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Practice video: Why Live Performance Is Essential & Wonderful

How concerts inspire musicians of all ages

Welcome to Practice Corner! Whatever the season, there are live music performances you and your child can attend. From summer concerts outside, to going to a jam or concert anytime of year, live performance excites and inspires musicians of all ages. There’s nothing like seeing how music gets made! You can also work with your child to set up your own live performance, from busking at a local market, to hosting a small recital for friends, family, and neighbors at your home or in your backyard. Today we talk about why taking your kids to live music performances isn’t only essential, it’s wonderful too.

Dr. Suzuki says: “Music is the language of the heart without words.”

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other week at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

Have you taken your kids to a musical concert or performance… or maybe put on your own?




Practice video: The Easiest Way to Improve Music Practice with Your Child

How can you keep music practice interesting

Welcome to Practice Corner! If you watch only one Practice Corner, it should be this one.

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed or burnt out, and that comes through in practice. Even in difficult times (such as the holidays or the end of the school year), there is one thing you can do that will help you and your child have a better practice, feel more motivated, and build a stronger connection to each other.

Dr. Suzuki says: “Children learn to smile from their parents.”

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

What is one good thing you can say about your child’s practice today?




Practice video: Practice Buddies: Creating a neutral voice

Your child doesn’t have to feel defensive about practice mistakes

Welcome to Practice Corner! How do we help a child with mistakes without the child feeling attacked or criticized? The answer can be as simple as a helpful frog, ladybug, or dinosaur.

Dr. Suzuki says: “Creating desire in your child’s heart is the parent’s duty.”

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

What is your child’s favorite practice buddy?




Practice video: Preparing for Recitals

Is your child preparing for a music recital?

Welcome to Practice Corner! Whether a Suzuki book graduation or a full-on studio recital, performances can be a time of celebration, anxiety, and opportunity for your Suzuki kid. Yet the recital prep you do at home can be far more important than the recital itself. The tone we set for performances makes a big difference in setting up a child for success. How can we ease nerves, get familiar with recital routine, and set expectations?

This week we’ll go over creative ways to prepare kids for recitals and ease their nerves.

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How do you prepare your kids for a recital?




Practice video: Appreciate your child’s unique journey

Keep faith in the process

How do you connect with your child’s unique journey? Welcome to Practice Corner!

Today we talk about staying focused on the work we do with our children and how to appreciate the small steps of learning. Your child has their own unique journey that won’t look like anyone else’s. Keep faith in the process, and your child will bloom in their own time. This week we’ll talk about staying engaged in your child’s musical and developmental journey.

BONUS: Get The Carrot Seed

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How do you remember to appreciate your child’s unique journey?




Practice video: Review Games

How can you keep music practice interesting

Welcome to Practice Corner! We’ve talked all about why review is so important to build our repertoire… but how do you keep it fun and engaging? This week we’ll go over some creative ways to use review games to keep practice interesting.

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How do you keep review interesting and engaging?




Practice video: The importance of review

Why are review songs important?

Join Jodie for a discussion of the importance of review. Review is such a large part of the Suzuki philosophy, and it can make a difference in the success of the child.

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

What are your tips and tricks for review songs?




Practice video: The Odd and Even Game

How can you work on endings or tricky spots in a practice piece? Are you looking for a way to diffuse conflicts or add some fun? Get out your dice and play the Odd and Even Game with Jodie!

This video is our first foray into doing practice videos on Facebook (we’ll also be rolling these out to YouTube in the coming weeks).

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How are you using dice in your practice?




Pick a practice word

Image: Jeff Djevdet https://flic.kr/p/uGtWYz

A challenge of ongoing practice is keeping everyone focused and motivated. Kids and circumstances change. With so much happening, it can be hard to keep your practice focused and relevant to your child’s skills and development, while also setting up your child for further learning, growth, and success.

A word of the year

For one of our ESMA families, Amber Riggs picks a “word of the year.” Amber uses this word to guide her 4 children in practice, education, and other parts of their lives. Here’s what Amber has to say about how having a word of the year has helped her family:

“As a homeschool mom, I’m always looking for ways to keep my kids (ages 8, 6, 4, and 1) motivated. Last year they said that they really wanted a trophy. I liked the idea of being able to earn a trophy for something other than athletic accomplishments, but I really liked the idea of making it something meaningful that they had to work hard for. Therefore, a Diligence Trophy was promised to kids who demonstrated that they could “start fast, work hard, and finish strong,” and “Diligence” became our word of the year. That word helped us all through a lot of frustrating situations.

“This year’s word is “Perseverance”, and it is music to my ears to hear the chanting of ‘I am perseverant! I can do it—even when it’s tough!” Small rewards keep them saying it, but they know that if they can live it out this year then another trophy is coming. We sometimes reach points where we just don’t feel like pushing ourselves. It can be tough to finish that page of math! It can be hard work to get your fingers to go where they need to go on the violin! Not to mention being the parent trying to facilitate these activities! But that’s where all of that chanting pays off: “You are perseverant!” I tell them. “Yes”, they reply, “I can do it—even when it’s tough!”

How to pick a practice word

You can put this to work in your family too:

  1. Either you can pick a word, or you can make it something you choose together as a family.
  2. What is a challenge, skill, or value that you are working on with your kids?
  3. How does the word relate to you practice?

Your word doesn’t have to be for a whole year, either. Maybe it’s something you do for a month or a few months, depending on its effectiveness.

Ideas for potential practice words

Trying to think of what your practice word might be? Talk it over with your kids, and here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Diligence
  • Perseverance
  • Try
  • Capable
  • Confident
  • Success
  • Strive
  • Nurture
  • Learning
  • Intuition
  • Cooperation
  • Inspire

What will be your family’s word?




An attainable New Year’s resolution

I resolve to [fill in the blank] for the new yar.

by Elizabeth Gergel

“To make a resolution and act accordingly is to live with hope. There may be difficulties and hardships, but not disappointment or despair if you follow the path steadily. Do not hurry. This is a fundamental rule. If you hurry and collapse or tumble down, nothing is achieved. Do not rest in your efforts; this is another fundamental rule. Without stopping, without haste, carefully taking a step at a time forward will surely get you there.” – Dr. Suzuki

The dawn of 2017 offers us the opportunity to have a fresh start and make resolutions that we hope to follow in the new year. Many of us will boldly make statements such as “I’m going to help my child to practice one hour every single day,” or “I vow to write in a journal every day of 2017.”

I encourage you to take a step back from such lofty goals. Let us take this opportunity to set attainable goals instead.

Perhaps the most important aspect of providing your child with music lessons is the gift of the playing of beautiful music. Remember to congratulate yourself each day for this—no matter whether you practiced for the intended 60 minutes… or the unintended zero minutes of practice.

An attainable goal for this year could be to listen to the Suzuki book recording more frequently.

Find ways to incorporate listening into your daily routine, whether it be while making dinner, bathtime, running errands, etc. There have been countless times in my teaching experience when I ask a student how many times she listened to the recording of her current book in the week leading up to the lesson, and I receive a less than desirable response. None. Once or twice.

Listening is perhaps the easiest and the best way for your child to learn their music.

As Dr. Suzuki emphasized in the quotation at the top of this Practice Corner, make a small, reasonable—and most importantly—attainable goal. This will do much more to further growth than far-reaching unrealistic goals. I also have to commit to listening to my repertoire more. It is easy to overlook creating the time and the space for listening. In our ever more hectic lives it becomes increasingly important to carve out a place for the activities that are more “quiet” and peaceful.

So this year, step back from the lofty and focus on the attainable. It’s a New Year’s resolution you can keep.

Image: BazaarBizarreSF




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