HeidiKC Posted February 6, 2012 Share Posted February 6, 2012 Hoping some of you (that generally require your dc to study an instrument) can give me some insight, advice, words of wisdom, something! I feel like studying music is an important part of my dc's education, and I don't really look at music lessons as something they can choose not to do (at least for some period). We haven't done that much, but it's something I want for them. Sorry this is kind of long! Anyway, here is the situation I could use advice about: ds6 began Suzuki violin last June. He never loved it, but liked it ok at first. As soon as it began to get hard for him, he really disliked it. It IS hard for him. In the group lesson I can tell that other kids the same age (although playing a few months longer) just pick up new songs much more quickly. It takes him a few weeks and a lot of practice to learn the notes of a couple lines of a simple song. He just began the first song after the Twinkle Variations (Lightly Row). He really enjoys his group lesson, and also likes his regular lesson. He and I both like his teacher. But he HATES practicing, and doesn't like the idea of playing the violin at all. He says things all the time like, "I hate the violin", 'I wish I'd never said I would play the violin", etc. He doesn't seem to notice that it is taking him longer to learn songs than the other kids, so that isn't the problem. I don't think the slow progress in general is apparent to him. I have dropped our practice time to about 15 minutes/day (from 30+ before Christmas) to make it more bearable for both of us! Of course I try to make the lesson positive, have him feel some success, especially as we're ending it. And try to be patient. Inevitably he makes me angry with his disrespectful behavior, his stomping around, or his maddening stalling techniques (as he's got his violin up ready to play, he'll decide he needs to run get some rosin, etc.!). Yes, I could probably do some things to make practice more fun (I have a game I need to put together), but I don't even think that will change things that much. He just isn't motivated at all. He doesn't care if he is progressing, other than that a frustrating hurdle has been crossed and it's more a relief that it's behind him rather than having much of a sense of accomplishment. He often has a nasty attitude when we practice. He will intentionally position the violin incorrectly (trying to get my goat, which of course he usually does), or take his SWEET time getting it out of the case, etc. If he gets frustrated, he'll often cry and carry on, and then I can't get him to focus and he'll bounce the bow on the strings when I tell him to try again. To make it worse, he is my child who is generally well-behaved, but who is very difficult to deal with when he's being rude. With my other two, things like time-out, losing priveleges, etc. work. With this guy, none of those types of things have worked to change behavior. He doesn't care about most consequences and the only thing that ever works is quietly removing him and ignoring the behavior. Which is very hard to do when I'm trying to complete a music lesson with him. We do it before school, so we don't have time for that nonsense. I tried after school and evenings, but he is much more cooperative and willing in the morning first thing. Anyway, I'm just not sure that the positives of learning an instrument are outweighing the negatives (of both of us being miserable during practice, and really feeling like this is beginning to define our relationship which I hate!). I started out thinking I wanted him to do this through 8th grade, then it was through 4th grade, then 1st, and now I'm thinking maybe just until the end of May!!! AAAAGGGGHHH!!! I hate to give up, and am wondering what others have done in a similar situation or what you would suggest. I want him to enjoy music and to enjoy practicing. We do go to concerts and he enjoys that. But it is beginning to feel counter-productive when he gets absolutely no enjoyment out of practicing. I think it will be hard to turn him around on that - he's got it stuck in his head that he hates it. I do give him a dime for each good practice, and that motivates him a bit. But that is the only thing he likes about practice, which seems wrong! Thanks for any advice. I am so bummed out about this. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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