Shinichi Suzuki

The Suzuki Experienece

From one Suzuki parent to another


How to be a more patient Suzuki parent

A dose of patience can calm frayed nerves in the practice room and mean the difference between successful session and all-out war.

Alan Duncan

6 minutes read

Of all the virtues that a Suzuki parent can bring to the practice room, patience may be the most important because without patience, it's hard to have a creative, fun, productive practice session. Impatience leads to tension, frustration, and unhappiness. And it casts an unhappy shadow on what should be an enjoyable process. Personally, I struggle mightily against impatience.

Helpfulness, intrusion, and perfectionism: the fine line of the Suzuki parent

Being a better practice parent by mindfully balancing competing roles.

Alan Duncan

5 minutes read

I recently wrote a few thoughts about dealing with perfectionism in Suzuki students. Since my own Suzuki child has her own perfectionist tendencies, it left me wondering about how my own ways of helping may be growing, rather than reducing, that tendency. A recent paper1 on the development of maladaptive perfectionism sheds some light on how subtle differences in the way parents attempt to help their children can determine whether they become little perfectionists or more error-tolerant.

Dealing with perfectionism in Suzuki students

Suzuki kids can be incredibly hard-working and responsible. They can also be perfectionists.

Alan Duncan

8 minutes read

Last night, my daughter was helping me sweep the driveway. Storms and high winds had left lots of debris in the driveway and she came out to help me clean up. With only a few minutes to spare before bedtime, I told her that we should take care of part of the job and leave the rest until tomorrow. Her response? "No, it has to be perfect."

How to deal with frustration intolerance in Suzuki students

Low frustration tolerance can lead to dysfunctional practice and impaired progress. Here's how to deal with it.

Alan Duncan

7 minutes read

Practically every Suzuki parent must have experienced a meltdown during practice. When students begin so young, we are bound to bump up against their undeveloped emotional control. Although there are many ways that children can go off the rails during practice, many of these stem from low frustration tolerance. Understanding and dealing with low frustration tolerance is an important skill for us as parents and our kids. I confess that I'm still working on it.

Speaking of empathy

Learning how to harness the power of empathic connection in practice.

Alan Duncan

2 minutes read

After reading the review of Faber and Mazlish's book on parent-child communication, I wondered if one of the hidden keys to strengthening our side of the Suzuki triangle is the misunderstood act of empathy.

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The Suzuki Experienece is a weblog focused on helping parents practice more effectively and joyfully with their children. It traces the progress of our experience from beginner to budding young artist.