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Beatrice Blanc Studios

Suzuki Violin, MacPhail Center for Music


How To Help Your Child At Their Lesson

By Juliana McAshan, Suzuki parent 

Attend lessons regularly and teach your child to watch lessons in progress if he must wait his turn. The best way to do this is to watch the lesson yourself. This indicates to your child that something important is going on and also gives him a role model for good behavior.

When you practice at home, use the same routines and sequence of events that you observe at the lesson. Use the same language and practice the same exercises that the teacher uses. The teacher is watching for signs that these exercises have become easy and natural for the child, so that he will be ready for the next steps in his learning.

Often a child will appear to be forgetful at his lesson, or do poorly in exercises, which he did well at home. Do not become alarmed at this or interfere by giving him hints and reminders while he is trying to pay attention to his teacher. The reason he is having difficulty is that he is working with a relatively unfamiliar person. By “helping” too much you will only postpone the day when the relationship between the teacher and the child is an easy and natural one. The child’s attention should be centered on his lesson; his work is with the teacher. You can best help him to focus his attention by not intruding on his work.

If you have your child’s best interests at heart, let him make mistakes, because the lesson is a learning process. He is learning through his errors; he is also learning that it is all right to take a chance and that a mistake is not the end of the world. If a child makes many mistakes in his lesson, do not scold him but resolve to practice more and better with him before the next lesson. Good practice is always the cure for bad lessons.

Sometimes, the teacher will invite the parent to participate. At such times, a complete response is expected, so pay close attention to the lesson.

Bring a notebook to the lesson and write down the important points as the teacher presents them. Study the notes before practice times. If you do this, the child will make steady progress, and will soon be ready for the next step in his learning.

About younger brothers and sisters at the lesson. . .they are always welcome to come, to listen and to learn, but this must never be at the expense of the child receiving instruction.

When watching the lessons of other children, show interest in these students, but avoid making comparisons between your child and others. Such comparisons can be unfair to all concerned, especially since you know a great deal about your own child and very little about the backgrounds of the others.

orig. publ. in Suzuki World 1985




 "'" "To make a resolution and act accordingly
is to live with hope

--​Shin'ichi Suzuki


painted by Suzuki

On display in my studio:

Graduation Certificate painted with brush and ink. When Suzuki decided that a student's recording indicated mastery, he'd paint them a graduation certificate.

This one reads
"Man is a son of his environment."
                                                                                                                      photo: Beatrice Blanc


^"Cattails" by Beatrice: ZenBrush app, iPhone

Welcome Letter to New Families

Dear New Suzuki Family,
Welcome to the MacPhail Suzuki Program! We are glad your family will become a part of our musical community. All new parents entering our program participate in a semester-long parent education program.

This time is devoted to the parents’ understanding of the Suzuki method and will prepare you for a rewarding Suzuki experience for years to come. Suzuki education differs in some important ways from traditional music lessons. One unique element is the role of the parent. We rely on the “Suzuki triangle,” a term used to describe the three essential partners in the learning process: a trained Suzuki teacher, the child, and the parent. The Suzuki parent’s job is to become a “home teacher” who understands the philosophy, the instrument, the teacher’s goals and methods, and the child’s learning needs. The daily practice sessions and music listening environment created by you at home are critical factors in the success of the Suzuki method. This course is designed to help new parents get the information they need in order to fulfill this teaching role.

* The course includes reading materials, a workbook, observations of lessons and weekly discussions based on the philosophy of Dr. Suzuki. * Attendance at all sessions of the class is required.

* Your initial lessons with your private teacher will be devoted to working with only the teaching parent. Your teacher will help you to understand the basics of the instrument you have chosen for your child. You will need an instrument for yourself for these initial lessons. Please contact your studio teacher for assistance with selecting your instrument.

* FOR PIANO FAMILIES: You must have a piano before lessons begin. Electronic keyboards are not acceptable.

* FOR ALL OTHER INSTRUMENTS: Do not purchase an instrument for your child without prior discussion with your studio teacher.

* Your child will begin private lessons when your studio teacher feels you have mastered the basics of the instrument. If you have any questions about any of these aspects of the parent education workshop, feel free to e-mail me at
Sincerely, Christy Libbus
Suzuki Cello Faculty
Suzuki Parent Class Instructor

Welcome to my website!

This website is primarily my means of providing up-to-date information for my Suzuki violin students at MacPhail Center for Music. The title of my page refers to Studios/plural to include my fun hobby of selling handmade earrings in my jewelry studio, located on Etsy. 

I welcome your feedback, questions and suggestions. If you want to add to my suggested listening list, do! If you want to suggest a book for a book club, do! If you want to arrange to observe a lesson, please send me an email inquiry!

I update the Weekly Whiteboard at the beginning of every week, and you can check the Google Calendar on the Calendar&Events Page anytime.

 Beatrice Policy reminders: please keep these guidelines in mind all year!

Come to your lessons prepared, technically and mentally, with all materials. This refers not only to having your weekly assignment prepared and optimally mastered, but also to having positive behavior, hands washed, nails trimmed, snacks and bathroom trips completed.

Arrive 10 min. early to tend to these matters before the lesson.

Come in 5 min. early to observe the person before you!

If there is no one ahead of you, please wait for me to come get you.

Remember, for make-up lessons you may swap lessons with each other using the Studio Roster. Do give me a note in advance with what gets arranged. Thank you!!

Browse the
MacPhail site here
and the
Suzuki portion of it here!
This is where you can find observation schedules, group class info, and more.


Want Some Motivation About How to Practice?

Consider these encouraging reminders!!

  1. Practice Every Day--help your long-term memory & improve your learning curve
  2. Have Specific Goals--create specific, attainable goals before you practice
  3. Begin With the Basics--go over technique first; always have a warm-up plan
  4. Focus on the Hard Parts--spend your time on what you can't play
  5. Write It Down--use your practice log; see your goals and accomplishments grow
  6. Slow It Down--slow down your practice spot; gradually speed it up
  7. Break it Down--concentrate on practice spots; don't start at the beginning
  8. Use a Metronome--it helps keep everything steady, esp the hard parts
  9. Practice Away from the Instrument--airplane, car, etc? tap fingers on forearm
  10. Emphasize the Positive--focus on solutions, not problems

These steps build students' ability to problem-solve...the whole correlation to why they are so successful later in life in widely varied fields.

How To Practice (Piano)