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100 Days in a Row….news from the Suzuki Department

by Beth Turco Turco.Beth@MacPhail.org

The Suzuki Method is based on the belief that all children can learn to play an instrument at an early age in the same way they easily learn their native language – through listening, repetition, encouragement and parental involvement.  As teachers, we know that repetition leads to mastery of skills. And mastery of skills leads to intrinsic motivation and drive. Dr. Suzuki says, “Ease comes with training. We simply have to train and educate our ability, that is to say to do the thing over and over again until it feels natural, simple and easy. That is the secret.” (Nurtured By Love, p. 51)

But how do we encourage thoughtful practice and review?

In his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, author Daniel H. Pink states that 3 elements are essential to intrinsic motivation; autonomy, mastery and purpose.  Mastery takes hours and hours of repetition to achieve (some say 10,000 hours!) At times, external tracking methods and/or rewards can help students establish good practice habits and lead the way to mastery.

To support the path to mastery, the Suzuki faculty has launched a department-wide 100 days practice club for our students. Students can participate in the challenge of practicing 100 days in a row. Students who accomplish this challenge will receive a MacPhail certificate and their picture will be posted in the 4th floor Suzuki showcase.  If students follow Dr. Suzuki’s suggestion, “Practice only on the days that you eat,” this challenge will be easy to accomplish

Feel free to write with your ideas of how you encourage repetition and mastery in your studio.

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