There are certain books that I pick up to read, thinking they will be a quick and easy read. But then I start reading it and realize it is jam-packed with so much great info that I have to slow down and digest the information over a much longer period of time than I expected. That is this book!
“Helping Parents Practice – Ideas for Making it Easier” by Edmund Sprunger, a Suzuki violin teacher, is absolutely loaded with great ideas for practicing with your child. I will admit I have not read everything in the book – and that is ok, because it was written in a way that allows you to pick it up and read a small portion that looks helpful and then put it down until you need some more help.
The book is basically broken into five sections. Section one is more of an introduction for the parent reading it. It is only 8 pages long and lays a great foundation for the rest of the book. The next four sections cover practice basics, musicianship, rhythm, and games. Each of those sections is divided into small 1-4 pages sections on very specific concepts. So if your child is struggling with a rhythm, you can flip to the rhythm section and brush up on some tips about helping your child get over that hurdle. The last section is full of ideas to make practice time more enjoyable for you and your child with games! I’ve used a few of those ideas in my teaching and have seen how wonderfully they work at making violin practice less of a chore.
I highly recommend this book to any parent who struggles with practicing with their young children…especially if they are taking violin or viola lessons. Piano parents will still find the book helpful, but they will have to sort thru the violin jargon. Happy practicing!