Saturday, December 13, 1997

Erin's Violin Blog 4

I am trying to completely re-think both my motivation and my approach in teaching Erin. If I were to give myself advice at this stage I would say:
  1. Remember that I am not primarily trying to teach the violin. I am trying to grow a capable confident human being with a good spirit.
  2. The most important thing learned in the first year is that it is normal to practise every day, that the violin is as much a part of life as brushing one's teeth.
  3. Pre-schoolers love repetition because it reaffirms their sense of mastery. They may regret mastering a task if it means they have to leave it behind and take on something new. Review old tasks not just because this consolidates learning, but because they enjoy the sense of competence. I think I push Erin too quickly to the next task once the first task seems okay. It must be frustrating for her to not get a chance to enjoy what she can do easily.
  4. The issue of control is important. Erin is at the age where she is learning to separate herself from me and assert her independance. (More on this ten years from now!) Without turning some constructive control of the lesson or practice over to the her, the only way she can assert herself is by refusing to cooperate ("I'm tired, I need a rest") or by intentionally doing a shoddy job. I need to find constructive ways of giving a sense of control to her.
  5. I need to remember that I am doing a fine job teaching my daughter, regardless of tangible progress on the instrument if I am continually and thoughtfully re-evaluating my relationship with her, enjoying the process of watching her learn, keeping the whole child in perspective, rather than just the music student, and learning from her in the process.

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