Practicing Through the Holidays

Have you had a practicing break over the holidays and then regretted it later? Are you looking to find a way to maintain progress even though you have a few weeks off lessons? I’ve compiled a few tips here to help you plan for the holiday season. It can be difficult to practice through the holidays. Family is over, you are busy making preparations for a memorable holiday and routines are out the window. So what is a parent to do? Set Realistic GoalsTo set your goals, it’s time to pull out the calendar and decide what you want you …

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What is Review? …and why we do it

The Suzuki philosophy is unique in the way that it treats “old” pieces. Reviewing and revising our previously learned pieces helps make us better musicians and quicker learners. Here are some great things to keep in mind while doing review. Whether you are new the Suzuki philosophy or need a little refresh this is sure to give your review a clearer purpose. Review is for Mastery When we are playing things that are familiar and easy, we free up brain space to explore new elements of the piece. This can create a high level of mastery over many pieces. Not …

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Yawn: Musical Reads

Today we are reading Yawn by Sally Symes and Nick Sharratt. It’s a fun book with a great rhyme scheme, cute ending and tactile elements. Get the book here (affiliate link): Watch the video: I love this Musical Read because it has such a great rhyming lyrical nature. Each page ends with suspension of what the next page will be, making it one of the earliest page turners your child will have. I don’t have a song for it (yet) but keeping a steady beat while reading it makes this book feel musical. It is similar to how we read …

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How Reading Aloud Makes Us Better Parents… and our kids better musicians

You’ve been reading to your child since they were a tiny babies. Many of us spent hours and hours with a toddler on our laps reading books until they were fully memorized. But do we continue to read aloud when they are an independent reader? Reading together isn’t something we need to give up once they can read on their own. I believe that this connection we get through books can help make us better parents! Not only that, but sharing stories can help your child become a more expressive musician. Watch the video below: We don’t have to stop …

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What is a Review Chain?…and why it works!

Need a fun way to boost your review? Do your review pieces need a little more focus? A review chain is a low prep way to help give your practice a little help. Watch the video below to see how it works and why. (Make sure to subscribe to get notifications about future videos!) We are going to make a review chain. This is so simple and easy to do, but the key is know why this simple trick is so successful! Strips of Paper First we need to cut strips of paper. No need to make this fancy, just …

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Goal Setting

Setting goals can really make it so we are thinking about the future and what we want to accomplish with our playing. Having direction in what we learn often gives us enjoyment in our accomplishments. Successful goals breeds more success! Join me in a discussion about how to set goals and tools to make them successful.  

Mosaic Progress Trackers

A few days ago, I posted a picture to our Facebook page of the sticker mosaic we are using for counting practice days. Students get one sticker per practice day, and so far it seems to be a fun motivator. As they put the stickers up, a picture will start to reveal. Posting the picture prompted me to actually count how many squares there are. It’s 74 x 54. That’s 3,996 squares guys! So, I’ve changed my plan some since actually counting. Students will get one sticker for the first 4 days of practice. They’ll get 2 stickers for days …

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Farmyard Beat: Musical Read

Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown was an instant favorite for both my own children and for my studio. I love pulling this one out in my Suzuki Early Childhood classes because parents and children both love the experience of this book. The combination of the steady beat and the animal sounds make it especially fun. You could just read this book, but it’s even better as a musical read. Get the book here (affiliate link):