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Everything posted by Laurel

  1. I'd like to maybe do a demonstration to preschool or school classes, as a way of recruiting students. But what exactly would I do? What would I play? What might I say to them? Yes, different things to different age groups; I wouldn't talk to Grade 4's the same way as I would to kindergarten kids. But - what exactly? Ideas eagerly accepted! Thanks in advance! Laurel
  2. Thanks for your replies everyone! Actually in my letter I was much more specific - closed for 3 weeks, then group lessons only for 2 weeks. (Plus an informal "meeting" so they could see the baby!) I did also specify that I would be giving each student an individual assignment sheet with tasks for each week (i.e., "Week 1, focus on straight bowing" or whatever, plus a review schedule). However, I guess I didn't do this soon enough for these folks. They talked to some work friends whose kids go to this music school, and they just went ahead and did it. Oh well. Unfortunately this breaks up one of my "groups"; so I may just start the other student's private lesson at the end of the 3 weeks. The other group will likely get together themselves during those weeks (thanks for the idea!) so they won't have a break at all. Thanks again!
  3. Haven't been here in ages? Been lurking from time to time, though. First off, let me point out that I'm 8 1/2 mos. pregnant with my 2nd child (read: far too long ). I announced this to my 6 students early on. Then I sent out a letter in December outlining my plans. I had thought to not teach for a few weeks, then start up my 2 group sessions only for another few weeks, then add private lessons again. (They are pretty well spread out throughout the week and all are when my hubby is home.) But today I got a call from one parent saying they have signed up with another teacher at the local music school. That in itself is great (at least they're not just quitting or anything) but I'm not that comfortable with the fact that they did this essentially behind my back... should I be offended? They were assuming I would be taking a longer break (like till September or sometime) and they were seeing such momentum building up that they didn't want to stop their child's lessons (she's 4 1/2, started in April and can almost play all the way through Twinkle). But - couldn't they have asked me about my specific plans? or something? I don't know. When I first announced it I did offer to help find another teacher if people had wanted, but didn't expect them to just jump ship like this. Or perhaps I'm just being too hormonal? What do you think? Thanks, Laurel
  4. Well, we had the first lesson last night - and wouldn't you know it, he really can play a full-size! He is a pretty big guy. Wonder if he'll be a football player in high school? I did the usual measurement thing - place violin in playing position, then reach left hand out underneath and see if fingers wrap around scroll - his 2nd finger curled around end of scroll and there was still a bit of bend to his elbow. Ta da! And after only 3 lessons with the previous teacher, he was doing quite well! Left-hand position is great. Bowing more-or-less from the elbow (rather than shoulder) - a little rough but excellent for having only started about 2 mos. ago. Thanks for the thoughts everyone!
  5. Hi! Back again after a long absence. I have a new student starting next week. He's 8 and has his great-grandfather's full-size violin. Apparently he started with another teacher but has only had 3 lessons; they were too far away to continue (probably 20 min. in traffic, whereas I'm literally around the block). The grandma says he's "tall, with long arms" - but do you think he could really play on a full-size at this point? Now granted I haven't seen him with it yet; I do have a half-size one (that belonged to my nephew) that I can measure him on too. Just wondering if anyone's heard of this? Thanks!
  6. Just popping in to say hi, as I haven't been here in ages! I now have half a dozen Suzuki students in my studio; a position at a local community music school; and we are expecting baby no. 2!... Hope everyone's been well, and I'll try to check in somewhat more often!
  7. Thanks for the advice! I know, 3 students really isn't many! but I don't want to *not* do it just because I think "oh, my studio isn't big enough". I'll see what I can do about a facility/accompanist. Our complex has a clubhouse which is a good size, but there's no piano. Will see about teaming up with another teacher too, it sounds like fun, especially with a different instrument(s). Thanks again!
  8. I have a grand total of 3 students. I'd like to hold a recital in mid-March or so; looking for any suggestions on how (or even whether) to do it! (I know at least 1 of them is much more motivated to practise when there's a performance to work toward, that's how I thought of it.) Thanks in advance!
  9. Okay, it's back. $50 bucks later. Sounds really good though! No, doggie was not punished; I didn't catch him in the act, just heard the BANG from the next room. I just kind of yelled "What did you do?!?" and then came in and saw... Oh well, live and learn!
  10. Yep, stupid me left my violin on the couch for "just a minute" - and it was right where the dog jumps up (which he's not allowed to do) to bark out the window... must have caught a paw in the strings and the bridge is now snapped completely in half! Yeesh. Off to get it repaired tomorrow; hope the bill isn't too big!
  11. How about placing each finger on a string, simultaneously, so all are stopped, then slide your whole hand up the fingerboard while bowing G-D-A-E in one bow! Sounds really cool. Now slide downwards while bowing. Try bowing E-A-D-G too.
  12. Can someone please explain the difference? I know, it's the "do" in the scale (do, re, mi) but... what exactly is meant by movable and fixed? And how can I integrate one or the other into my teaching?' Thanks!
  13. Yes, what do the stars mean? No, no, that's not a philosophical question, I mean the stars on the screen! No, not the movies, the computer screen! the ones under my username - what are "total rates"?
  14. Sorry, just reading that makes me think of tikitikitiki torches torches torches!! (a friend of mine just put some up in his back yard, that's why!) And I must say I like the "1 uh oh e i e i o", I may use that! Seriously, I find that while "1-e-and-a" (or "1-day-and-a") works for 16ths, saying in my head something like "bada bada bada bada" works for 32nds.
  15. Sigh...... I remember good old OOOooooooo:-o ! And ADean, and... well, I can't even remember all the names, but all the ones from the good old days! (sheesh, I'm WAY too young to be talking about the good old days!) And of course who could forget Snakey Rattler?
  16. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! Cedar - it's actually ONLY the violin he wakes up to. We don't do the silence thing; I can run the vacuum, crank up the stereo, let the dog bark (and believe me, a Sheltie bark is pretty darn piercing!), even play the piano - just not the violin. Baby's 13 mos. old. He is pretty good at playing by himself, so it may just be that I have to work on the music stand thing. We never did use the playpen much, but I can certainly use the baby gate. A toy violin, now that's an idea! Toy stores have this one that can be either a guitar or violin... must save our pennies! Thanks again all!
  17. This is related to BobbiFiddler's "One step forward" post. I get Frustrated when I try to practise, because DS wakes up immediately! I can have the door closed, even a towel stuffed along the floor, and he'll STILL wake up. After one note! I just TUNE and he's awake!! I wonder if that's because he knows the violin sound so well... he's been hearing it since, oh, well, since his auditory nerve developed at 6 mos. of gestation (!). Anyway, I can't practise when he's up, because I have to watch him (and he'll pull the music stand down). Arrrghh! So when am I going to practise??
  18. I seem to hear the term "server" in restaurants these days. I don't like putting "-person" on the end of things either, so I go for the terms that don't have "-man", "-woman" or "-person" on the end. Like, "Flight Attendant".
  19. Yes, they did teach the bow, but not as kow-towing. Shoe removal??!!??!? Uh, no. Seriously, I didn't get any impression of everyone having to "become Japanese". It was more of a cultural exchange. Doing something that "belongs" to another culture is learning process, not becoming the other culture. They taught the kids the Japanese words to say at the beginning and end ("Onegai shimasu = Please work with me; Arigato gozaimashita = Thank you very much"). Which, I might add, plenty of kids thought was "neat" rather than oppressive. Am sorry to hear that it was so overbearing for you at the time. The bow, nowadays, is for two reasons: one is a gesture of mutual respect - yeah, plenty of people think that's hokey, I'm sure, but so what. The other reason is one I like: Remember that this is for preschoolers! They are happy when they have cues such as this to begin and end things. Did you have a welcome song and a going-home song in Kindergarten? Kinda the same thing.
  20. Yes, you're right, it's NOT a school of violin playing in the same sense as the "Franco-Belgian" or "Russian" or whatever. In fact, if you read Suzuki's books, such as "Nurtured by Love" and "Ability Development from Age Zero" (our required reading before the 1A course), you'll find that it's pretty much the same ideas as more recent early-childhood-education theories and research results. Stimulate the brain in as many ways as possible, as early as possible (note I said stimulate, not drill or force), and you help the brain grow so that it will function more efficently later in life. It's just that A)Suzuki was one of the first to figure this out, and B)he happened to apply this knowledge to violin playing. No, there is no "Suzuki bow hold". I saw teachers encouraging students to keep the elbow lower than the wrist, so as to get some weight into the bow/string without pressing. And hey, it worked. Any particular "school" of violin playing? None was mentioned; just a way that Suzuki found was good for producing a big beautiful tone. I doubt you'd be expected to give up your own way of playing, D_A. The dozen people in the class had many diverse backgrounds, and the SAA does require you to pass a video audition to get permission to take the teacher training - you can't be utterly incompetent on the violin! But playing in a certain way was not part of the prerequisite.
  21. The teacher-trainer last week was Ms. Yuko Honda. She is one of the teachers who studied for many years with Dr. Suzuki himself, and was an assistant during many of his tours to America. She also helped set up the Suzuki program at Eastman, plus many other solo and teaching achievements. She's the only one I've met in person though. I did hear the name of Terry Durbin, but don't know any others.
  22. And I think it was great! Not quite what I expected, but then I'm not sure what I was expecting. Lots of practical information on how to run a studio, and how to deal with PARENTS (quite the challenge!). Plenty of ideas on how to improve my own playing too. The students I saw at this institute were fantastic - good examples of how this method does work when it's done right. And they were real kids too, not prodigies or forced to practise or anything like the stereotypes that are out there. A good, if exhausting, week! No, baby was not walking yet when I got home, nor had he cut any of the teeth he's been working on for the last 6 weeks! Laurel
  23. My course is next week in Seattle; I'm heading there on Saturday. I'm so excited - really looking forward to it! Will it be worth it? Wow - a whole week of violin - just that part alone could be worth it! And it's the first time I'll be away from my baby!! For a whole week!! I know, he'll be with Daddy who's taking the week off to be with him, they'll have a great time - but I'm worried nonetheless! Will he be OK? Will he miss me? Will he be WALKING by the time I get home?? (quite possible actually!) Oh well - wish me luck and see you next week!
  24. I have a couple of questions on what to do with my students. First - a high-school-age student who plays brass instruments and piano as well - we are working through the Strictly Strings books - anything else I can give her concurrently, or should I just finish the books and then go on to other repertoire? Also, any suggestions for specific exercises for keeping the bowing straight (parallel to bridge)? Second, my 7-year-old student - how to keep her attention? Any fun exercises for holding the violin, and developing a good left-hand position? We've been doing things like Simon Says, action songs while holding violin (no hands), standing/walking/dancing while holding violin... what else? (Same books with this student.) I don't want to rush her, and of course she cannot yet focus like an older sudent, but at the same time I want to make sure I'm using the lesson time well and not just letting her play around. Thanks in advance!
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