This week is for parent-teacher interviews in my studio. My school has been doing this for a couple of years now and I find it really helpful. It has taken the parents a little while to get used to the idea of having a lesson *just* for them but we must remember that parents are one full side of the Suzuki triangle. Without parents, the Suzuki philosophy wouldn’t work. I am really looking forward to this week, I hope to learn more about home practice and tips for helping their child in particular. Parents, I love your children as my students and I know a lot about how they learn, but as a teacher I only see them for for a short time each week – you can help me by letting me in on what approach works best, changes at home that might be affecting them, and just what they love/hate most about learning music! The student-teacher dynamic is very different from the parent-child dynamic but if we work together we can really create the best environment for your child to learn and have a rewarding life in music.
Below are some questions to guide our discussions:
Parent – Teacher Interview Areas of Discussion:
Home Practice – How is it going?Do you need any support, ideas, advice? How often do you practice, when, where, how long, what is the structure of your home practice? How do you feel as home teacher? How can I support your home practice/lessons?
Group Lessons – Do you attend regularly?How are the classes?Which group are you in?Is it an appropriate level?Is what I assign in the lesson consistent with what is covered in the group classes?
Studio Lessons – Do I communicate well with the student?Do you have any suggestions or advice for communicating with your child?Do I assign reasonable amounts of practice for a week at home?Are my instructions clear for home practice?Do you have a notebook in which to jot down what is assigned?Do you feel engaged enough during the lessons? Do you have suggestions for how you’d like to participate more in the lessons?
Listening – How often do you listen?Do you have the CD for the next book?Do you have multiple copies of the CD in various places?
Review – Do you review during every home lesson/practice?Do you have the review-u-do sheet printed for reference?Are you clear on how and why we do review?How can I help support your review at home?
Concerts and Performances – Do you feel your child has enough performance opportunities?Any other comments about performances?
Musical Development – Why did you start music with your child?What are your general hopes for your child in the area of music and violin?Do you have any specific goals for your child’s musical development with which I can help?
General – do you have any other concerns or issues you’d like to address? (behaviour, communication etc.)Is your child enjoying the overall experience of learning the violin? Which areas does (s)he (dis)like the most?Are you enjoying the overall experience of helping your child to learn the violin? Which areas do you (dis)like the most?