The practice partner/home teacher plays a crucial role in a Suzuki student’s success. As a teacher, I’m lucky that our program has a robust and comprehensive parent education for new Suzuki parents, but parents who have been practicing with their child for a while can often use some extra help and inspiration in home practice beyond what I can fit into the weekly lesson. Enter Parents As Partners Online!
What Is It?
Parents As Partners online began several years ago as a video series through the SAA website and it has just been getting bigger and better every year. This year, I’m thrilled that the videos will be up for a longer period of time, including the summer, when parents often have more time to devote to practice since school and many activities are on break. In previous years, the viewing window was much shorter. Talks are presented by outstanding Suzuki teachers and by dedicated Suzuki parents, so both teacher and parent perspectives are represented.
Why I Love Parents As Partners
The Videos are Short and To-The-Point
Parents are busy! There are many wonderful resources on Suzuki teaching and parenting, but many parents struggle to find the time to read them. The online videos are all around 10 minutes or less and this year the audio is available as a podcast, so parents can put that commute time to good use!
Lots of Great Topics
Videos address listening, review, challenges, communication, finding time to practice, learning, motivation, group class, and much more! Many of the videos are on topics I wish I had more time to address in lessons and provide valuable inspiration for both teachers and practice parents.
A Great Discussion Tool
I have seen the Parents As Partners videos used at Institutes as part of a session for parents. The videos can help as an entry point into discussions both in the lesson, or in planned parent discussion groups. There are some great suggestions on the SAA website for hosting a special discussion session, and the videos could even form a sort of continuing parent education, helping to create a learning community and providing support for parents.
A Shot in the Arm
Perhaps my favorite part of Parents As Partners is that is gives teachers and parents an extra dose of inspiration, helpfully made available during what I call the “mid-semester slump.” The holidays are over, it’s gray and cold outside in most of the U.S., activities and school events are ramping up, and it’s months to go before summer vacation. I know that I have been energized and inspired in my teaching by watching the Parents As Partners videos and studio parents have also expressed that the videos are helpful and informative.
I’m a thrifty person by nature, so when I saw that each parent only has to pay $12 for this massive resource library, I was thrilled. For the price 3 lattes, parents have access to a massive resource library AND as a teacher if I sign up 6 parents, my registration in the program is free! Win win.
How to Use Parents As Partners in Your Studio
This year, I sent an email to my studio families about Parents As Partners and I gave them a flyer that the SAA has up on their website for free. I asked the parents to email me back if they were interested in participating, then I collected the registration fee in their lessons. It’s OK if you send out information after the program has already opened. All of the videos are available until October this year. New videos are released each week, but they never expire, so even if parents begin watching in May or June, they will have plenty of time to watch many videos that will be helpful to them. Having a deadline and getting an email reminder about the new videos each week encourages parents to take advantage of the video library before the course closes.
Parents As Partners is a wonderful new resource for Suzuki families. I’m grateful to the SAA for making these videos available and I myself am looking forward to watching the latest videos as they continue to update.