Hello my friends!
It’s been a while since I published one of my weekly round-up posts. Since it’s a new year, a fresh start, it’s time to get back in the habit. This week’s edition features some excellent violin teaching resources from around the web.
1. The first is an article by blogger, Christine Goodner at The Suzuki Triangle titled “Why Short Term Commitments to Music Don’t Work.” I need to send this to every prospective student. Here’s a quote:
“While there are many activities that we can sign our children up for to try it out for a few months and decide how much they like it – taking Suzuki lessons is not like that.
The whole premise of the method, and what makes it work so well, is that your child will be learning an instrument the way a young child learns language. They need to be immersed in hearing it, see others doing it, practice daily, and they will gradually learn to “speak” the language themselves.”
2. I’ve been inhaling parenting books lately, bedtime is a struggle right now, so the title of this article by Noa Kageyama (Bulletproof Musician) caught my eye, “Don’t instructions vs. Do Instructions. Is One Better?” Here’s an excerpt from the article.
“Especially when teaching, coaching, or conducting younger or less experienced musicians, it seems like it would be best to avoid “don’t” directives like “don’t rush” or “don’t use too much bow” or “don’t play too loud.” We’re probably going to get closer to what we want by saying “hold the tempo steady” or “slow down your bow” or “aim for a nice mezzo forte.””
3. One of the books on the book club schedule for 2017 is Gerald Klickstein’s masterpiece The Musician’s Way. I’ve read it in college, and became a huge fan of Klickstein’s work. Here’s a quote from a recent interview he did with Psychology Today.
“If musicians primarily rely on automated learning – aka “muscle memory” – then they will also depend on automated recall. Yet automated recall is easily corrupted by stress.
As a result, such musicians can only perform satisfactorily if they can get themselves into a sort of groove in which their automated reflexes run smoothly. They may report, for instance, that they play or sing effortlessly in practice but struggle on stage. Needless to say, performing can be adrenaline-charged and stressful, so such musicians can never know whether they’ll be in their groove when they step under the lights.”
4. One buzzword I’m hearing a lot lately is grit or resilience. I’ve read a lot of literature on the necessity of grit for our students to be successful, so I was interested to see this post by Michael Hyatt about how giving thanks gives you an edge in performance.
“Positive emotions like gratitude help us become more resilient. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met anyone who wins at very much for very long without resiliency.”
5. I thought this article by Joy Morin had some very important, even vital, thoughts for music teachers. Here’s my favorite:
“While it may be true that our passion for teaching impels us more than does our practical need to make a living, it does not diminish – nor is it necessarily at odds with – the legitimate priority of generating an income. It is a prevalent but mistaken notion that we must choose one or the other, or prioritize one over the other: making a living versus doing what we love.”
What are your favorite violin teaching resources this week? Please share in the comments.