#14076 Reply

Dianne Adkins

I teach the Suzuki method, which simply means, I have started very young students in addition to adults and parents. I understand that students have school schedules, sometimes scheduled sports practice or other activities like church that they do every week. So starting out violin requires consideration of your age, your work or school schedule, and any other obligations you might have. It is helpful to schedule practice into the daily plan, because with the busy lives we tend to lead, if violin practice isn’t scheduled in, it’s easy to leave it for last, then skip it for various reasons. (No time today, time for bed, etc)

Dr. Suzuki says practice an hour for each book you are in. There are 10 volumes of violin literature in the Suzuki Violin books. So he’s saying Book 1 students should practice an hour. If you’re 4 yrs old and only play one Twinkle variation, your practice is not going to literally be all playing. Some is going to be games, exercises, bow hand work, violin position work. With a dedicated parent, it can be accomplished.

If you are self directed, and can get an hour in, that would be wonderful. Most beginner students I know are doing well to get 30 minutes in daily. If you are an adult, you have a little more time maybe, and can get the hour a day in. Just be sure your practice is efficient. It is useless, in fact can be harmful to your progress, to practice poorly for an hour, day after day.

Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect! One of the main things I teach my students is the process of critical thinking and how to practice effectively. It takes a long time, maybe years, to understand. In fact, I was in graduate school, learning all these techniques for two years. But it wasn’t until the follow year, when I started teaching and playing in a symphony orchestra that I put these principles into real practice. Then, I began to understand that the amount of time you practice is less important than the actual methods you use during practice. Done correctly, you can achieve your goals faster and save lots of time.