Here are some of my favorite resources for viola parents. Whether you are just beginning your musical journey with your child or you are helping a teen through the transition to college, you will find something here.
The Bulletproof Musician Blog by a Juilliard-trained violinist (and Suzuki kid) turned sports psychologist, this is a great read for teens and adults interested in maximizing practice efficiency.
Chili Dog Strings Blog Funny name, lots of short, fun tips for practice.
Suzuki Association of the Americas Lots of articles for parents, video resources, Parents As Partners, and information on upcoming events.
Suzuki Triangle Blog Lots of great posts and resources for Suzuki parenting.
Beyond the Music Lesson by Christine E. Goodner. This book, which I review here, is concise and packed with information, particularly helpful for the new Suzuki parent.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. You may have seen psychologist Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk on the newest educational buzzword, “grit”. In the context of the book, she is able to go into much more detail on how grittiness can be developed in children and adults. Lot of application for music students here, and as a fun bonus, I learned from the book that her daughter takes viola lessons!
Helping Parents Practice: Ideas for Making it Easier by Ed Sprunger. Written by a Suzuki violin teacher, this book has a wide range of information for parents to help their child with practice, including motivation, working together, and dealing with frustration. It’s a fantastic resource which I come back to again and again.
How to Listen So Kids Will Talk and Talk So Kids Will Listen by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich. Accessible and down-to-earth book (with cartoons!) about communicating effectively with children or anyone else. It’s a quick read and full of great tips. One of my favorites.
The Talent Code:Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How by Daniel Coyle. Drawing on brain research related to how we develop skills, Coyle weaves in fascinating stories from “talent hotbeds” around the world, from baseball to chess to pop stars, to find what are the necessary ingredients for mastery in a field. An engaging and fascinating read.
The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen, MD with Amy Ellis Nutt. An accessible, fascinating read on all the new neuroscience around brain development in the teenage years. The author is also a parent to a teen, and provides many practical tips for parenting teens.
To Learn With Love: A Companion for Suzuki Parents by William and Constance Starr. The Starrs were some of the first Suzuki teachers in the U.S. and they describe their visits to Shinichi Suzuki’s first talent education program in Matsumoto, Japan. In addition to being teachers, their children all played, and they provide unique insights on the Suzuki Method and how they integrated it into their family’s life.