"Man is the son of his environment. What does not exist in the environment will not develop in the child."
"Children learn to smile from their parents."
-Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
The parent is expected, first and foremost. to establish the environment in which the students musical abilities will develop. This includes making sure the student hears the Suzuki recordings playing throughout the day; choosing and maintaining a consistent practice schedule; providing regular exposure to classical music, both recorded and live; and creating or taking part in opportunities for the student to perform.
The parent is expected to attend all lessons, to take careful notes on points made and assignments given, and to practice the lesson with the student at home every day.
As the student matures and becomes more independent, the parent's role will adjust accordingly.
The teacher is responsible for providing guidance and specific instruction in learning to play the instrument.
The teacher is expected to bring to each lesson a belief in the student's ability to learn and an enthusiasm for teaching each student.
The child is responsible for being a child. This means learning from whatever is in his or her environment.
To create the optimal learning environment for your child, you must give him/her regular exposure to live performances and create a saturation listening environment at home. Saturation listening, as opposed to casual or intermittent listening, means listening to music, especially the Suzuki recordings, all the time.
-during quiet play at bedtime, in the car, at the start of each practice session. Regular listening to classical music may take some effort initially if you are new to the idiom, but the results will be well worth it. Opportunities for quality listening are readily available: local radio stations or CDs or tapes available for borrowing from public libraries or from friends.
If you are just getting started, some good names to look for are J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, G.F. Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Georg Philipp Telemann, and Antonio Vivaldi. You needn't restrict your listening choices to violin music only.
The children who are the most responsive to music and who learn most easily are the ones who do the most listening.