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post #281 of 459
Thread Starter 
HotMama -
About switching to cello, I think that's a pretty tough call. For kids who have trouble with focus, switching up instruments might be almost reflexive. My own thinking is that sticking with one instrument, even through the darker periods, will provide the most "gain" in terms of competency, appreciation and character. But I know there are many paths and perspectives. Perhaps cello is indeed the instrument for her. Perhaps for her particular personality the music exposure she would gain the most from is broad rather than narrow. I suppose the decision probably hinges on what your goals are as a parent in providing her with lessons. Maybe some other articulate mamas and mama teachers will chime in with sage advice.

Dd's now working on Martini Gavotte and I want to get it off my chest that this piece is driving me absolutely nuts. This is precisely the kind of piece that makes me want to shove a pick in my ear for relief. I'm hoping we get through it fast. I think I'll ask the teacher to please try to include the third position to help it become more interesting. Is this piece played at institutes much or is it passed over? I'm looking for relief but I turn the page and here comes Minuet 3...again. Help!

I have a question about the summer music camp at Interlochen. I was there in the early '80s over one summer. And my best recollection is that it was 8 weeks long. I started feeling pretty nostalgic about it and went looking at their website for information. From what I can tell they don't offer 8 week programs anymore. The time I spent there was an amazing, singular experience for me that I was hoping to eventually provide for my daughter. I feel kind of disappointed to think that I might save and save and save and save up for it for years just for it to be over so quickly. What happened to the 8-week program? Anyone know? Anyone here either go or send their kids?
post #282 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post

Dd's now working on Martini Gavotte and I want to get it off my chest that this piece is driving me absolutely nuts. This is precisely the kind of piece that makes me want to shove a pick in my ear for relief. I'm hoping we get through it fast. I think I'll ask the teacher to please try to include the third position to help it become more interesting. Is this piece played at institutes much or is it passed over? I'm looking for relief but I turn the page and here comes Minuet 3...again. Help!
Sorry to say, they worked on Martini a TON in my daughter's C class at Stevens Point this summer. That piece drove me nuts too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post

I have a question about the summer music camp at Interlochen. I was there in the early '80s over one summer. And my best recollection is that it was 8 weeks long. I started feeling pretty nostalgic about it and went looking at their website for information. From what I can tell they don't offer 8 week programs anymore. The time I spent there was an amazing, singular experience for me that I was hoping to eventually provide for my daughter. I feel kind of disappointed to think that I might save and save and save and save up for it for years just for it to be over so quickly. What happened to the 8-week program? Anyone know? Anyone here either go or send their kids?
I was at Interlochen in the early '80s too! Loved that place. Loved loved LOVED it! Yes, it was 8 weeks long, and it isn't any more. The whole camp season now is only 6 weeks long and they have it divided (I believe) into 3-week sessions. I have no idea how they manage to do Shakespeare and musicals any more. I have also heard that the general quality of the program has gone down since our day. I hope that's not true. If anyone has been there recently I'd love to hear about it.
post #283 of 459
Hi! I didn't know this tribe existed. I originally posted my question in the learning at home forum, but was guided here.

How old should the child be to begin cello instruction, and exactly what kind of commitment would be needed from the parent? Doesn't Suzuki require a lot of parent involvement? I have 14 month old twins and I would love to be involved, but I have to be realistic. What is the difference between Suzuki and traditional?

Thanks!
Jamie
post #284 of 459
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juuulie View Post
Sorry to say, they worked on Martini a TON in my daughter's C class at Stevens Point this summer. That piece drove me nuts too.



I was at Interlochen in the early '80s too! Loved that place. Loved loved LOVED it! Yes, it was 8 weeks long, and it isn't any more. The whole camp season now is only 6 weeks long and they have it divided (I believe) into 3-week sessions. I have no idea how they manage to do Shakespeare and musicals any more. I have also heard that the general quality of the program has gone down since our day. I hope that's not true. If anyone has been there recently I'd love to hear about it.
Hail! Hail to old Interlochen. Land of the stately pine.....

How old were you? I was there in 1981 and I wore dark blue stockings. Cabin 8. I remember the arts I was exposed to - oh my word! Plays. Musicals. Jazz and Blues. Something impressive to see darn near every night, all the whole dang summer long. Bloody Fridays - I wonder if they still do those. I loved them. The drama! A couple of us stayed in touch through HS. And one of us ended up at the Arts Academy there. Sigh. Please - anyone with the lowdown care to update us? I'd love to hear from someone who has been there recently.

So sorry to hear about the Martini. I wonder why. It seems like an endless series of repetition and variation. I can see just a little opportunity for vibrato, and some shifting. And of course there's always good tone. Maybe it's like another twinkle where your mind doesn't have to work so then you can open yourself to new technique? Oh, and what's the scoop on the mordents? I heard a rumor that they're being dropped. ¿Verdad?
post #285 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan's mama View Post
Hi! I didn't know this tribe existed. I originally posted my question in the learning at home forum, but was guided here.

How old should the child be to begin cello instruction, and exactly what kind of commitment would be needed from the parent? Doesn't Suzuki require a lot of parent involvement? I have 14 month old twins and I would love to be involved, but I have to be realistic. What is the difference between Suzuki and traditional?

Thanks!
Jamie
I have an unschooled son taking Suzuki violin (he's 10). I'm not sure
how small the smallest cellos are, but I know our violin teacher has 3 and 4 year old students. I imagine some children aren't quite ready at 3 but
are at 4, so I wouldstart lessons around that age,
assuming there are cellos to accommodate such little youngsters.

I think you should read some books about the Suzuki method...there seem
to be a ton of them. I borrowed the ones I read from my son's violin
teacher and don't recall the names, but imagine anything written BY
Shinichi Suzuki would be good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_method

Parental involvement would include a 30 or 45 minute solo lesson for each
child once a week and you would need to be right there with your child,
paying attention. I don't think your teacher would do a dual lesson for
that, but who knows. There would also most likely be a weekly group
class, perhaps a 30 minute class. On top of that, your children will be
practicing every day for say 30 minutes. Of course, that time will go up as
they progress but it will also be an individual number, I assume. I'm sure
you could manage just fine having your two children practicing together,
with you there. Yes, you would need to be there, guiding and assisting
with your children's practice every time, 7 days a week. Chances are, you
will need a good CD player/stereo that you can switch between tracks on
as your children practices.

You also need to play the Suzuki CD (a recorded version of all the songs in book 1, for starters) each day at some point. It's a good thing to have on in your car, around the house, perhaps playing around bedtime, etc. The more familiar your child is with the music, the easier it will be for them to master the pieces.

Good luck.
post #286 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan's mama View Post
Hi! I didn't know this tribe existed. I originally posted my question in the learning at home forum, but was guided here.

How old should the child be to begin cello instruction, and exactly what kind of commitment would be needed from the parent? Doesn't Suzuki require a lot of parent involvement? I have 14 month old twins and I would love to be involved, but I have to be realistic. What is the difference between Suzuki and traditional?

Thanks!
Jamie
Oh, I should clarify; the lessons would be for my 5 1/2 year old dd. I'm wondering if Suzuki would be too much for me to keep up with b/c I also have 14 month old twins.
post #287 of 459
We have multiple children. Our eldest does Suzuki violin. I accompany the group on piano at some of the group classes. It is a team parenting effort--if I have all the kids it is much, much more difficult to do her lesson, although she now has 60 min lessons. When dd1 was very small and starting out, I was able to leave my 18 month old LO with a neighbor for her lesson time each week. I didn't do anything at the group classes at that time.

It is a big emotional commitment; very good for you and her, but I was ready to quit about 599 times before 6 mos. But 6 mos. things were much better. Then again a couple of years later. The last couple of years have been very good. She's taking responsibility for her own stuff. I even have to just "back off" and let her do her own thing with reminders about practice and stuff. She disappears for her practice now... She was 3; might have been better to start her when she was 4 or 5, but she was SO insistent...
post #288 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
How old were you? I was there in 1981 and I wore dark blue stockings. Cabin 8. I remember the arts I was exposed to - oh my word! Plays. Musicals. Jazz and Blues. Something impressive to see darn near every night, all the whole dang summer long.
Maybe there's other programs that are very good?

I remember WANTING to go to Interlochen, but I wasn't musically good enough on any specific instrument. But I drooled over the brochures my band director had in his office. Not that we had any money for it either ...
post #289 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post

Hail! Hail to old Interlochen. Land of the stately pine.....
Where stalwart hands and loyal ever greet you, faithful to auld lang syne...

Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post

How old were you? I was there in 1981 and I wore dark blue stockings. Cabin 8. I remember the arts I was exposed to - oh my word! Plays. Musicals. Jazz and Blues. Something impressive to see darn near every night, all the whole dang summer long. Bloody Fridays - I wonder if they still do those. I loved them. The drama! A couple of us stayed in touch through HS. And one of us ended up at the Arts Academy there. Sigh. Please - anyone with the lowdown care to update us? I'd love to hear from someone who has been there recently.
So you must have been a Junior if you were wearing dark blue, unless you were in college? I was in Intermediates (red socks) in 1980-81 and High School (light blue) in '82. I loved Bloody Fridays too. Oh, the adrenaline rush! And new orchestra music every week, woo hoo!! I'd rather sightread than polish, any day. I still can't hear Les Preludes without tearing up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post

So sorry to hear about the Martini. I wonder why. It seems like an endless series of repetition and variation. I can see just a little opportunity for vibrato, and some shifting. And of course there's always good tone. Maybe it's like another twinkle where your mind doesn't have to work so then you can open yourself to new technique? Oh, and what's the scoop on the mordents? I heard a rumor that they're being dropped. ¿Verdad?
Yeah, except that your mind DOES have to work -- at remembering which section comes next. Actually, we seem to be using Martini mainly for spiccato. We've never done any shifting in it, maybe because we never bothered to "upgrade" to the revised edition. (We didn't shift in Humoresque either.) There aren't any mordents in our old book, either. Are you referring to the Minuet?
post #290 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post

I think you should read some books about the Suzuki method... there seem to be a ton of them. I borrowed the ones I read from my son's violin teacher and don't recall the names, but imagine anything written BY Shinichi Suzuki would be good.
I highly recommend Helping Parents Practice by Ed Sprunger. It really gives a fantastic overview of what the Suzuki philosophy is all about, in addition to the more specific stuff about practicing techniques. I re-read it two or three times a year and I always find something new and inspiring in it.
post #291 of 459
So what do you do when it all falls apart? I'm so frustrated with our practicing right now, and I really am at my wits end.

Some background: I'm a Suzuki violin teacher, and my dd is 7 and has been playing for 4 years. We're currently in the middle of book 4- Seitz 3. She's working with a very demanding teacher who both my daughter and I love, who is very picky. We have hour long lessons, 1 1/2 hour groups twice a month and we're expected to practice 1 1/2 hrs a day.

Abby normally works really hard. We made some phenomenal progress over the summer, our practices were mostly pleasant. Now everything is falling apart. There's a couple of reasons that I see-

1- We recently went from a 1/8th to a 1/4, changing shoulder rests along the way. Her position is all weird now, and she's really struggling with basic things like bowing straight.

2-She started school a few weeks ago, which necessitates morning practice. Since I teach in the afternoons, morning is the only time for practice. She is morning person, and is regularly up before 6, so I don't think the early practice is the problem. I do think she's distracted about school though. In the summer, she knew she couldn't go out to play until the practicing was done.

3-I think the whole "Mom is also a teacher" dynamic isn't working very well. I'm pretty darn picky, and I may be pressuring her with that other parents might not pick up on.

4- She's frustrated with the work involved in polishing. She's perfectly content to slop through everything. She's at the stage where she has to care about what she's playing. I can't make her play with good dynamics, vibrato etc, and she gets really frustrated when I bring it up.

So our practicing has been horrible the past week or so. I actually had to leave the room this morning and have her finish by herself because I was having such a hard time controlling myself. Quitting is not an option, (although I was wishing today that it was! We would save a lot of money and a lot of time!) because she's too talented, and she loves the results. She likes lessons, group classes, performing, etc.

I guess I need a reminder that we'll get through this- that we won't always hate practicing. I emailed her teacher and gave her a heads up, and she was super understanding. She mentioned that we may need to back off a little while, and let her have more responsibility for herself.

Anyone btdt and have magic advice? Bekka? Miranda? I keep wondering what I would tell a parent in this situation in my studio, and I just don't know! (Plus, even my most advanced students aren't practicing an hour and a half a day!)
post #292 of 459
Thanks for the heads-up on cello. We're doing better, I'm adding more fun into practice which is helping tons. We'll switch to cello around fourth grade, when they start strings at school, unless something major shifts.

Thanks for the practice ideas folks have shared...we're wandering minstrels, traveling the world on Fridays, and pulling "easter" eggs for songs to play on Mondays (with a ch. chip or two for those pieces driving her nuts), and I'll probably add a few game boards to the mix soon. We're also doing review songs (easy breezy ones) in the morning while I put breakfast on, and doing the rest of practice after school.
post #293 of 459
Holy moly...an hour and a half a day before school! That would send me over the edge, and my 7 yr old dd would throw the violin out the window. We just switched practices to after school, which isn't ideal, but we are doing 1st grade which starts on time and dd isn't a morning person. We've had a really rough late Summer, but tonight when we were doing our family meeting, she thanked me for helping her learn violin...there are many rough periods for us, and then there's the not so rough periods. I do know that when I let up on my hopes for her, we both have more fun ; )
post #294 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
HotMama -

I have a question about the summer music camp at Interlochen. I was there in the early '80s over one summer. And my best recollection is that it was 8 weeks long. I started feeling pretty nostalgic about it and went looking at their website for information. From what I can tell they don't offer 8 week programs anymore. The time I spent there was an amazing, singular experience for me that I was hoping to eventually provide for my daughter. I feel kind of disappointed to think that I might save and save and save and save up for it for years just for it to be over so quickly. What happened to the 8-week program? Anyone know? Anyone here either go or send their kids?
I went to Interlochen in '86 and '87. I loved it!! I was in Cabin 26 and Cabin 1. A lot of things have changed since our day. No more knickers - campers can wear shorts now.

I think the changing school calendars had a lot to do with the shortened sessions. So many schools have year-round schedules now. The county where I teach gets out on June 5, then starts up again on August 2.
post #295 of 459
I just wanted to thank you all again for the tips on making practice more enticing for my daughter (and myself )... we're having a lot more fun now, and she can really see the difference practicing makes, which is encouraging, and makes practicing more fun!

I'll be back someday with new issues I'm sure!
post #296 of 459
Stacymom, it sounds like our daughters are in the same place! My DD is polishing the 3rd Seitz, recently moved up to the 1/4 size violin, and everything was totally thrown out of whack!

Two things have really helped us. She has master classes with James Hutchins over the summer, and his emphasis on proper positioning has encouraged both DD's teacher and me to focus on positioning as the primary concern. My DD had developed the habit of "re-adjusting" her violin on her shoulder and re-setting her chin almost as a tic--anytime she was unsure of anything, or stopped to re-play a section or talk to her teacher or me. Consequently, she was gripping the violin neck tightly with her left hand--with all those attendant problems. James recommends holding the violin in proper position, using only the head, and no left arm, for an entire 30 minute TV show. Of course, the shoulder rest and foot posture must be properly adjusted, so that the muscles can be strengthened without strain. My DD was enthusiastic about getting to watch TV for an entire violin practice, and the sustained work seems to have reduced the chin rest adjustment tic. Then it took a couple of weeks of focusing on keeping the left hand loose, and the thumb relaxed, but her left hand is much less tense now.

The other thing that helped us was an article in the September issue of Strings magazine. It concerned the cello teacher Aldo Parisot. He addressed the issue of practice in the article, and he said, "Too many students have the attitude that, 'I will be a better cellist six months from now.' Don't believe it. You'll be a better cellist tomorrow, not next year. Every day you must have improvement. And you will if you know what you're practicing for." So we have begun deciding on the one thing that will make DD a better violinist tomorrow. Sometimes it's a recurring issue--like the loose thumb on the left hand, or keeping feet in some semblance of play position--not twisting them up or balancing on one foot. Sometimes it's a technique issue--adding vibrato to every quarter note in the 3rd Seitz, for example. But have only one issue to focus on--work on that thing as many times as needed--and don't add other issues, or overload with more than one task for the working memory. I do really find that by focusing on one topic for only one or two lessons, it becomes more automatic, the whole piece sounds better, and we can go on to the next issue.

I hope some of this helps!
post #297 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan's mama View Post
Oh, I should clarify; the lessons would be for my 5 1/2 year old dd. I'm wondering if Suzuki would be too much for me to keep up with b/c I also have 14 month old twins.
My youngest two are four-and-a-bit years apart and the elder of the two started at age 4.5. We practiced together through the infant / toddler months. I also had two older kids I was practicing with. I needed to carve out 15-20 minutes a day with my Suzuki beginner kid for practicing. That was in some ways a challenge, but in some ways it was a gift. It forced us to make the one-on-one time together. And that was really important anyway.

Mostly we practiced right after supper, when daddy was home to take the little one. Evening is not technically the ideal time to work with a 4yo on picky skill-oriented tasks, but it worked for us provided I took the time to set the right tone and get both of us in a comfy place emotionally.

Edited to add: That baby is now 6 1/2 and is completing Suzuki Violin Book 4. There's some pretty amazing music-learning magic that occurs in those little ones who are witness their older siblings' Suzuki practicing from the get-go.

Miranda
post #298 of 459
Hey Mamas!

I'm glad to have found this thread. My daughter just started taking Suzuki piano lessons. I was in piano for many years, but it was Royal Conservatory. So far, Suzuki sounds really great, I'd love to find out more about it though.

I love music and I'm so excited that my girl is in piano, I hope she loves it too! I'm almost considering taking lessons again. Anyone take lessons with their little ones?
post #299 of 459
Thread Starter 
I received a reply from Interlochen -

Quote:
We determined 5 years ago that 8 weeks was too long for our applicant pool and we changed to 6 weeks for the core camp. It has been many years, perhaps since the late 1980's, that we have offered the 4 week junior program. Not many students chose to attend for 8 weeks.

Now we have a variety of programs to meet the needs to this generation who have many conflicts in the summer. A student in junior division can attend for as many 2 week sessions as they wish, for a total of 6 weeks.
Now I'm kind of curious as to what else is out there that compares to the Interlochen summer experience. I believe Aspen and Tanglewood are geared toward pro and semi-pro musicians. Unless you're a clear prodigy they don't admit children, and they are not at all a summer camp experience. In case anyone knows of anything else that compares to Interlochen I'd love to hear about it.

Juuulie -
I was a wee junior. Three of us from cabin 8 stuck together like glue and spent the summer laughing to tears. I remember pranking our lesser-loved cabin counselor. We were punished by having to sweep out tennis courts over "rest period." That punishment was decidedly more fun than it was intended to be.

Too bad the knickers are gone. Those were awesome. Now that I know the program has changed I've got to call my mom and thank her again. Not only did she practically sell a kidney to get me there, they don't even offer the extended experience anymore. I feel so fortunate to have attended in that era.
post #300 of 459
Stacymom, we are also mid-Book 4. Right now DD is doing very well and our practice sessions are pure joy... but it hasn't always been and I don't for a second believe it's permanent. I'm just enjoying it while I can! Here are a few things that have made a difference over the last few months:
  • We had an awesome master class with Alice Joy Lewis. We had a similar experience to Bird Girl's: huge emphasis on posture. Her teacher and I had been trying to work on her posture all last year, but when DD heard it from a new source it finally clicked, and she sounds, looks and FEELS a lot better when she plays.
  • I am making a huge effort to rein in my own perfectionist tendencies. I try not to bring up anything unless it was mentioned at her lesson (e.g. if the theme of the week is bowing I will not say anything about vibrato). Not easy, but it makes a big difference.
  • I finally got it through my thick skull that just because she is working on fairly sophisticated stuff doesn't mean she isn't still a kid. We started playing the penny game again and incorporating stuffed animals, etc., into our sessions. Even though she's going on 11 she still loves the games.
  • I think this is the biggest thing: often she has an audience. We started practicing in the living room, in front of windows that face out onto the street, instead of up in her room. People walking by can hear her, and she has noticed people looking in. She also has a friend who frequently comes over and sits quietly and listens while she practices. This has had an amazing effect on her motivation and willingness to tolerate polishing -- which she used to hate.
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