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Parent's Role

Parents play a vital role in their children's musical experience. They initiate the lessons, choose the teacher, finance the study, provide transportation, etc. But most importantly, they have the important opportunity and task to create and provide an atmosphere of interest, encouragement, and excitement in the home environment which is imperative for real fun and progress in the daily music study.

Your daily active interest and curiosity in their work is the best help you can give them. Thus you are a part and interested in the process of learning.  One does not have to be a musician to be successful at this.  You accomplish this by by asking questions about their lessons, establishing a daily practice routine, listening to their practice, seeing that they have covered their assignments and offering words of encouragement. Also, for some, attending the lessons, taking notes and understanding your role in their home practice.

Understand that musical study is like a topographical map.  There are many mountains, hills, valleys and plains.  Interest in the violin/viola can be rampant and then can ebb.  You as a parent should have the courage to keep the study going especially during periods of hardship.  Progress does not always evolve steadily.  Keep your child practicing during those "dry" times.  Weeks or months later a sudden spurt will come.

Practicing is a must daily. The mind can understand a concept but the muscles need constant repetition.  Also the "mental-discipline muscle" must be exercised daily too!  Remember a young one falls many times before achieving that first step--and then they are off and running.

Progress will be better if it is done in regular small amounts rather than large, sporadic attempts.  Help your child develop a passion to the instrument, not a sense of obligation.  Beginners often do better with two short stints rather than one long one.  Start out at 10 minutes each time and eventually those practice sessions will expand.

Develop the practice by expanding the number of repetitions, not a certain amount of minutes.  The mind must be kept engaged.  Perhaps it is best to have your child end the practice session looking forward to tomorrow's practicing.