Archive by Author

Ability and Mastery

09 Oct

Ms. Becki… How good is good enough? This is a question that we all struggle with in every area of life, and the essence of your teacher’s thought process during your child’s lesson. The quest to balance the need for accuracy, technical development, and musical development while preserving the child’s love of music is daunting […]

The Heart of Music

07 Oct

Ms. Becki continues… “Of course we need a good instrument. In music, tone is all you have.” These words, spoken to me early in my career by a parent in my studio, actually shocked me at the time. I was so accustomed to helping families save money on their musical equipment, managing the costs of […]

It’s About the Music

06 Oct

Ms. Becki returns… Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. One of my own Suzuki violin group class classmates teaches a course on Music Psychology, and also publishes a blog called The Bulletproof Musician. Last week he hosted another Suzuki violin group class classmate, Christian […]

The Beat Goes On

03 Oct

Ms. Sara continues… If you remember your child’s first few lessons or beginner group classes, they were probably full of singing and clapping games: imitating the Twinkle rhythms, matching different pitches (perhaps with hand signals to demonstrate how high or low the notes were), and finding the pulse while singing or listening to a song. […]

Layers of Learning

01 Oct

Ms. Sara takes the wheel… One of my favorite metaphors for developing musical ability and technique on an instrument is that it is akin to building a house. My architecture and construction expertise is sorely limited, but I know this much: when building a house, we must first lay the foundation. If we don’t set […]

More Fun and Games for Practice

20 Sep

Mr. Tyler concludes… Another game is for helping to make things automatic, such as the musical alphabet, or note names (using flash cards).  What we do is use a stopwatch and to do time trials.  Choose a set goal (like saying the alphabet backwards twice, or doing 10 flash cards).  Time how long it takes to […]

Using Games to Invigorate Practice

17 Sep

Mr. Tyler continues… Another game is for helping to make parts of a piece automatic so that skill is inculcated.  In the study of piano we use this kind of practice a lot to solidify each hand before putting a piece hands together.  This is also a great way to practice to bring greater awareness to […]

Can Practice Be Fun?

16 Sep

Mr. Tyler takes the pen… “Once you find the chore is fun, you’ll find the work is halfway done!” ~Mary Poppins While we all love to feel that practice is rewarding in itself, sometimes even professional musicians find that our practice needs a fresh idea or activity.  These are wonderful opportunities to infuse practice with creativity […]

Count the Days

16 Sep

Ms. Gretchen explains… Often times, parents come to their lessons with concern about their three year old; they are worried their child’s ability to focus, sing, or clap rhythms is not adequate.  Of course every child can learn these skills; however, parents often get frustrated with the time and effort it takes to complete these […]

John Kendall’s Legacy

11 Sep

Ms. Gretchen’s week continues… As a graduate student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), I had the pleasure to teach in a Suzuki program founded by John Kendall.  Mr. Kendall was the leading American music educator who believed in the Suzuki method.  Due to his vision of educating children, the Suzuki method blossomed in the […]