I'm utterly convinced of one thing when it comes to Suzuki violin teaching and parenting: It's much easier to be the teacher than the parent.
As the teacher, I can say things like: "Make sure to make your practice sessions with your child positive!"
As the parent, I know firsthand what it's like to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from exploding when the c-sharp is played wrong for the tenth time in a row.
As the teacher, I can remind my students and parents why it's important that they practice every single day.
As the parent, I inwardly long for a Friday morning break from practicing as much as my daughter does. (And sometimes we take one. Shhhh! Don't tell!)
As a teacher, I am constantly talking to my students about the value of listening to their Suzuki CD.
As the parent, I hae been known to switch the CD off in favor of anything else because I cannot take one. more. minute. of violin.
As the teacher, I remind my students why it's so important that they practice their scales as part of their daily practice routine.
As the parent, I want to kick and scream as much as my nine-year-old did when her teacher introduced a new scale program that took an hour and twenty minutes of our practice time to get through this morning. Curse you Carl Flesch!
As a parent, I sometimes think that if we have one more wonderful "musical opportunity" I might just curl up in a corner with my blanket and my iPod blasting anything non-violin.
As a teacher, I'm more than happy to blather on and on and be the go-to source when someone asks advice on a music-related matter.
As a parent, I roll my eyes inwardly at my know-it-all teacher self, and think how much easier it is to have all the answers when you're not the one practicing with the headstrong nine year old at seven in the morning.
As a teacher, I look for ways to push my student beyond what they think they are capable of, and try to provide them with exciting and worthwhile music.
As a parent, the exciting, worthwhile, beyond-what-we-think-we're-capable-of piece is alternately inspiring my daughter and giving me nightmares. It's the hardest thing she's ever played and we've had just a little over a month to learn it. And yes, they're learning the choreography too. (Take a look- it's pretty darn amazing.)
As a teacher, I get pretty excited when I see a student perform well.
As a parent, I still get tears in my eyes when Abby performs. And I remind myself that yes, it is worth it.
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