February 4, 2020
Parents are significant “players” when it comes to ensuring a positive and successful music lesson experience for children. Music is a gift that can be enjoyed for a lifetime! Discover practical ways to create a desire to learn in your young (twelve and under) child.
Suzanne Greer currently serves on the faculty of the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, where she teaches both Suzuki and traditional piano lessons. She received performance degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota, as well as the certificate in piano pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas. She was awarded the Robert Schmitt Professional Development Grant from the Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA) and in 2017, was awarded a Top Music Teacher Award by Steinway and Sons. She has served as President of MMTA, the Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum, and the Suzuki Piano Teachers Guild. Currently, she serves as a Certification Commissioner for the Music Teachers National Association.
- Overarching themes:
- Demonstrate the value you place on music education.
- Ensure practice time happens.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your child’s teacher.
- Practical tips include:
- Take your child to live concerts.
- Let your child know you enjoy their playing.
- Use incentives.
- Help your child develop the habit of daily practice (ideally at the same time every day).
- Teach your child to follow assignment notes (from the teacher) during their daily practice time.
- Communicate with your child’s teacher on relevant factors, such as preferred repertoire; parent/student goals for lessons; desired pace of progress; extenuating circumstances affecting at-home practice (illness, travel, loss of loved one, learning styles or challenges, etc.).
- Ask your child’s teacher about their preference for parental attendance at lessons.
- Provide a practice environment that is free from distractions.
- Resources recommended by Suzanne:
- Beyond the Music Lesson: Habits of Successful Suzuki Families, by Christine E. Goodner. This book is NOT just for Suzuki parents – it is a very practical and modern approach to parenting as well as music lessons.
- Helping Parents Practice: Ideas for Making It Easier, Vol 1, by Edmund Sprunger
- How to Get Your Child to Practice…Without Resorting to Violence! by Cynthia Richards. This author was interviewed in Ep. 6 – listen or check show notes for a discounted book offer for listeners.
- Sara Kotrba’s Blog: Sara is a fabulous Suzuki Suzuki Teacher Trainer and teacher in Eagan, MN who writes a personal blog about music, parenting, faith, teaching, and occasionally gardening.
- Suzuki Association of the Americas website: Their Articles for Parents page is free for anyone (not just for Suzuki parents).
- The Essential Conversation, by Sara-Lawrence Lightfoot
- Positive Practice: 5 Steps to Help Your Child Develop a Love of Music, by Christine E. Goodner
Subscribe to Parents as Partners Online through the Suzuki Association of the Americas website. This is a Suzuki resource that is available to non-members. Parents as Partners Online is a paid subscription that runs January 15 to December 15, 2020.
Suzanne tells the story of how music saved her life.
Thank you so much to Suzanne for sharing her expertise and her story with us today. As Suzanne mentioned, she teaches at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. If you live near the Twin Cities and are looking for some high quality live music, MacPhail does have regular concerts that are open to the public. One is coming up this Saturday, Feb. 8; another on Feb. 13. View details below. Click here to view future dates.
New this week: I am broadening my social media horizons in this new year, new decade – I’m getting with the times and joining the Twitter party! I’ve had an account for several years that I have done absolutely nothing with… until now. I am actively tweeting @musicenhances. You can follow me there and – as always – you can also connect with me at LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
Thank you so much for joining me today! I’ll be back next Tuesday with one of the UK’s top performing social enterprises. It uses music tech to impact those with mental health challenges AND has independently assessed research proving incredible client results, cost savings, and Social Return On Investment (SROI). Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.
Upcoming MacPhail Concerts
- February 8. Antonello Hall. Spotlight Series: The World Though Jazz. Tickets are $25, $15 for seniors over 55 and youth 6-18.
Musical exploration of the world through jazz. Curated by Christopher Rochester, newly appointed Jazz Coordinator at MacPhail, this program explores jazz and how it travels through various parts of our planet.
Experience the stark differences, but also similarities, between Bossa Nova, Afro Cuban, Flamenco, Reggae, Irish music, and more. Enjoy the artistry of MacPhail’s phenomenal jazz faculty as they dazzle you with striking textures and harmonies from around the world.
Christopher Rochester, sax and curator, will feature select guest artists from MacPhail and the local music scene, to be announced. Pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m.
- February 13. Basillica of St. Mary’s. Spotlight Series: Reverberations. Tickets are $12, $9 for MacPhail students.
The Basilica is one of the great, grandiose spaces in the Twin Cities, and MacPhail is proud to continue our multi-year collaboration presenting programs in this unique place of worship.
Reverberations explores the aspects of space, time, and music, alongside the spirituality evoked by the majestic columns, cavernous ceiling, and dignified statues. Artistic director Mischa Santora (a former member of the Basilica parish) composed a piece based on poems by Eliot, Rilke, and Merwin. It is intended as a tribute to both the beauty of the building as well as the Basilica’s mission of inclusion, equity, social justice, and environmental consciousness.
Special performance. World premiere of our Artistic Director’s piece: Mischa Santora: Songs for a Cavernous Space.
Performers: Dennis Petersen, tenor; Christopher Stroh, organ; Mike Alexander, horn.
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