Fall 2019: Newsletter

Whoo hooooo! Fall is on it’s way. It’s no secret that fall is my favorite season…and the start of what I think it’s going to turn out to be the BEST STUDIO YEAR EVER!!!

Fall is a great time to celebrate our accomplishments, honor our loved ones and practice gratitude.

Let’s see what we can do work together and highlight these ideas over the fall quarter.

The start of fall term is also a good time to review studio policy.

This quarter we will focus on storytelling in music. Music’s power lies in its unique ability to tug at our heart strings; it’s music that reminds us of our humanity. Musical notes go straight to our hearts to define our triumph, struggle, joy and pain all without out a single word!

Many students loose joy in music study because they only learn their pieces on the superficial level. They of course learn notes and rhythms but generally move on to the next piece before adding more emotional and expressive qualities like dynamics and phrasing. Working in this manner never allows children to get to the heart of what music is all about- the very same reasons they were drawn to instrument study. It’s all about the feels!

Through music and story telling, we can help children develop their empathy and creativity skills.

To help our studio friends learn how to use music to tell a story, we will practice these concepts in group class. During group class we will listen to a few minutes of a Classical Kids recording which uses a composers work to tell a story about that composers life. We will also work collaboratively at group class to tell a story with our instruments, suzuki repertoire and various sound effects. I will use simple picture books to inspire the story. I hope students take some ideas from group class to refine their own story projects.

I would like students to think of a story and a suzuki piece that fits their story. Or, go the other way and choose a piece and then write a story that fits the piece. The story can be fictional or nonfictional. For example, the child might choose to tell a story about a time they overcame an obstacle, or of a time they were really happy or very sad. Perhaps the story could be related to fall or completely non-sensical like… a monkey with whopping cough goes to to the movies. You may take various phrases of pieces and make a “Frankensong” e.g. the B section of allegro, A section of Gossec Gavotte, D section of Gavotte mignon and F1 section of Martini Gavotte.

There are only two requirements:

1. The piece must be a suzuki piece that the child can already play well. Remember we are moving past the superficial level and going straight to the emotional center.

2. Students will need to demonstrate how to show emotion through dynamics, tone, phrasing and vibrato if applicable.

Advanced and professional musicians research the pieces they perform. It’s helpful to understand the composer and consider the time period the piece was composed in. This helps us get a better picture of what the composer was going for. What´s the composers own story behind their piece? If you think researching your piece could be helpful in storytelling, check out this book: From Twinkle to Mozart. We also have a copy in the studio.

So, what´s your story? Please let me know by the first lesson of fall quarter which piece you will play and the accompanying story that goes along with it. I would be happy to brainstorm with you if you are stuck!

We will use the last group class of fall (November 20th) as a “story time” class. Feel free to wear your pajamas and bring your favorite blanket or stuffed friend. You are also welcome to dress in costume or bring props for your story presentation. Warm spiced apple cider to be served!

Happy Squirrel!

Our multi-level, combined group piece this fall will be The Happy Squirrel.

If you need another copy of the sheet music you can find it here. Parts were announced this week.

Book 3+ violin students are welcome to audition for the “advanced’ part after learning their assigned part. Let me know if you’re interested in auditioning. Email me for the password, or see it on the board in the studio. Please start working on your parts as soon as possible.

Fall Goals

We will continue learning how to set goals this quarter. Last quarter students choose three goals to accomplish by the end of summer. Some friends quickly found out that perhaps they were a little ambitious and that more thought might be required when it comes to setting achievable goals.

During fall quarter, I will help students learn how to break down goals into smaller units to a)make sure they are doable in the time frame at hand and b) to come up with a week by week plan to help them stay motivated. Please be ready at your first lesson of fall with some goals in mind.

Pre-Twinkle Demo at the Westminster Branch Library

Join Ms. Glenda Walsh Crouse from Westminster Suzuki Strings for a free 30 minute violin class. Children ages 2-5 will explore the exciting world of pre-twinkle violin. Children are taught through play, games and storytelling. In addition to hearing a brief professional performance of the violin, children will be able to try a real fractional sized violin. Following the class, Ms. Glenda will be available to answer questions about the violin and the Suzuki Method. Register on the library website. Registration begins 8/23 for the 9/6 class and 9/11 for the 9/25 class.

%d bloggers like this: