher who sees the student daily as compared to the teacher who sees the student once a week for 30 minutes. The parent teaches the child practice skills and maintains practice consistency as well as creates the nurturing musical environment. Children do not practice on their own and will not remember everything that was assigned at the lesson. The child will only make practice a priority when the parent models that behavior.
For each lesson, please bring a notebook, large notepad, or binder for dedicated to recording assignments, lesson notes, observations and practice. I also provide practice charts to the student, but they are not a replacement for parent note-taking. Here, you will write tasks to do, specifics about how to accomplish the tasks, reminders for yourself, additional questions you may have, and you can record your efforts in daily practice. Students love looking back in the lesson notes and seeing how far they've come.
I do not recommend keeping notes on a phone since it is not readily available for the child. However, phones are great for recording short videos of new assignments. This helps avoid arguments on exactly how to accomplish the task.
Please avoid the distractions of email, texts or making phone calls during the lesson. Not only will you miss the point of the task at hand, you will have shown your child you do not value their lesson time.
Current research in music education shows that successful music students have the highest levels of parental support. Parental involvement affects a student’s attitudes toward music study and parent’s play a very important role in children’s motivation, attitudes, and achievement. This is an activity you do with your child. While it won't be easy every day, it will be a rewarding part of your relationship for years to come!