I’ve taken on yet another student. Sweetpea’s little sister Annie who will be 3 years old this week was jumping up and down with excitement to start her violin lessons. She had been saying , “Mommy, practice me on the violin!” for about 3 weeks. She had her first lesson and it was half an hour long. It was great!
I know from experience that these younger students do better if they have a partner. Well, the mom of another 3 year old boy called me. They are friends of my other students and they have been listening to the CD for about a year. The mother has read Nurtured By Love (Dr. Suzuki’s Book). So I said yes.
Now I’m trying to find a box small enough to use to make him a box violin since he won’t have his real violin by Thursday. The size of violin for most 3 year olds is a 1/32 size. Some places sell them out of state but nobody has them here. I found a good one for her on the internet but I’m sure it will take at least 2 weeks for them to deliver it. So I will make him a box violin to use in the meantime.
One of my students used to call it a “candy violin” since I used a fruit rollup box for their “violin”, covered it with contact paper that looks like wood and used a wooden spoon as the neck. When the student graduated to a real violin, they opened the box to find the “candy” inside! But a fruit rollup box is way too big for a 3 year old. In the tradition of the candy violin, I will probably put some sort of candy inside of the little box that I will use for this new student. Then we use a dowel for the bow with something for the frog (what exactly? I don’t know yet… a small piece of wood?) I’m getting my husband to help. He’s new to all of this. Anyway, I need to get this all put together along with the naugahyde I will use for his footchart. And I guess he should have a folder. Boy, I do get a lot of things ready for my new students when they start!
Taking on a new student is a huge commitment. I will see them every week for years and years (usually). Fortunately, I rarely have students quit unless they move or graduate, so they just keep taking lessons every week of their life. I am like their violin mom. They become teenagers and I watch them gradually grow up. I try to guide them in ways other than just the violin. Dr. Suzuki said, “Teach the person first.” and I do that. I know all about their likes and dislikes, their personalities, their problems and challenges, their grades, their friends, as they get older I know their cell phone numbers and their boyfriends (er, significant others). The older ones come to group classes and help the younger ones passing on what the older ones did for them when they were young. We enjoy lessons. Learning the violin is difficult, but when it’s done one very small and carefully constructed step at a time it is easy, rewarding and fun.
“A New Child. A Whole New World.” ~Dr. Shinichi Suzuki