Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Jobs - these great men all had one thing in common. Can you guess what it might be?
If you guessed that they all had parents who encouraged and supported their development in the areas they excelled in, you'd be 100% correct. They all had parents who transcribed their child's first minuets, drove them daily to the rink for early morning practice, walked them through building and repairing electronics at a young age. Would these amazing people have been what they were without their parents' encouragement? We may never know the answer to that question, but we can certainly speculate that all that help didn't go to waste.
So much of what we do here at Summit Academy of Music focuses on how we can best serve the needs of the children we have the privilege of working with week to week, that it's easy to forget how crucial parents are in ensuring the success of their children's development. I wanted to take a minute to send out a huge THANK YOU to all the parents who make our work possible by tirelessly showing up, offering support, encouragement, and varying degrees of the carrot-and-stick approach at home to keep your kids motivated.
The Suzuki philosophy places a strong emphasis on parental involvement, and for good reason. Many young children simply haven't developed the self-awareness yet to make an accurate assessment of their own practice habits. We need parents to assist during the week to make sure that the work we do in lessons is continued at home.
I've run into this many times in the piano studio, where a student will be struggling with a particular technique, such as curling his/her fifth finger, keeping the wrists neutral, maintaining healthy, upright posture at the piano, etc. Often, it is having the parents pop their heads in here and there during practice to offer a gentle reminder ("Oh hey, don't forget to curl that 5th finger like Ms. Madison asked you to!") that makes the difference between mastering the technique in a couple of weeks and languishing in flat pinky limbo for months.
If you're a parent wondering how you might get more involved in your child's music education, we'd love to help! Ask Steve in your next guitar lesson, or me in your next piano lesson. We're full of fun ideas to get the family listening and playing more for years to come.
Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for your dedication. All the weekly lessons, battling traffic, encouraging your children to build strong practice habits at home, driving to performances, picking out performance outfits, helping your children select music they'll be excited to practice, listening to the same piece being practiced over and over and over and over and over and over and over again... you are total rock stars.