October is my FAVORITE month out of the whole year and it ends with my favorite holiday…Día De Los Muertos!!! I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this month.

October is a good time to honor our loved ones. Perhaps this month you can polish a song and gift it to a loved one. You can call or FaceTime family/friends that might live far away to play your song. You could make a video and send it off too. Perhaps you might organize a visit to a nursing home to play a few songs?

In the studio, I will have paper pumpkins for you to write a loved one’s name on, if you’d like to honor someone.

October is also a good time to let go of the things that no longer serve us. Have you cleaned out your music bag or instrument case in a while? Do you have old post-it notes and papers just hanging around? Do you have any practice habits or behaviors that can “die”? Do you need to let go of old strings or bows and purchase new ones?

Sight-Reading

A new sight reading page called “Pumpkin” has been posted to the Parents practice Guide Page. Let me know if you need the password.

Group class on 10/16

I need some help from parents for the next group class… Parents understand the value of review as a path towards mastery. Parents also understand the cyclical aspects of life and learning. Parents also understand the value of being prepared.

Children however, do not yet understand these concepts. We work very hard in our studio to help the children to prepare for their lessons and group class. So, the children don’t quite see the value in being prepared if they are always prepared! For the 10/16 group class, I will not cover any review pieces during the individual lesson. I will mention the pieces for the next class and answer any questions the child has about the review pieces (if they ask me directly). I will not cover anything more than that. I’m asking parents to not push, encourage or remind children about reviewing for group class. You can write the review pieces down for the children, remind them what the pieces are if they can’t read the list and give help IF they ASK for it. Essentially, I want the adults to remove themselves from the review practice until our next group class. The children will either not practice the pieces at all and we will have a terrible sounding group class (this is my hope, in which case they will better understand the value of review). Alternatively, some children may take it upon themselves to be more responsible for their own review practice.

I will continue to listen to graduation pieces even if they are on the next group class list. Parents are welcome to help children with their graduation pieces. I will also listen to review pieces for the purpose of technique review, but will choose very simple pieces that are not on the group list. Let’s continue working on Happy Squirrel.