"I want to play!"
For whatever reason, some children are attracted to the sound and spectacle of a specific instrument--they find the image of playing utterly compelling. For many families these initial requests from the child are what prompt them to seek out and enter the fold of the Suzuki method. They are rarely, however, what keep them there.
The picture in the child's mind is of standing up, perhaps in from of a crowd, and playing the beautiful music they heard. It rarely includes the image of daily practice, careful attention to detail, and the gradual development of skills and the ability to concentrate. This kind of long-term thinking and investment is not part of the child's mindset.
But it is for the Suzuki parent.
Before we ask the child, "Do you want to play?" we ask the parent, "Do you want this experience for yourself, your child, and your family? Are you ready to give them this amazing gift? To teach them to learn, to feel, to share in this way? Are you willing to commit to this process, teaching your child over time the nature of commitment, dedication, and love?"
The young child's interests come and go. Suzuki tells us that desire, and even genius, are nurtured by one's environment. Children are not born either 'natural musicians' or not. Skill and desire are nurtured over time. And when desire runs low it is the mature experience and commitment of the home-teacher [the parent] that carries the child through. Suzuki says, "Where love is deep, much can be accomplished."
Eventually the time will come when, after the child has been helped along on this journey, she herself will take ownership of her instrument, her playing, and her development. This may be in early adolescence when the flowers of consistent commitment and effort have long since blossomed and shown their color.
The mustard seed of great ability is small but lives within every human child. The power to release its potential begins in the hands that till the soil and dispense the water.