Archive by Author

Falling in Love with Music

18 Nov

It’s Ms. Sara’s week… When people ask me how I fell in love with playing music, there are two things that immediately come to mind: playing in a great youth orchestra, and attending summer music camps. Many of TESS’s students are already involved in the wonderful Norwalk Youth Symphony, and with fantastic youth orchestras across […]

Tips for Home Practice

05 Nov

I can hear a mistake; why doesn’t my child fix it? Yesterday, a parent asked me “Should I just allow my daughter to play through her review pieces with all the mistakes?”  This is a question that frequently comes up in our regular parent session at TESS. The approach you take to help them become […]

Gems from Ed Sprunger – Testing Limits

30 Oct

Struggling to find the boundaries between what is too strict and what is too lenient is one of the eternal questions – Ed Sprunger has lots of advice on this front too.  For starters, it’s not helpful to think of children liking limits, rather it’s more accurate to think of limits as a kind of […]

Gems from Ed Sprunger, II

28 Oct

Ms. Meredith continues… Asking Better Questions For me, teaching is an ongoing practice where I am constantly learning how to do it better – to be a good teacher is to always be a student.  In particular, understanding that when a student cannot do what you ask them to do is not about oppositional behavior […]

Gems from Ed Sprunger, I

28 Oct

In anticipation of our workshop this weekend… Ms. Meredith share her favorite thoughts: I love the book “Helping Parent’s Practice” by Ed Sprunger – it’s on my bookshelf and available for anyone to look at whenever they are with me in my guitar rooms.  I’m excited to see him this weekend when he shares insights […]


27 Oct

Ability breeds ability.  We are motivated by situations that we feel 99% successful and in control. We crave instant success and gratification which is often difficult to achieve in a long term process like playing a musical instrument.  You will help your child stay motivated by creating both short term (preparing for your weekly lesson) […]

Why Listening?

24 Oct

Listening is the most important concept in the Suzuki Method!  A child’s ear will be well trained by listening, and the student will be motivated to want to play the music they hear.  Because the student will have the music memorized, it gives them attention to the challenges of playing their instrument. A child’s rate of […]

Why Review?

22 Oct

Children thrive on repetition and enjoy perfecting an idea they are comfortable playing.  Parents must have a positive attitude toward review and refinement by understanding and enjoying the aspects themselves. Review is a habit.  A review habit should be established early in a child’s musical training.  By establishing a routine, the student receives all the […]

Helping Your Child Practice

21 Oct

Your child doesn’t need you to be a perfect parent.  However, being present with your child is the most important concept.  Practicing happens in a very close, often intense relationship.  As Ed Sprunger states in his book Building Violin Skills, stick with the original rule, “Think Like an Attorney, but talk like Mr. Rodgers.” Your […]

The Importance of Group Class

20 Oct

Ms. Gretchen takes the wheel… Dr. Suzuki observed that learning is a social and environmental activity.  Group classes assist in the development of ensemble skills, which includes stoping and starting together, feeling the pulse, balance between the melody and harmony, and developing the ability to play in unison.  The skills learned in group class are […]