If you are thinking about introducing your child to the world of music, Suzuki talent education opens doors to beautiful music, a better relationship with your children, good citizenship, and hopefully a way of making the world a little better.
Suzuki said to only practice on the days you eat. It must have been his wry way to say: "Practice every day." That is sound advice; and in reality, there is so much progress to be made by practicing every day. But life intervenes. We've been practicing for many many days now. But twice during that stretch, my daughter had to practice without an instrument because it was simply not safe to bring her instrument into the back-country where she was on a school trip.
When someone asks me - what's the most important part of Suzuki talent education? I always answer the same way.
As kids begin playing longer and more complex works, opportunities to perform with orchestra emerge. When my daughter had such an opportunity last year, it was a chance for us to reflect on how we prepared and what we learned from the experience. What follows is a description of what we experienced along with lessons that we learned in the form of 10 tips for a great performance with orchestra. (Feel free to jump to the tips!)
In Part I of our series on deliberate practice, we introduced the concept. In Part II we began to apply the idea of mental representations as a key component of expert performance and one of the goals of deliberate practice.
This is the second article in a series on deliberate practice. The first in the series dealt with the concept of deliberate practice as a general principle and today we'll dive into mental representations as an essential component of deliberate practice.
This week, I'm beginning a new series of articles on deliberate practice as it relates to the work of the Suzuki parent and student.
"Go in front of a mirror with your instrument, look at yourself and tell yourself what recipe, from several contradictory elements will make you the best artist. The ingredients are repetition vs spontaneity. Relaxation vs control. Confidence vs humility. After all, technical discipline does bring us artistic freedom. We just have to figure out on any given day what the recipe is to make us the best artist we can be."
Having a plan for practice makes for smoother, more effective practices.
Confidence comes from knowing that your route will take you where you want to go. Whether it's about the mastery of a certain piece of music or about the long road to become a confident player, it's about trusting that the process will get you there.