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Suzuki Mamas Tribe - Page 5

post #81 of 459
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
...Hope that helps!
Woot! That was exactly what I needed. It's such a challenge for me to remember that things can be broken down even further than what I'm already thinking are baby steps. Baby steps! How many times have I already written that in this thread?! Anyhow thank you so much for the suggestion. I wanted a piece with a fresh start so we are tackling Gavotte sections now. And what a long path Gavotte is! She's loving it and proudly showed it off to her dad this evening. I'm going to try to move it very gradually along. Where we've been is NOT pretty and I don't want to be back there.

She did some work on Musette this evening and wow that's one heck of a bow piece. She wants desperately to slur the eighth notes and separate the quarters - and we're just working the first line. Does a dramatically slower tempo help? I tend to be a big picture thinker and sometimes slowing down gets me lost, but maybe it's good for others? Anyhow in case anyone has some Musette tips or advice that might save us some grief :

Oh, and just a bit of lamenting here:
When does the resilience kick in? DD gets so easily frustrated and then stuck in it. I try hard to help her along. I suggest breaks and that we'll return to it later but that suggestion frustrates her. I try very hard to keep it light and goofy without demeaning her. But she just goes there so much and entirely on her own. I don't know if somehow I might be contributing to it. But of all the gifts that Suzuki gave me, the one I was aware of very early on was how I had learned that practice works. Mistakes are part of practice and we make mistakes. We work to correct them and with time the mistakes get less frequent until they disappear and we're just in the heart song groove and that's where the honey is. This willingness to make mistakes and try again is one of the wisdoms I'm hoping DD develops on this musical journey - but I'm having trouble with being patient while she gets there. We can't get better if we are crying about how frustrated we are! Anyone else experience this?
post #82 of 459
Hi - I'm new to this thread. I took the parent course for Suzuki piano and was planning on enrolling my DD in piano lessons this fall. DD turned 3 in July and is very precocious. Still, I wonder if she is too young to start Suzuki piano.

The other main contributing factor is that we don't have a piano. This is an affordability question - we simply can't afford one right now. I grew up playing the organ and we have one in our house but I don't think it would be suitable to practice on.

My concern and question is - is it better to start at age 3 or will it be alright to wait to start when she is 4? Many of the children enrolled here are just 3.
post #83 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by kananaskismama View Post
My concern and question is - is it better to start at age 3 or will it be alright to wait to start when she is 4? Many of the children enrolled here are just 3.
Hey there neighbour! (Noticing your handle ... I'm in the Kootenays, just on the other side of the Rockies from you I'd guess....)

If you have any doubt, I'd wait. Get all your ducks in a row, make sure your dd is ready. I honestly don't see any advantage in starting at 3 vs. 4. Personally I don't start 3-year-olds unless they're the younger sibling of an older Suzuki child and are begging for their own lessons and it is beginning to feel cruel to put them off. In that case we can start with 'piggy-back' lessons, giving the 3-year-old 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning of the older sibling's lesson, with no specific expectations of focus or progress, just going with whatever they seem ready for.

Start listening to a CD, start sussing out instrument possibilities, go and observe group classes or recitals from time to time. You won't lose anything waiting another year for actual lessons, IMO.

Miranda
post #84 of 459
Thanks Shifra and RiverMama! I just ordered "In the Suzuki Style". We haven't come out of our lull yet, but I'm hopeful.
Thanks for all your advice.

Right now I'm struggling with whether to stick with our current teacher and have lessons at 4PM and group monthly at 5:30 (They're not at their best in late afternoon and I'll be driving home in traffic) or change teachers to get better lesson times and weekly group lessons. DS is reluctant to switch, he likes his teacher and friends, but he thrives on the group lessons and monthly might not be enough for him. I also feel guilty switching, but I guess its business.
Maybe I should figure out who is better prepared to deal with his "fiddle-side".
I think he might really be tired of Twinkle and frustrated because he could play it before and can't now that he hasn't played consistently over the summer.
post #85 of 459
Thread Starter 
What do you do when you're on the road?

We're going to be out for 10 days. DD's book 1 grad recital is 10 days after we get back. I really don't want to be out of the loop for that long, especially that close to the recital. So I'm thinking of bringing her violin with us. Honestly I'm a bit nervous about traveling with it. It's a fairly expensive (for us) rental that we really love and the thought of carrying it everywhere we go - well maybe we should pick up some backpack straps. Anyhow, I'm thinking of risking it anyway and bringing my very inexpensive fiddle along, as when DD practices I usually play some along with her - it seems to help a lot to not be the only one playing.

DD will be playing piano, too, at the recital, and that's definitely needing more work at this point. So I'd like to try hooking up with a piano to play on.

We'll be in San Francisco - tagging along while DP is at a conference. I'm thinking of trying to find music stores she can go and play in - some with practice or teaching rooms that they might rent to me. I could maybe get her to do some busking if I'm lucky and only if I play the duet parts with her (she doesn't have a very strong nerve just yet). I'd even love to get her a master class with someone but that seems like a far out possibility.

Well - in case you want to share how you handle not dropping the ball when you're on the road I'd be interested in hearing about that.
post #86 of 459
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanaT View Post
Right now I'm struggling with whether to stick with our current teacher and have lessons at 4PM and group monthly at 5:30 (They're not at their best in late afternoon and I'll be driving home in traffic) or change teachers to get better lesson times and weekly group lessons. DS is reluctant to switch, he likes his teacher and friends, but he thrives on the group lessons and monthly might not be enough for him. I also feel guilty switching, but I guess its business.
4pm would be really bad for us too and I've avoided afternoon lessons so far simply because of afternoon meltdown issues. Now if our current teacher whom we ADORE would have some kind of schedule restriction I'm afraid I'd still stick with her, though, and give afternoons a chance. But that's simply because I can just about guarantee that we have the best teacher in the area for my daughter's (heart/music) needs. So I guess I'd evaluate how this current teacher fits with you and your son and before even considering switching I'd go observe a new potential teacher at least a few times (and definitely by myself - not with DD). Changing teachers when we have a great match is something I wouldn't do without doing a lot of homework first. I'm really picky about teachers, though. I remember from my own experience as a youngster how different lessons can feel with different people.

Perhaps you can give afternoons a chance and just see how they go? Maybe give yourself a ton of support by having special brain and energy snacks before lesson, and maybe a little quiet time in the afternoon before hand. You might end up cultivating a different rhythm and could be surprised with how well afternoon lessons can go.

About groups, I'd love to go more than once a month, too. But with less frequent ones they'll probably never lose their charm. So there's that. If you're really drawn by the frequent group lessons could you go observe those, too? There could be something about the weekly group that doesn't sit right with you, or they could be really awesome and that could help you decide.

I guess my advice boils down to this: before making changes I'd want to observe a lot before deciding anything.
post #87 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
I guess my advice boils down to this: before making changes I'd want to observe a lot before deciding anything.
That's good advice. I think that 4 and 5:30 could work for DS, but I have to bring DS2 along also and they're just awful times of day for him. I think I'll probably give it a try. I do want to observe another teachers group lesson before making a decision. I like who we're with, but she just took a job at a university and is only doing Suzuki 1 day a week. I kind of feel like its not really her first priority anymore and there's no scheduling flexibility at all.
What do you consider a good "brain snack"? We'll be needing those!
Of course he still won't play twinkle, but his crazy fiddle tunes are becoming not so crazy and are starting to sound pretty real and kind of nice, so he's learning, just not the way anyone else intends for him to.
post #88 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
What do you do when you're on the road?
I could maybe get her to do some busking if I'm lucky and only if I play the duet parts with her (she doesn't have a very strong nerve just yet). .
Busking, absolutly! Busking is the best way to travel period. Play with her, but let her keep all the change she makes to spend on something she wants! Talk to her about beeing very carefull w/ her instrument while on the road if you don't have a clunker to take. I have a really nice instrument that lives at my moms house a state away (I never play it.) And then, I have my junker fiddle, it goes up mountains, down rivers, across oceans, in to pubs, down the road, & arround the world. (It even flipped in a class 4 rapid once!) What's that saying about the difference between a fiddle & a violin? You can spill beer on a fiddle! Anyways, I don't know what to tell you about the piano, sounds like you have some good ideas though. Have fun in San Fransisco!
post #89 of 459
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverMamma View Post
Busking, absolutly! Busking is the best way to travel period. Play with her, but let her keep all the change she makes to spend on something she wants!
Oh, you sound so enthusiastic about busking! Keep in mind this a 5 year old who's just starting Hunter's Chorus. She's very much musical and you can see that in her when she plays so that makes her really fun to watch. But still! Got any tips - um....advice? How do you get up the nerve to put your music out there in public when you haven't been asked? Ok. So I guess I'm a little nervous too!

How does one go about picking a good location? I see your location is CO so you might be familiar with Pearl St in Boulder. I could see doing that place pretty easily. Might not get much (lots of competition!) but the street just cries out for busking so you don't end up feeling quite so much like a sore thumb. Does google map have a "busking site" option?
post #90 of 459
My kids tend to only busk on our 'home turf,' because there we know the unwritten rules about where to be and what's allowed / appreciated. My kids busk when they're enthusiastic to do so ... generally motivated by money, but sometimes just riding high on the burgeoning feeling of a new level of mastery. They make up their own play lists and motivate themselves to get out there. I'm not sure I'd ever nudge / push / persuade a kid to busk; it's a very uncontrolled environment. I'd rather they build their enthusiasm for performing through situations where all their ducks are in a row ... an appreciative attentive audience, no distractions, proper rehearsals, accompaniment support, etc.. Then, once they're enthusiastic performers, by all means, let them start busking if they want.

When we travel we try to ramp up the listening, knowing that on-instrument time will be limited or non-existent. If we do bring the instruments, I'm happy if they get played every other day for 10 minutes. We have practice mutes for hotel playing. I'm thinking of buying a Yamaha silent violin for my eldest, because she spends the day and a half surrounding her lessons in a hotel and it would be nice for her to be able to practice / warm up / try out her lesson assignments before we hop in the van and spend a (no-practicing) day in travel to get home.

Miranda
post #91 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by insahmniak View Post
Oh, you sound so enthusiastic about busking! Keep in mind this a 5 year old who's just starting Hunter's Chorus. She's very much musical and you can see that in her when she plays so that makes her really fun to watch. But still! Got any tips - um....advice? How do you get up the nerve to put your music out there in public when you haven't been asked? Ok. So I guess I'm a little nervous too!

How does one go about picking a good location? I see your location is CO so you might be familiar with Pearl St in Boulder. I could see doing that place pretty easily. Might not get much (lots of competition!) but the street just cries out for busking so you don't end up feeling quite so much like a sore thumb. Does google map have a "busking site" option?
Well, beeing a Leo, I guess I'v always Loved beeing on stage, so it wasn't a challenge at all for my mom to get me out there. Money might be an incentive maby? I don't really have any advice on stage fright other than everyone gets it & it's a healthy thing & usually goes away once your bow hit's the string.

As far as places to busk, usually those pirfect places like pearl st. are not such pirfect places. As you guessed, not allot of money to be made there. (But a great practice place nonetheless! I'v seen suzuki kids out there plenty, & they usually draw a bigger croud than us "profesionals." I think it's the cute factor.) Aspen though, right infront of the "no soliciting" sign will make us a fiew hundred in just a fiew hours.
I have traveld all over busking, (bought a oneway ticket to London when I was 19, arrived w/ a backpack, a fiddle & $300.) I find that you just have to scope the teritory, sometimes you get asked to "move allong" and sometimes you draw a croud. A really good way to do it is to find a nice little coffe shop or cafe with a patio & ask if you can play (often times it will get you lunch as well!)
post #92 of 459
insahmniak, you reminded me of a poem I wrote at the point in my life when I was in Scotland, & rediscovering music through Celtic tunes. I just dug it up...

Adventures
of the rambling rover
Lessons
of the student learned

"You must be brave!"
sais the little old lady
to me with eyes wide
& a hand, in sympathy extended

I smile at her marvel
accept her sympathy
and the coin in my case
an exchange for gratitude & music

Adventures
of fallowing Godly Guidence
that crazy voice
always fluttering in my heart

Lessons
of facing fears
standing in the thick of it all
staring fear right in the face

Playing
that which wells in my soul
the music that brought me here
the music that I so greatly fear

I suppose I must be brave
to stand here & play all day
to all those who would her
of that which I most greatly fear.
post #93 of 459
I have 6.5 yr. old who is finishing up the book I.

She wants some violin/theory workbook. She is working on "I can read music" and loves it. Does anyone has recommendation???

Thanks,
greencat
post #94 of 459
Do it! If she want's to read, by all means help her read!!! That is my one regret from beeing raised suzuki, I am not a strong reader. I believe that having an ear is more impartant, but I also believe that reading is an essential skill.
post #95 of 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverMamma View Post
Do it! If she want's to read, by all means help her read!!! That is my one regret from beeing raised suzuki, I am not a strong reader. I believe that having an ear is more impartant, but I also believe that reading is an essential skill.
Thank you for your support. I'm not at all a strong music reader. Do you (or anyone else) have recommendation to which work book that may be fun for her at this age?

Her group class teacher is going to introduce the game, "Musopoly." I am also thinking about purchesing the game for home use. I tried to read the book before, but it is a monster to tackle for someone who has no music training. I'm hoping the book is for the teachers to get the most use out of the game. Not so???
post #96 of 459
The Theory Time workbooks are the best I've ever seen in this vein.

My 5yo has been through "I Can Read Music" book 1 and is now well into Book 2. (And was thrilled to work with Joanne Martin this past summer and get her autograph on her ICRM book!) I think reading should be introduced at the end of book 1, as soon as posture and by-ear skills are well entrenched. Depending on the child's age/readiness they may 'dabble' in reading for a couple of years or move forward full-force.

Miranda
post #97 of 459
Just saying hello and will be following this thread ... my DD also started violin at 3 - she's 4 now. She LOVES it. We don't practice as often as we should but she really has developed an ear. We decided on Suzuki so I could learn as well. We are having a great time. Working on lightly row currently!
post #98 of 459
Welcome. Lightly Row can be a welcome break from A-E-1-E!

We've never done busking here, in the SF Bay Area. But as a kid, I did it plenty. I'm not sure what the difference is--it seems too close to panhandling here, when we have so many people doing that, and less like the charming kid out with their empty case.
post #99 of 459
We're starting Lightly Row this week! Definitely ready for a break from Twinkle. Our Teacher also started using Swallowtail Jig as a reward for playing Twinkle variations. DS just loves to accompany her on it. His face just lit up when she first played it and he said "I know THAT song!"
We're still struggling to get back into a practice routine, but I'm finding he'd rather play for me when I'm cleaning the kitchen or something like that, rather than playing with him or paying close attention. I guess it works. I thought he enjoyed the complete attention of practice time.
post #100 of 459

Suzuki Games

I'm so, excited (may be more than the kids.) I got the box of my oders yesterday. In it, I have the game, Musopoly. How do you or your kids like the game, if you have played it before?

The Music Mind Game is very, very interesting, but her book is intimidating, since I dont' have much of music/theory back ground. However, I saw the new, "Puppy Packet" on line.

If you buy the Puppy Packet, can you just jump in and start working with the kit without reading the book? (please, please, please, say, yes. and, say somthing like 'the book is for teachers and student who are on book 7 to get most out of the game' --or something like that; tee hee... )

By the way, if any of you are interested, I have "I Love To Practice Kit" for Book 1 (for violin.) There should be another one for Book 2, as well as one for Suzuki Cello students. It's a great kit, and we love them a lot! I didn't buy the kit until my DD was more than half way through the Book 1, but, now, she helps her brother, (age 4, finishing 'Lightly Row') with it.
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