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String Teacher Workshops

For the First-Year Parent

Megan and Ingrid Buschkopf

Getting started on the right foot.

Successful progress, in anything, but especially on a stringed instrument, can be achieved only through well disciplined and consistent practicing.  Daily practicing is hard work with no shortcuts.  However, with lots of patience, you as a first-year parent can help your child develop technically and musically.

Your role as the teacher at home is very important.  Attendance at all the private and group lessons is crucial. Take notes and feel free to ask questions.  The first lessons set the foundation on which all future learning takes place. Relaxed hands and a good position can be monitored in the daily practice. Don’t hesitate to check for supple hands and fingers.

Establish a regular practice time.  Early in the day produces the best results. With young beginners, several shorter daily practice sessions work well.  Gauge the practice session length by the number of repetitions your teacher has required of each task, not by the clock.

Young children’s concentration spans grow from week to week.  Since sound is abstract and thus difficult for young children to recognize its progress, it is perfectly acceptable to reward their work with stickers, a cookie or a short rest after 10 repetitions.  A small chair is handy to have around for this deserved break.

Everyone needs rewards for tasks completed.  The rewards for the young string players are the successful solo and group performances.  Patience, creativity, and networking with other parents leads to opening the wonderful world of music.

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