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How to Organize a Solo Graduation Recital

  1. 6 months before: Check with Sensei to make sure you’re eligible for graduation.
  2. Choose a date and time at least 6 months from now. Consider skipping February (to avoid weather conflicts) and October/April due to our group graduation concerts. Many venues are full December and May- book VERY early if you want those months. Best months to book: September (unless you vacation in August), November, March, June.
  3. Book a venue with an ACOUSTIC PIANO. A private home of a family member or friend with an acoustic piano is suitable. If you belong to a church, this might be a good venue option.
    • Book your venue as soon as possible. Some venues book a year in advance!
    • Plan for at least 60 minutes. Remember to include time to set up and clean up in your venue reservation.
    • Work with the venue to find a suitable date and time. If the date you would like is not available always book for further out into the future!
    • Ask about fees to use the facility.
    • Will you be able to serve refreshments at this venue of you plan to do so? What are the fees for additional time or locations?
    • Ask how regular the piano is tuned.
    • If the piano needs to be tuned, inquire about cost of tuning. Piano needs to be tuned as close to your dress rehearsal/recital date as possible.
    • I’d be happy to recommend a piano tuning service. The venue likely has a preferred company.
  4. Book an accompanist as soon as you have a set concert date.
    • Make sure they are available for your recital date & time. You may want to consult with them before booking the venue to explore dates they might be available.
    • Provide the accompanist with the piano accompaniment sheet music complete with tempo, dynamic markings and reference recordings at the time you book them.
    • If you need recommendations let me know. Your pianist should be someone with at least an intermediate level of playing. Intermediate and advanced students will need advanced pianists. They should also be reliable to prepare their part, attend all rehearsals and the the recital.
  5. Book a rehearsal with Sensei, yourself and the pianist.
    • Rehearsal should be booked no less than one month prior to the recital date.
    • Rehearsal will take place at the studio. You may use your regular lesson time provided your accompanist is available.
    • You will need to pay your accompanist when you book the rehearsal or at the beginning of the rehearsal. This depends on their preference.
    • If your accompanist is not available during your lesson,we will need to arrange another time during my regular teaching schedule. There is an additional lesson fee of $25-$60 depending on the rehearsal length.
  6. Book a dress rehearsal date
    • The date should be in the same week or the day before the recital and ideally in the performance venue so your accompanist can familiarize themself with the piano.
    • Pay your accompanist for this rehearsal.
  7. Create a program
    • You will need to play all the pieces from your level to graduate. Decide how you will choose the order of pieces. Front to back of the book? Back to front? Randomly from a hat?
    • Will you have an intermission? Will you need a short break?
    • Will you create a paper program to hand out or will you announce each piece before tou play it? Paper programs should include that it’s a graduation recital, your name, the date, time, location. The pianists name. The pieces you’re playing, in the order you play them. A little biographical information about yourself and possibly an interesting fact or two about one of the pieces or composers on the program.
    • Will you serve refreshments? If so, what will they be? What will you need to serve them? Plates, spoons, cups, etc. Make a list of all the food you’ll need to buy.
    • Will there be a theme or will you decorate? Will you have flowers? Make a list of anything else you will need.
  8. Invite your guests
    • You can invite others as soon as you have officially booked your venue and accompanist.
    • Send invitations or make an event on social media early to endure an audience.
  9. Dedicate practice time to your recital pieces and attend all rehearsals.
    • Pieces need to be well polished and memorized for this recital. We will dedicate lesson time to prepare.
  10. Choose what you will wear and make sure it fits comfortably.
    • It’s a good idea to practice in your outfit to make sure it’s flexible enough that you can move. It’s also important that noting on your outfit, like a button, will cause any rattling or noise.
  11. Day of the recital
    • Gather everything you need an head to the venue early. Give you’re self enough time to set up, tune, warm up with out rushing.
    • Following the recital be sure to thank everyone for attending.

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In-Person Group Classes Resume 7/21

We are transitioning back to in-person lessons!

If you took a break from lessons due to the online only format, and would like to join us for in-person group class contact me. In- person Pre-Twinkle classes will resume September.

In-person individual lessons are on the way, however, due to renovations in the new studio location they are not offered just yet. I’ll post another announcement as soon and in-person individual classes are available. The projected date is sometime in August. The new studio just is 3 miles from the old studio!

We do have a COVID policy and signed forms are required to participate in our in-person format. Visit the COIVD POLICY page for more information.

We also have a new location for group classes: Westminster Church of the Brethren. Just one block away from the old studio!

suzuki21157@gmail.com

443.789.1648

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6.16.20 Group Class

Reminder: Turn in your A major & D major scale worksheets.

Print out the g major scale worksheet for the 6.16 group class:

Let’s have some fun this summer with duets! Hopefully, we can play them together when in-person lessons resume this summer!

#34 Fun & Frolic is the piece we will learn. Students in violin book 1 should learn the violin 1 part (top line). Students in violin books 2/3 should learn the violin 2 part (bottom line). I’m confident everyone can learn their part in 2 weeks. Please print this out and make sure you have it ready for your next lesson.

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This week & Spring Break

There has been a death in my family. This will not effect my Monday or Tuesday Zoom teaching schedule.

For Tuesday students who are posting video through hangouts, if possible, please try to post videos today (Monday). This will help me to finish recording and posting video around the virtual viewings and live zoom lessons. It will also help ensure that I have enough battery (and emotional bandwidth : D ) to get through the day on Tuesday.

I will not be available/online following the funeral Wednesday morning and into spring break- please make sure to get in touch today or tomorrow with pressing questions. Thank you.

No lessons will be held next week or the following week for Spring Break ( 3/29 -4/11). Lessons resume Monday, April 12th. This will also affect the group class schedule. Group classes will be held on 4/14 and 4/21.

Click here for the studio calendar: https://wsspractice.com/parent-education/calendar/

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Online Music Theory Classes are Now Available!

Study music theory online at Westminster Suzuki Strings!

Lessons are offered in a video format so you can work at your own pace.

  • Live teacher feed back is given on assignments.
  • Zoom meetings are available if you need extra help.
  • Classes are non-instrument specific.
  • Affordable tuition; monthly subscription or buy the whole class
  • Music theory 1, for absolute beginners with no experience is now available.
  • Suitable for students in grade 4 through adults
  • Current WSS students will have access to these video lessons in Suzuki Book 4, you don’t need to sign up for this additional class.

Click here to learn more or to register.

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Group Class 9/9/20

Please prepare the items from GROUP 1. Notice both pieces and technique lists. If you have not yet studied a piece on the list, please listen to it. I will ask students to take turns leading the pieces.

Part two of the class will be to watch the lesson video and take the quiz for ear training #3. Please complete the quiz by 9/23.

If you have not yet completed ear training quiz #2 from the 8/19 group class, do so by 9/9 and before quiz#3.

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Reminders & Updates

Last Call for Fall 2020 Registration

Today, Thursday 8/6/20 is the last day to register for fall quarter. All details can be found on the registration pages. If you are unable to return for fall quarter your last lesson will be the week of August 24th.


Fall Tuition is due by August 15th

Click on the links below for tuition fees and payment options.


TwinkleFest Update

Due to lack of interest/responses to the program vote, we will not hold a virtual TwinkleFest this year.


August 19th Group Class

The theme for the August 19th group class will be “An Evening at Carnegie Hall”. Choose a Suzuki piece that you can perform in a highly polished manner. You’ll perform this piece along with the piano accompaniment during the next group class. Let me know which piece you will play at your next lesson. Let’s dress up since it’s Carnegie Hall, after all! I will email a picture of the stage prior to the group class-join me in changing your zoom backgrounds to this picture to help create the mood!

To prepare for the class, watch the following videos to learn more about Carnegie Hall and Acoustics.

Don’t forget that all students need to take the ear training quiz before the next group class (in which we will move to more advanced ear training).


Moving to the next instrument size?

If you are sizing up per our discussion, don’t forget that we can’t sanitize stringed instruments without damaging them. For string instruments, the CDC guidelines are to let instruments sit, untouched for 3-5 days. That is, the Covid-19 virus can live up to 3-5 days on wood and metal surfaces. Plan accordingly around lessons.

If you’re curious about other instruments your families plays here are the guild lines for how long instruments should sit:

The NFHS, NAfME and the NAMM Foundation received information from the CDC which suggest the COVID-19 virus can remain on the following instrument surfaces for the stated amount of time:

  • Brass – Up to 5 Days
  • Wood – Up to 4 Days
  • Plastic – Up to 3 Days
  • Strings – Up to 3 Days
  • Cork – Up to 2 Days

Call the music store before you go to find out what their current plan is. Also, be sure that you are receiving an Eastman and that the bow hair is clean. This is also a good time to purchase new rosin or have fresh strings placed on the new instrument (the set of strings your larger instrument comes with are someone else’s old strings. Why change strings before you hand in an instrument? Check to make sure the instrument has the finger tapes you need. If not, contact me and I can mail tapes to you.

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Fall Registration is Now OPEN!

Fall lessons will be held online due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is on a first come, first served basis for live video chat lessons.

You may register for live video chat lessons via Google hangouts or Zoom. Alternatively, you may register to post recorded videos through google hangouts.

All current policies apply. No make-ups, credits or refunds for missed lessons. You are welcome post videos to google hangouts in place of the live lesson should you have a schedule conflict.

Full details are available on the registration pages.

Read the instructions for the live video chat lessons carefully. You will need to view my google calendar. However, you’ll need to select SEPTEMBER, to view fall availability as the calendar automatically displayed is August.

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News & Updates

STUDIO CLOSED: 7/27 -7/30

This is a friendly reminder that the studio is closed next week. You can view the studio calendar to see all upcoming closings and events.


FALL LESSON REGISTRATION OPENS AUGUST 3RD

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, lessons will be offered online.

Registration opens Monday, August 3rd and will be first come, first served for the video conferencing lesson schedule. You may opt to post video instead of scheduling video chat lessons.

Registration forms and instructions will be posted 8/3/20. Fall tuition is due by August 15th.

Fall quarter begins Thursday, September 3rd.


FITZROY BOYS ACCEPTED TO BYSO!

Brody and Rowan have been accepted into the Baltimore Youth Symphony Orchestra! Congratulations Brody and Rowan!


TWINKLEfest 2020 ?

It’s been a few years since we had a TwinkleFest. However, this fall, it might be possible to have a virtual TwinkleFest. With video editing magic, I can stitch together your videos to create one giant video of everyone playing “together”!

We’ll vote on a short program, then you’ll submit your videos by a deadline. I’ll work my magic and post our virtual TwinkleFest to youtube so that it can be shared with your friends and family. I’m hoping to release the final video by Mid-October (the usual TwinkleFest date).

More details to come. Step one is to vote!

Let’s begin voting on our favorite pieces. The deadline to vote is August 3rd.


What’s your news?

Do you have anything exciting you’d like to share with the studio? Let me know and I’ll add it to the next post!

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Happy Spring Break!

Due to the Covid-19 situation, I have made some changes to our schedule. Current studio families: check your email for more details.

— At this time, all Pre-Twinkle demo classes held at the library are canceled. As of now any pre-twinkle demo classes scheduled after April 15th will be held.

— All prospective family observations of group classes and individual lessons and meetings will be postponed until after April 15th.

— March 16th through March 19: Spring Break, no classes will be held this week.

—The March 18th group class will be moved to Wednesday, April 8th.

— Classses will be held April 6th- the 9th (originally spring break. We are essentailly exchanging the weeks).

I do have a plan in place for the week of March 23rd. However, as the situation may change, I will hold off on those announcements to avoid confusion. Let’s take things week by week.

While I would like to run classes this week (to keep some sort of normalcy for the children) I think it would be best to move up our spring break. While there is still no need to panic, holding spring break now will help to reduce the spread of the virus; allow us some time to see how things unfold; and allow studio families schedule flexibility, if needed, to make work/child care arrangements for the next two weeks.


Taking a break this coming week will allow everyone to take a collective breath and practice some self care. Stress absolutely effects the immune system and during this high stress time, if you don’t practice some self care you might stress yourself right into the cold or flu…if you don’t catch coved-19. Over the break, make it your priority to reduce stress and stay healthy. During our breaks I do not expect students to practice. However, at this time playing may provide some comfort and distraction. Just keep things light and fun— don’t add more stress to your family life.


I’ve seen some stressed out kiddos as this situation has unfolded over the last couple of weeks. If parents panic, children panic. The CDC has some information on how to talk to children about this situation if you feel you need some ideas: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html


Again, be sure to get your information from reliable sources such as the CDC and the WHO.

…perhaps some chocolate chip cookies are in order as part of your self care spring break plan? Here is my recipe… It makes about 2.5 dozen. Just double the recipe if you need more. We are a plant based family that eats eggs,so I use vegan butter. But I think this recipe should work out just fine with regular butter.


Mrs. Glenda’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1vcup plus two tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (omit if you want).



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, sugars and vanilla. Add in the egg and mix well. Add in the dry ingredients, mix well. Last add the chocolate and chopped nuts. Bake about 8-10 minutes.

Take care and stay safe!

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Violin/Bow Parts Quizzes Available

I have added pre-twinkle through advanced level violin/bow parts quizzes to the quiz page. Feel free to use these as tools for home practice. You may repeat the quiz multiple times, if you like.

For future reference, the quiz page can be found under the full program tab on the man website menu. Pre-twinkle/twinkle students also have a quiz page under their tab.

Pre-Twinkle & Twinkle level Quizzes

Book 1+ quizzes (I include pre-twinkle/Twinkle quizzes for review on this page).

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The studio is closed.

The studio is closed 1/7/20 due to the weather.

If you feel like you need something to do....here are some snow day quizzes! Feel free to take the quiz as many times as it takes to get 100%.

You can also checkout the playlist I created for students on our studio YouTube channel. You’ll find some interesting violin and music related videos.

Stay warm and be safe! See you at group class on Wednesday. 🎻

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Snow day- studio is closed

The studio will be closed today 12/16/19 due to the weather.

If you feel like you need something to do….here are some snow day quizzes! Feel free to take the quiz as many times as it takes to get 100%.

The following quizzes cover musical terms and bow flavors for various levels. Even if you’ve graduated a level, you might find tema you haven’t learned yet. Start with the pre-twinkle level and work your way up. These quizzes cover what you’ll know by the end of these units.

You can also checkout the playlist I created for students on our studio YouTube channel.

Stay warm and safe!!💜

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$5 Community Group Class Meets Tonight !!!

Join us tonight for our suzuki violin group class! This class is open to the community, so bring a violin friend or share this post!

Children will meet to play through the suzuki violin repertoire starting with the Twinkle variations and moving up to more advanced pieces. Memorization of pieces is not required, but highly recommended. Please bring a music stand if you plan to read from your book. Parents of elementary aged children are required to attend the class.

Cost: $5 cash per child at the door. Current studio families may also pay by check. Square payment also accepted.

Time: 6:30-8pm? Class starts at 6:30pm and goes until students run out of pieces to play-class could end before 8pm depending on the level of students in attendance. Children are free to go home after they have run out of repertoire to play. Students are also welcome to stay and observe as long as they’d like.

Register: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/1zENJZcG6zj2Oys2Nhy9XzfVr1my2j3XpDSwYuQ2IT24/edit

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Upcoming Events

Register now for our upcoming studio events! Events are open to the community so tell a friend or email this to your school music teachers.

Free Pre-Twinkle Demo Classes

Ages 2-7. Click the links below to register.

$5 Community Suzuki Violin Group Class

Ages 5-17. Open to the community. A play through of the Suzuki violin repertoire from Twinkles and up. Click the links below to register.

$13-$17 Winter Workshop: Instrument Care 1/29/20 6:30pm

Learn how to care for your instrument during the winter months. Each student will go home with an instrument humidifier. We will also polish our instruments. Violin friends: $13. Cello friends $17. The last day to register is 1/15/20. Current studio families can avoid square payment processing fees by paying in cash/check by January 2nd.

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Winter 2019 Newsletter

I must confess that I actually like winter…….if I get to stay inside!! It’s not all bad though. Being trapped indoors equals more time to practice our instruments and to make music!

Winter quarter begins the week of December 2nd.


Winter Polices

Illness

If you are sick, please avoid the studio as an act of kindness towards our community and to yourself. Stay home and rest.

Weather

  • If CCPS schools are closed, the studio will be closed.
  • If schools are closing early and/or afterschool activities are canceled, the studio will be closed.
  • If schools are opening with a delay, lessons will be held as usual.
  • Cancellation notices will be posted on the studio website on the news page.
  • Lessons canceled due to weather will not be made-up/refunded/ credited.

Winter Goals

For winter, all three members of the suzuki triangle (Child, parent and teacher) will be involved in goal setting. We will each contribute one goal to the list. My goal will center around technique or behavior during the lesson. I would be happy to help parents and students form goals. Let’s make sure we have our final goals set by the first lesson in December.


Winter Group Class

Over winter quarter book 1+ students will practice solo performances. At the first group class of each month students will perform a prepared solo piece with piano accompaniment. Performances will be highly polished and energetic. In short, our focus is on serious wood shedding practice and high quality performance. 6:45 pm group friends are welcome to arrive at 6:30 pm to watch the early Group performances.

The group class schedule can be found on the studio website calendar page. Please keep in mind that January’s group schedule is a little different due to the holiday break. We will meet 1/8 and 1/22 (the second and fourth Wednesday instead of the 1st and 3rd).

Pre-Twinkle students are welcome to observe the performances. Performances of more advanced students can be quite motivating. Dates: 12/4/19; 1/8/20; 2/5/20. 6:30pm.


Snowflakes

Click here to watch this throwback to 2014!

Twinkle level students and up will play Snowflakes, Mist, Wind and Moon as our combined group piece this quarter.

Click here for sheet music.


$5 Community Suzuki Violin Group Class

If you love group so much you wish you could have a class every week, here is your chance! December 11th. 6:30-8pm. Your school orchestra friends are welcome. You can read all the details here.


$13 Winter Workshop: Instrument Care

January 29th 2020. 6:30-8:30pm.

Cost: $13. Payment due at time of registration via Square.

Violin and Cello students will learn the basics of caring for their instruments during the winter months! We will learn about humidifiers and each student will get to take home a case humidifier. We will also learn how to polish our instruments.

Click here to register


Upcoming Concerts

Attending concerts can be highly motivating! I will now add upcoming concerts to the studio calendar. Information and links will be posted in the event description.

The first concert listed is a BSO Family Concert on Saturday 12/7/19. The Snowman. Visit the studio calendar for more information.

Be transported to a winter wonderland in this enchanting story of a young boy’s magical friendship with a snowman which comes to life and takes him on a trip to the North Pole. The animated film projected with live music performed by the BSO is sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

Studio families might be able to organize a group for cheaper tickets.


Holiday Sheet Music

If you are looking for some holiday sheet music check out the links below. For future reference, we do have a materials section on the website to help you find more things like this.

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November 2019

November marks the last month of Fall Quarter.

The 11/6 group class is out last change to play Happy Squirrel with piano accompaniment. Please come to group class prepared for a good performance.

Don’t forget that at group class on 11/20, we will share the stories that you have been working on. Don’t forget that your performance of the story should include lots of emotion and dynamics. If you need me to read the story for you, let’s practice it in a lesson before hand.

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$5 Community Suzuki Group Violin Class

Starting this December, I am offering a monthly $5 Community Suzuki Violin Class! First class is December 11th 2019.

Every second Wednesday of the month, I will hold a Community Group Violin class.

We will play from the Suzuki Violin Books. Memorization of pieces is encouraged but not required. If you bring a Suzuki book to read from please bring a music stand.

At 6:30 pm we play through the Suzuki Violin repertoire starting with violin book 1 (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Theme and Variations) and work our way through higher books. Families are asked to stay for TWO pieces after the child has run out of pieces before going home. You may however stay until 8pm. Class ends at 8pm or when the last child remaining has played all the pieces they know, whichever comes first.

Parents are required to attend the class for children of elementary school age. Middle/high school aged children who are dropped off should be picked up promptly at 8pm. Emergency contact information is required for children who will be dropped off.

Cost: $5 CASH per child. Fee will be waived for child if parent/family member can provide piano accompaniment for a portion of the class. An upright piano is provided in the studio. Audition required for our Community Group Pianists.

When you arrive, tune your violin or ask for help. Visit the bathroom and wash your hands. Add $5 to the cash box.

If you are a current student of Westminster Suzuki Strings, your tuition does not include community group classes.

If Carroll County Public Schools are closed or after school activities are canceled due to weather, our Community Group class will also be canceled.

What if 6:30 pm is too early for your schedule? No Problem! Children are welcome to join in after 6:30pm. However, arriving late is not advised for children in Suzuki book 1.

An after school session will be offered from 4 — 5:30pm pending community interest. Please contacted me if interested in the after school session.

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Pre-Twinkle Winter Registration is Now Open!

You may register for Pre-Twinkle Violin classes by clicking on the link below. Register by 8 pm Thursday, November 7th. The schedule and final tuition fees will be emailed on Friday, November 8th. Tuition payment due by Thursday, November 14th. Classes begin the first week of December.

Click this link to register

Please email me with any questions.

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October 2019

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.

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Reminders & Fall Fest Parking

Piggy Review

Please start working on your Piggy Review worksheets today or tomorrow. Be sure to work through all pieces on the list that you can play BEFORE your lesson next week (starting 9/23). Bring your piggy review worksheets to your next lesson.


Fall Fest

Next week is Fall Fest therefore, parking will be limited. Please allow for extra time to find parking. The event opens around 6 pm.
Parking available along Main Street, the Longwell garage, the lot behind Coffeys, along the perimeter of the city park, Willis Street, The lot next to O’ Lordans ,the garage next to O’Lordans, Liberty Street, Green Street and in the free lot above the park-across from the police station. Check out this map of parking for Downtown Westminster: https://www.westminstermd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/191/downtown_parking_map?bidId=
If you feel your child is old enough/responsible enough to be dropped off and find their way upstairs to the studio: You can drop them off at the back door (parking lot door at coffeys) with instructions to come straight to the studio. We will get started without your while you park. This maybe a good option if you find yourself running late. We will see you at the lesson when you get there, if you drop and park 🙂

Click here for more information regarding fall fest:http://www.westminsterfallfest.com/events/

Thursday’s Parade and Main Street Closure

The parade occurs on Thursday at 7 pm. Main Street will be closed from roughly center street to Pennsylvania ave. You will need to plan an alternative route if you usually come down Main Street. Depending on your location, you might want to try 140 >Center Street> Right on Willis St> Right on Longwell Ave and that will put you at the free lot or in the area to find a spot without getting on Main Street.


Please come prepared to show me the progress you’ve made with your story in lessons this week (9/23-9/26). I would like everyone to have a general idea of what they will do so that we can begin working on the stories throughout October.


Suzuki Pieces And Emotions

While playing though your pieces over the next two weeks, begin to categorize the pieces into emotions. For the story portion of the next group class, you’ll have to come up with a suzuki piece rather than a sound effect.

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September 2019

September is a good time to acknowledge our accomplishments.

During the month of September, we will honor each child’s accomplishments big and small! When a child reaches a goal, completes a task, or shows mastery of a soft skill they will add a paper leaf to the studio wall. How many leaves can we put up this month? How fast will our walls match the trees outside?


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 e 8/23 for the 9/6 class and 9/11 for the 9/25 class.




TWO Doughnut Days !?

This year we have an opportunity for two doughnut days!!! Rather than use doughnut day to focus on improving bow holds (which look mighty fine 🥳) we will use it to focus on life skills. To be invited to doughnut day, be sure to wash your hands before lessons and stay home to rest when you are sick. Doughnut day will fall on a non-group Wednesday at 6:30 pm. The exact date is TBD. We will eat doughnuts and play our favorite group class games like hide the monster, conductor, distractions and what not to do.

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Register for our pre-twinkle demo today!

Pre-Twinkle Demo at the Westminster Branch Library

Registration is now open for the Friday, September 6th 10am class. Register on the library website. Registration ends on 9/5. Feel free to share this with your friends!

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.

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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.


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Scrub-a-dub!

With fall quarter just around the corner, it’s time to get back into the habit making sure our hands are clean before lessons.

Washing your hands before your lesson is a small act of kindness to yourself and to our studio community. Let’s do our best to help keep everyone healthy.

As hand washing is far more effective than hand sanitizer, you won’t see hand sanitizer at the studio this year (except for myself of course to use between each lesson). You’ll need to stop by the restroom on the way in and give your hands a good scrub. Please prepare to arrive a few minutes early to wash up before your lesson begins. Otherwise, you’ll need to spend the first five minutes of your lesson washing your hands.

Did you know that twinkle theme is just the right length of time for hand washing? Try singing it while washing your hands! Choose a different variation each week 😉

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Fall 2019 Registration is now open

You can find the link to the registration form by clicking here.

Forms are due by Wednesday, 8/7.


Don’t forget to prepare for group class next Wednesday. As always, if you are not able to attend class let me know before hand.

Reminder: Parents should not have conversations with each other during group class. It is disruptive, disrespectful and I personally find it distracting. The best time to have conversations is before or after the class.

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Week of 7/22/19:

Schedule Reminders

No lessons on Monday, July 22 or Tuesday, July 23 due to summer break. For further questions regarding the schedule visit the studio calendar.


Group Class

You can start thinking about review pieces for our next group class. Remember, the goal is to polish your pieces so they can easily fit into the technique category by your next lesson. The idea with playing review pieces in the lesson is so that 1) I can help you with just the trouble spots and 2) so that we can use the pieces to build on your technique. It’s normal for the highest piece you know to fall into the “group review” category but the rest of the pieces you should be able to polish up. Don’t forget to listen to your suzuki recordings and use your book for review help.

For the 8/7 group class, prepare group list number 3.

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Week of 6/24/19

Schedule Reminders

The studio is closed this week. No lessons 6/24, 6/25. See you in July!


Group Class

At lessons this week, we divided your pieces into the three types of review categories. Please prepare your pieces accordingly and bring questions to your lessons in July. We are working from the group 2 list.


Shout-out!

Do you have exciting news to share? Have you performed recently or won an audition? Graduated a book or a piece? Do you have a birthday coming up? If you‘d like me to post your news here, let me know! If you have any accompanying videos or pictures please email them.


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Week of 6/17/19

Summer Goals

Our focus for this summer is to better understand the review process. Why do we review, what do we review and how can we stay organized? I have placed the “What is review?” document in your suzuki books. Please read this information so that we are on the same page when it comes to my expectations. I have also included the “Am I Ready…” document in your Suzuki books. This document outlines what I’m looking for in terms of starting, completing and graduating pieces. I hope this information better outlines our goals!


Try my idea!

To keep the three types of review straight, try organizing your lesson notes this way…

  • Make a column for each type of review.
    • If you aren’t currently graduating a book, leave out the graduation column. To keep things simple, we work from the list of pieces we will play at the next group class.
  • At the lesson, I divide the group repertoire pieces into the three types of review categories. See the “What is Review?” document for more details.
    • It’s helpful to write down what the focus of each piece is; this is your goal for practice. The focus is the same for all pieces in the Technique column while the focus will vary for the Group and Graduation columns.

Technique Review: Pieces that are mastered and automatic, allowing the focus to be on technique rather than fingers, bow directions, etc. Ideally, the majority of your pieces should fall in this category if you have kept up with review at home.

Group Review: Pieces that need polishing so you can keep up with the group. It takes only one student to be out of tune for the whole group to sound out of tune! Pieces placed in this category indicate that we have some serious work to do if we’d like to contribute positively to the group class. If you work out the group review pieces so they are automatic before group/lesson they can move to the technique category. If you are working towards graduation and the technique is fine, move the piece to the graduation category. If the majority of your pieces fall into the group category, you need to find time to review daily.

Graduation Review: This only applies to students who have completed all pieces in a book and are demonstrating their mastery of the skills learned. Essentially, you audition for the next book. Again, we choose pieces on the group repertoire list to keep it simple. In order to graduate a piece, it has to be highly polished with no mistakes, no technique issues and can be played with accompaniment. We work the piece up to performance quality. See the “Am I ready?” document for more details.


Schedule Reminders


Doodle Dots

Doodle Dots has been posted on the Parents Practice Guide Page. You can also find the all of our “extra” sheet music in the Supplemental Repertoire folder within the parents practice guide. The password was changed two weeks ago, email me if you need the new password. I would be happy to spend time on this piece in your individual lessons, provided all other assignments are completed.


Group Class

It’s never to early to start working on the next set of group class pieces. A suggested method; start with the piece that gives you the most trouble since you’ll have more time to work on it. You’ll also have a chance to ask me questions at a lesson before group. Click here for the repertoire list.


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Week of 6/10…

We will play pieces from the group 4 list at the 6/12 group class. Prepare your pieces before the class.

Our focus for the summer will be review. What is it, how do you do it and how do you stay organized? Please come to your lessons with your questions about review.

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Next week…

 Summer quarter begins Monday, June 3rd.  Please remember that we have a new group class schedule for summer.

The password for the Book 1 Parent Practice Guides has changed. Please email me if you’d like the new password. 

We will play pieces from the group 1 repertoire list.

Following group class, please work on the pieces from the group 4 list for next weeks class on 6/12. 

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Announcements & Reminders

Tomorrow, May 7th is the last day to complete the summer quarter registration form. The form will stop accepting responses at 8pm so that I have time to put the schedule together. 😸The summer quarter schedule will be announced 5/8. Payment due by Tuesday 5/14. Checks deposited on 5/15.

Group class on Wednesday, May 8th.

  • Bring the rainbow rhythm packets to class. We will have our final quiz.
  • Children will perform the solo pieces they’ve been working on all spring.
  • Parents of book 2+ students: please attend the class so that we have an audience. Come celebrate your child’s accomplishments with us! 🥳
  • Let’s keep cellphone use to video/photos of your child’s performance. Be present during the performance, the children are aware of when you are unaware.

To keep the website organized and clean looking, the calendar page has be moved to the “current families” tab. Any pages that are helpful to current students are found under “current families”. The news tab will still be accessible from the main menu for quick reference.

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Summer Registration is now OPEN

Please complete the registration form by Tuesday, May 7th by 8pm.

The summer schedule will be posted on Wednesday, May 8th.

Tuition is due by Thursday, May 14th. Checks to be deposited on May 15th.

Moving forward… Registration forms will no longer be emailed. Registration forms are posted on the website under the “current families” section. Reminders regarding registration will be posted here, on the new page. Dates for the registration periods are marked on the studio website calendar and the registration page.

Click here to register

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Piano Accompaniment Subscription Website

If the Anytune app is not supported on your device, check out this website…

It’s a subscription service that allows you you play along with the piano accompaniments. You can change the speed from 40 to 208 BMP without pitch distortion just like Anytune. You can also create practice loops. The accompaniment parts are real piano recordings, not midi files. The complete suzuki repertoire is available! This will not take place of your regular recordings and there is no recording with violin/cello; piano part only. Recordings are made by professional pianist so you don’t have to worry about picking up bad habbits that you might get from YouTube. https://suzuki.accompanymusic.com

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Schedule oops!

EDIT: The schedule reminder for next week had the incorrect schedule. There are no lessons on Tuesday 2/19 or Thursday 2/21 as indicated on the studio website calendar and the physical calendar in the studio. I did not make the correct edits by adding “no” after the copy and paste. I apologize for any confusion. The correct schedule is now pictured below:

Zoom Audio Settings

Hi everyone! Before your next group class or lesson, please adjust the audio settings as follows in Zoom. Thank you!

Zoom audio settings

We need to adjust the settings in Zoom to make the audio work better for what we are doing.

Go into the settings then to:

Audio settings:
– Microphone – Turn off ‘Automatically adjust volume’

Advanced audio settings:
– Tick ‘Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone’
– Disable ‘Suppress Persistent Background Noise’
– Disable ‘Suppress Intermittent Background Noise’