1. Listen to music! Your Suzuki recording and beyond. Cultivate a musical environment.
2. Practice daily! The number one way to way to make progress is how you practice, how often and how much. If you don’t practice, you don’t improve, and it isn’t any fun. Practice your assignments daily!
3. Attitude above all: practice with a beautiful tone and heart. Encouraging words go a long way.
4. Practice slowly, step by step, no rushing.
5. Review: keep up your highest level of playing. Use your easier pieces to develop your technique and raise your ability.
6. Take notes in the lesson and go through them everyday at home as your model for home practice. Note taking and organization is essential to great progress.
7. Repeat! with variety and creativity, repeat a phrase, difficult passage or technical skill many times until it is easy and smooth. Dr. Suzuki says 10,000 times! (Literally, not figuratively!) Find creative ways to repeat.
8. Reading: develop your reading skills along with your ear everyday.
9. Take care of your body and mind. This could be first on the list. Without this, practicing, great tone and technique is almost impossible. Do some warm-ups with and without the violin. When tired, do some arm swings, swimming in the air, lay on the floor for a few minutes, walk around and play. Make it fun and a regular part of your practice.
10. 5 min of practice daily vs 3 hours… 3 days of practice vs. 7 days of practice. Do the math! 10,000 times, 10,000 hours to create ability and success. (It takes 30 minutes everyday for 2 weeks to complete 1 small task 10,000x. Try it!!)
11. Cultivate a love and enjoyment of learning. Curiosity, playfulness and dedication. Play something you enjoy everyday. Have fun while learning. Laugh a lot. Encourage a lot. Be creative and experiment! If it isn’t working, play a game. Make it fun. Know and believe learning can be fun for you and your child.
12. Cell phones off in practice and in lessons! Be present with your child and teacher. The best gift you can give is your presence and attention. Your attitude affects your child and your teacher. Your attentive listening, interest, and respect is felt and appreciated!