Should parents plan to attend each lesson with their child, or drop off and pick up?
As with many of these questions, it totally depends on the child! The goal is for your child to get the most out of the lesson as possible, and sometimes they’re so occupied with lesson that they don’t even notice a parent is hanging out.
More often than not, however, children behave very differently when a parent stays versus drops off. Shy children will often become more animated once a parent heads out to do errands, and kids that sometimes have difficulty focusing find it easier when a parent heads out. This is one reason some studios make it a rule that parents do not stay for music class. However, we find there’s an exception to be had for every rule, so we don’t strictly adhere to that policy. We’ve seen many different scenarios with parents staying and dropping off to be equally successful, so our only hard and fast rule is that the lesson will be designed to ensure a productive (dare we say, fun?) experience for each individual.
My personal teaching style tends to be very student-oriented, and in addition I do find it helps families in the long run if the student is able to develop as much age-appropriate autonomy as possible with their instrument.
That being said we do have some families who work better if parents or caregivers are highly involved in lesson, or who come from a more traditional Suzuki background of parent involvement in the lesson.
We do recommend that a parent stay for the very first lesson, to check out how lessons go and to get the hang of how the violin is held- as well as to look over the materials from the first class. After the first lesson, I usually have a good idea of how students will do with or without a parent present, so I can give a recommendation at that point.
Additionally, it is always very important to communicate any expectations or hopes you may have regarding participation in lessons or at home so that can be supported.
Parental support at home is one of the biggest factors in successfully learning an instrument. So regardless of staying or dropping off, the last 5-10 minutes of class (depending on the length of class) is dedicated to catching parents up on the work for the week and student progress.