Parents as Partners
Dr Suzuki believed that “Every child can learn. Everything depends on how he is raised.” In the Suzuki environment of The Music Garden, parents and teachers work together to create an encouraging, fun, and loving environment to nurture the potential of every child. Following are some things that will hopefully clarify the support we need from you to help build this all important environment.
On Arrival: Please arrive on time so your child is ready to begin with the other children. If your child is still eating when you arrive, please take the time to wait for her/him to finish before coming inside. This will avoid unnecessary mess and leave you and your child free to focus on what is happening during the class. Once inside, take off your shoes, and when your child is ready, join in the circle together. If you have a mobile phone, make sure it is turned off. Please take your time – we would prefer you and your child join class feeling relaxed and calm rather than rushed and stressed.
Your Role: Participate as fully as you can, and keep your child with you at all times. Follow the teachers for actions and join in the singing as much as you can. Your own participation is the best way to encourage your child. There is no need to coax or pressure your child to participate – they will join in when ready if they see you having a good time! Keep your focus on observing what’s happening and how your child is responding. At home, put on the CD each day and have fun singing the songs and rhymes with your child. Please discuss any questions or concerns you may have with us sooner rather than later – we are keen to work in partnership with you.
During Class: Most of our activities occur while sitting or standing in a circle. Please assist your child to learn this by encouraging them to stay with you, in your lap, in your arms, or holding your hand. Try to keep them within your arms reach. If they wander (exploring is natural) just bring them back to you after a short while with a hug and a smile. This will help them to learn to stay with you, and keeps the inner circle clear allowing everyone to see what’s going on.
As educators we know that for learning to take place, children need a calm environment so they can listen, focus and engage fully with what they are doing. We try to maintain an atmosphere of calm focus in class to encourage good listening skills. If your child becomes distressed or overstimulated for any reason, gently take them outside the circle or classroom, sit quietly with them, and then bring them back when they are ready – this will reduce the chances of the distress spreading to the other children.
Taking Turns on Instruments: This is great chance to develop crucial social skills of sharing, patience and good calm listening. Encourage your child to enjoy watching and listening while others have a turn. If your child doesn’t want to have a turn, simply respect that and know that one day they will. Children can have a very real experience of something by watching others doing it. Given enough time and gentle encouragement, your child will decide when they are ready, and then we can celebrate this important step.
Reading/Journals: One of our final activities in class is reading and journaling. Reading to your child everyday from birth will help give them the gift of literacy and love of books. Your journal is a running record of your positive observations of your child’s development. Be on the lookout for the special moments your child has in class – there is always at least one!
Program CDs: Central to the Music Garden program is the concept of nurturing your child’s growth through a musical environment. Your child will love listening to the CD each day, especially if you have fun singing the songs and rhymes together. Find which ones are your child’s favourites and allow as much repetition as they want. This repetition fosters important skill development will encourage your child to participate fully in class.
“Where love is deep, much can be accomplished.” - Dr Suzuki
We look forward to working with you to nurture your child’s potential during your time with us, laying the groundwork for long-term learning success that your family can enjoy for many more years to come.