adapted from the book Expanding Horizons: the Suzuki Student Grows Up by Mark Bjork

The dynamics of the Suzuki Triangle change from year to year and sometimes even day to day. Eventually, your child will need to become responsible for their entire home practice.

Analysis by the student should be part of every practice at home to help your child later assert independence in their violin practice.

Here are some sample questions that when asked in this order will foster in your child the maturity to decide what and how to practice. Use this like a script until you and your child have comfortably integrated these questions (or your own version) as a part of your daily practice.

  1. How do you think you played?

  2. What do you think you could improve?

  3. What did your teacher suggest to take care of that problem?

  4. How many times do you think that should be repeated for it to become easier?

  5. How secure does that feel now?

  6. Are you ready to try that section/piece all at once?

It is assumed that you will give your child ample time to answer your query.

Please be sensitive to your child's thought and response time. Remember that this is a chance for them to learn to analyze how to practice problem areas.

Parents must also be sensitive to when the child tires of the responsibility of making the decisions and needs the parent to take over. Maturity such as this is not achieved all at once, so use this practice method a little bit each day to grow their independence slowly over time!

This will prove to be an invaluable skill later in their violin practice.

The Practice Process

Mr. Bjork outlines as an interesting approach to decide what to practice using the analogy of a doctor's visit.

  1. The Examination: Play a piece, decide if anything can be improved.

  2. The Diagnosis: After identifying the problem, decide how to correct it.

  3. The Medicine: Do the necessary work to affect a “cure.”

  4. The Check Up Exam: Play the piece/section again to see if the cure has been achieved.

  5. The Follow Up Exam: Decide if the medicine needs to be administered again or if the cure should be reviewed at the next practice in order to maintain excellent health of the piece/section.

AuthorAnna Bross