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 Violin One on One

Introduction to the Violin

Violin vs Fiddle

Violin vs Viloa

Huminity and Violin

The Right size Violin for Children

 Parent's Guide to Music Lessons

How can I get my child to practice?

When Should Children Start Music Lessons?

Children and Music Talent

What Instrument to choose?

Finding a Music Teacher

Finding an Instrument

Once Lessons Have Begun

Guide to Great Music Practice


STEP 1 - Set Goals

STEP 2 - Set Practice Time

STEP 3 - Warm Up

STEP 4 - Work on It

STEP 5 - Cool Down

STEP 6 - Evaluate

 Music Know how

Music Business Knowhow

Avoid being Nervous

Good intonation in string playing

Music Teacher and Shops

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How can I get my child to practice?

This is often, for parents, a very serious and sometimes troubling issue in music study.

They should be told that it is normal for students to not want to practice, and home practice should be supervised by the parents until the child is older and has developed more independence.

There is an excellent book about this: How to get your child to practice without resorting to violence by Cynthia Richards.

How to get your child to practice without resorting to violence by Cynthia Richards
How to get your child to practice without resorting to violence

In general, the recommendations in the book include:

  1. Remain calm but firm; don't nag, threaten, get angry, or give up. Brushing teeth is not optional, and neither is practicing. 10 minutes a day is fine at the beginning.
  2. Create a musical environment: this will include listening to the Suzuki CD's, other CD's of classical music or other musics, going to concerts, and listening to NPR (National Public Radio) programs with classical music. Have music on all the time, or at least during meals and before bedtime.
  3. Make it fun and enjoyable. Let the child be happy and loved at all times. Never make being loved contingent on whether they practice, or whether they do well.
  4. Use lots of praise, even for the smallest thing, and even if it sounds awful. There is always something positive to say: "You really worked hard" "That sounded pretty good" "That was much better than last time." No negative or derogatory remarks!!

Also recommended:

  • A Parent's guide to String Instrument Study, Lorraine Fink
  • Suzuki Parent's Diary: Or How I Survived My First 10,000 Twinkles, Carroll Morris
  • To Learn With Love: A Companion for Suzuki Parents, William and Constance Starr
  • Young Musician's Survival Guide, Amy Nathan (for older children, middle school and up)

Connie Sunday: Freelance studio musician, strings and piano teacher, author of Violin FAQ and numerous essays in violin pedagogy. Further information can be found at connexions.