I've been told it's a peculiar affliction, but I've always enjoyed listening to beginning Suzuki music students. There's a warm place in my heart for the Book 1 repertoire, both piano and violin. I'm not a music teacher of any kind, but recently I had the privilege of introducing my six-year-old grandson to pre-Twinkle and Twinkle on the violin. He has been taking piano lessons with his other grandmother for a year, and his mother laid the foundations for violin playing with him, so I was able to step in and reap the benefits of a prepared and eager student.
It was glorious. I can't begin to describe how much fun it was. He's very responsible with his half-sized violin, and the need to put it away carefully did not deter him in the least from getting it out several times a day, begging me to teach him something new. He has a good ear and an observant eye, and catches on very quickly.
His excellent violin is a gift from his aunt—it was hers during her Suzuki days—and has only a first finger tape on the fingerboard, she having passed the beginning stages with a smaller size. When it was time for him to learn a song involving the second and third fingers, I explained that he could use his ear to help him find the right finger placement, or I could put on some additional tapes. He asked for the tapes. While I was searching the house for appropriate materials, I suggested he listen to the piece and see what he could figure out on his own. As I was returning with scissors and tape, I could hear him playing: playing the whole phrase in perfect tune.
I put the tape away. He's not always perfect by any means, but if the note is off he's learning to notice and make the correction. I find this awesome.
I know most people aren't as enamored of beginning violin music as I am, but there are some relatives who might enjoy the following. The first is a pre-Twinkle piece called See the Pretty Flowers, and the second is the first Twinkle variation. The videos were made after he had practiced the pieces maybe half a dozen times.
The sad part is that for most of the year we're 1300 miles apart, so teaching him is a rare and special privilege. It's a relay, and I've handed the baton back to his very capable (though very busy) mother. Too bad his aunt—who is both a music teacher and a violinist—is almost three times as far away as I am.