Hello my friends!
Today is a wonderfully gloomy day. The sky is dark outside my window even though it’s the middle of the afternoon, and the wind is rustling the bright yellow leaves in the most lovely way. I love fall! Even better, I get to spend this afternoon teaching my students and later, have pumpkin lentil curry with my husband and babies. (Pumpkin lentil curry that my husband made. I’m firmly of the belief that food is best when I don’t make it!)
I am so excited to share these fabulous resources with you today!
1. Do you have a copy of Helping Parents Practice? If not, go order it post haste! It’s such a valuable asset to every parent and teacher. I may make it required reading for all of my studio parents. Here’s a great quote from the book,
Like the gas gauge, however, it’s important to pay attention to how “full” of your love your child feels during practice. And it’s crucial that you read your child’s gauge, not your own. You probably have enormous amounts of love in the pumps in your station, but a child whose own tank is running low is going to need a fill-up. That fill-up will have to come from you, the person in the parent role, the only one who can supply him with this necessary fuel–and it will come not necessarily from what you say, but from the strategies you use during practice. Be forewarned that it may take a while to fill up the tank. This book can help.
When I read this paragraph, I was stunned. I had to sit back and think for a while about my own children’s love gauges. It’s a powerful concept not limited to practicing alone, but practice does quite often serve to bring these parent-child conflicts to the surface so these reminders are especially helpful for this context.
2. Speaking of practicing, my good (internet) friend, Christine Goodner, has this incredible ebook available for free. I highly recommend you go download it, and encourage your students to do the same!
3. Alan Duncan’s blog post, How to be a more patient Suzuki parent. He says, “Patience is a willingness to overlook certain frustrating elements of another person or situation.” Patience is a skill that both teachers and parents need to develop if they want to have a pleasant, productive, and fruitful Suzuki experience.
4. I am so excited to be on the faculty of the preparatory division of the Gifted Music School here in Salt Lake. It’s been so fun to work with amazing teachers and administration there. One incredible opportunity that has come from this association is being able to spend a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning with Cathy Lee, Suzuki Teacher Trainer. If you haven’t had the chance to train with her, you must! She is excellent. Inspired by her use of toys in the masterclass I observed, I ordered these finger puppets and my students love them. (Yes, even the teenagers who I thought would not be interested!) I love to put them on bow tips and add some extra fun to our bow exercises.
5. I really enjoyed this podcast interview with Seth Hanes on A Musical Life with Hugh Sung. Learning about marketing and business has made a huge difference in my violin studio, and has made my work much more rewarding and enjoyable.
What are your favorite violin teaching ideas, tips, and resources? Please share in the comments!