We are so excited to welcome everyone to the beginning of the school year! Whether your kids participated in music camp or a Suzuki Institute over the summer, or you are just getting back into the practicing routine, we are excited to be rolling into Fall and starting lessons and classes with all of you.
Our Faculty had a busy summer with a lot of news to share: Blythe got married in July in upstate NY, Sage had a baby boy, Elliott, at the end of July, and Jane got married at the beginning of September! We welcomed two new faculty members, Annelies Mast (violin) and Will Curry (violin and viola) to our family, and Meredith (violin and RSP) and Jeanette (cello) are both very busy performing and traveling and have taken time off from teaching with us this year. We are so grateful to have Emma Frucht (violin) and Clara Kim (violin) filling in during Sage’s maternity leave, along with Will Curry.
This year we will be sending out Instrumental Notes with practice ideas, pertinent articles or events, and other news that we hope will be interesting to our instrumental families.
Fall is about new beginnings and establishing a routine for listening and practicing. Some kids are in a new school with new expectations, and for all of us the start of the year is a great time to work on developing or tweaking a practice routine.
Here are a few pointers to start the year:
• Effective practice starts with clear lesson notes and short videos! Parents have many strategies for taking notes during the lesson and using them to shape daily practice. Some teachers use the last few minutes of the lesson to write out the practice expectations for a student, while other teachers expect you to be writing specific points and ways to practice throughout the lesson. Be sure that you know what method your teacher does, as it may shift as time goes on and be different from last year! It is ok to ask questions before the end of the lesson ( but please allow the next lesson to begin on time!).
• When planning practice times, don’t forget to consider breaking practicing into a few shorter blocks of time! You could even plan one block before school, so that there is less to fit in after school. For example, warm-up exercises or review pieces could happen in the morning, and detailed work on a new piece could happen before dinner, or vice versa. Listening could happen at dinner time, bedtime, on the way to school, or ALL OF THE ABOVE! (If you have never tried listening on repeat, it is pretty incredible!)
• Starting a 100 DAY CHART is very exciting and a great way to jump in to Fall head-first! The basic idea is that you must play something every day or you have to go back to day 1! (Full disclosure–this was the only way I got into a good routine with my son and finally made progress when he first started lessons at age 6 years!)
AND for those of you who are NEW PARENTS, working with your children for the first time, a huge welcome!! You are in for an immensely rewarding and challenging journey, and we have a 3-part series of classes this Fall just for you! We will discuss the Suzuki philosophy and talk about establishing a practicing routine and what to expect in the first year of lessons. Look for an email with further details coming your way soon!
VETERAN PARENTS, you know how much we all love sharing ideas and frustrations regarding working with our kids and helping them develop and grow musically over the years. I would love to have an evening get-together this Fall to support each other and share ideas! Date TBD!
All of us at Silver Music are looking forward to many beautiful moments working with your kids this year. The joy in seeing a child perform a solo piece with joy and confidence as well as seeing the exponential growth that many of our advancing students have made over the past year keeps us beaming with excitement and pride!
We thank you for the opportunity to work with you and with your wonderful children and wish you an energized start to the year!