By Tina Figliomeni
I would like to thank the SAO for providing me with a scholarship to attend an online course this past January. After previously completing the Unit 1 piano course a few years ago, I was interested in taking the Revisiting Unit 1 Piano course to discuss various elements of teaching young beginners, as well as learning how to better educate parents through this crucial education period.
Concepts discussed when teaching the young beginner include learning through their senses, educating the parent on the importance of developing a specific skill instead of various pieces, and helping the child develop a rapport with the piano. Developing this relationship with the piano can only be done if music reading is delayed.
The first big takeaway for me was teaching while using minimal words with the student; saving descriptive words for the end of the lesson when talking with the parent. This can prove challenging when teaching online. To get over this barrier, it is important to meet with the parent after the lesson to demonstrate how to practice the new skill with their child using minimal words.
A second key takeaway was the importance of continuing with parent education within your studio via an online setting throughout the child’s Suzuki education experience. Parents should be involved throughout the entire book one experience and beyond, as they hold a key place in the Suzuki triangle. Finding innovative ways to keep parents and students engaged by using new technology has been very helpful. I have started using a new application called “Marco Polo” which enables me to send quick videos to either the parent or student to help with their practice assignments over the week.
I look forward to furthering my Suzuki education with additional SAA online courses offered in the future.