Hello all! After over a year long hiatus I will be publishing monthly studio newsletters again. This information will help you, the parent, guide your flutist into becoming the accomplished musician you imagined when they first told you they wanted to play.
Practice Motivation – Group Class
Last July I attended a Flute Institute in Alexandria, VA and completed my Book 6 certification. I had a wonderful time even though I missed my family who I had left behind for 8 whole days. Most of those days were spend with teacher trainers and trainees reviewing Suzuki method teaching techniques and working through the pieces found in Book 6. I was so inspired by focusing on my teaching practice with other dedicated flutists that I re-wrote lesson plans for all my students in the evenings. I couldn’t wait until I got home to put my new ideas into practice. Although, honestly, all that energy may have come from the sleep! I slept all the way through the night, eight nights in a row! The sleep was so good.
One of the things that I am fired up about this year is putting all of the Suzuki principles to work in my studio this year and that means setting up more opportunities for students to learn with other children.
In Suzuki group class we play through the graded repertoire together, which is really fun. When things are fun we want to do them. I know you want your kids. We bring music into their lives to enrich them and for all the cognitive benefits, but not for what can become a daily practicing battle. The biggest benefit of group class is that children want to play because it’s fun.
However, just group class is going to be fun doesn’t mean it’s not also going to be serious work. In group class we play through the Suzuki repertoire, repeating and reviewing fundamental skills (mastery through repetition). Older, advanced students play their current pieces in front of an adoring audience of peers, parents and younger students. (listening and observation). Younger students are exposed to advanced playing and future literature. When young people hear someone who is only a few years older playing beautifully the skill becomes tangible and attainable. The older students are going to go home and practice so that they play better at the next group class and the younger students are going to practice so they can play like the older student.
I am really excited about holding group classes twice a month. I’ve always held some group classes. We’ve had two or three group theory classes in preparation for the Musicianship Exams, performance practice groups with pianists before recitals and competitions, and a couple flute choir rehearsals. Starting October students will learning together and have the opportunity for more repetition, observation, listening and encouragement.
This is going to be really good for the students. It is going to take up some time in your weekly schedule. I am going to charge a little bit for each class to cover the rental fees and my time teaching and preparing. Give it a shot, commit to make them a part of your schedule and I think you’ll find them well worth it.
Saturday, October 29, 1pm at the Jewel Box Theater, Clark County Library
This is a new event for us. Performers will be playing in costume!
Saturday, November 19th, Beam Music Center, UNLV
Students will play a memorized compulsory piece selected from the Federation of Music Clubs Bulletin and a choice piece for which memorization is option. (But it’s encouraged!)