Articles

Music Helps Your Educational Life

I’ve just been thinking how learning to play an instrument can enhance a child’s educational life.  Most of us nowadays have an inkling that instrumental music lessons help child children with school work, but few of us know much about its far reaching effects.  Here is a tiny taste. Music reaches into the memory, helping us to […] Read more…

Basic Equipment for a Beginner Violinist

Our children’s music lessons can represent a sizeable financial investment. It therefore makes sense to get the most out of the money we invest on them.  By cooperating with the teacher and getting the right equipment for our beginner violinists, we improve their chances of success. Would you ask a professional to do a job with poor equipment?  […] Read more…

How to Help Young Music Beginners

I love working with beginners.  It is fascinating to watch them develop into gifted young adults, but when my own children were Suzuki students, I found out how tricky it can be, to help them. Here are some of my favourite ways of making it easier teachers and parents to win the cooperation of a young beginner. •  […] Read more…

Music isn’t a Race

When my son was a six year old cello student, I overheard him talking with a friend about an exciting solo, that he had just played, in his teacher’s home concert.  His friend’s immediate response was,  “Wow!  Who won?” Learning an instrument is not a race.  In music education, reaching higher playing standards is not about winning, but […] Read more…

Teaching and Learning Through the Senses

We ALL learn through our senses.  Learning to play an instrument is a very complicated activity.  When you teach the whole brain, you increase the chances of success so it makes good sense to engage all the senses from the start. Read more…

The Right Kind of Praise

Praise is a good thing, isn’t it?  Most of us believe that the children should be praised.  After all, we want to motivate them and to improve their self-esteem.  BUT, did you know that praising your children for their intelligence can make a them anxious and unprepared to deal with failure, creating a generation of […] Read more…

Goal Setting for Making Practice Fun

Goal Setting for Making Practice Fun Sarah started viola lessons when she was 3.  Her big brother had been playing for a year already and the family focus was on him.  From the start it was apparent that her mother didn’t rate Sarah much as an achiever.  She was convinced that there was a clumsiness […] Read more…

Refusal to Practice – 10 Positive Steps Forwards

Refusal to Practice – 10 Positive Steps Forwards Your child has made a really promising start with learning an instrument, lots of enthusiasm and hard practice and steady progress.  Then bang, the honeymoon is over, with sulks tantrums and outright refusal to practice. Read more…

Music Teaching and Rewards and Bribery

  Learning a musical instrument involves a daily regime of highly focussed practice.  This comes as an unpleasant shock to most young children and indeed to many parents.  How can we help ourselves to see practice as a desirable activity and not as penal servitude? Read more…

Basic Violin Bowing Skills

Does your instrument have a lovely sound?  No, not without being coaxed into life by the bow.  Now, we all know that this can’t happen successfully, unless a player has studied violin bowing. When you compare the responsibilities of the bow hand with those of the instrument hand, you will see why it is so […] Read more…