Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fall 2016 Lesson Schedule

The fall term (September - December) will include 15 lessons + 1 makeup lesson. 
Your lesson day and time:

 Rates:
30 minutes - $115
45 minutes - $170
60 minutes - $230

Lesson schedule:
September (Tues) 5, 12, 19, 26
September (Thurs) 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

October (Tues) 3, 10, 24, 31- No lesson October 18th
October (Thurs) 6, 13, 27 - No lesson October 20th

November (Tues) 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
November (Thurs) 3, 10, 17 - No Lesson November 24th

December (Tues) 5, 12
December (Thurs) 1, 8, 15, 22 - No lesson December 29

The lesson fee is the same regardless of how many lessons you attend per month. Please give your lesson top priority as I will no longer offer makeup lessons.  If either of us are sick or have a personal emergency, I will offer one bonus or makeup lesson per term.  If I am sick, or have a personal emergency, I will find a time to make up the lesson at a time that is convenient for both of us.

Recitals:
We will have one combined Christmas recital this year with 2 other North Utah County teachers. Date and Place TBA.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Winter Term Lessons

The winter term (January - April) will include 15 lessons + 1 makeup lesson. 
Your lesson day and time:

 Rates:
30 minutes - $100
45 minutes - $150
60 minutes - $200

Lesson schedule:
January (Tues) 5, 12, 19, 26
January (Thurs) 7, 14, 21, 28

February (Tues) 2, 9, 16, 23
February (Thurs) 4, 11, 18, 25

March (Tues) 8, 15, 22, 29 - No Lesson March 1
March (Thurs) 10, 17, 24, 31 - No Lesson March 3

April (Tues) 12, 19, 26 - No lesson April 5
April (Thurs) 14, 21, 28 - No lesson April 7

The lesson fee is the same regardless of how many lessons you attend per month. Please give your lesson top priority as I will no longer offer makeup lessons.  If either of us are sick or have a personal emergency, I will offer one bonus or makeup lesson per term.  If I am sick, or have a personal emergency, I will find a time to make up the lesson at a time that is convenient for both of us.

Recitals:
We have two recitals scheduled this term: February 18th at 6:15pm and April 30th at 10:00am. Each student should prepare two pieces to perform, at least one should be your festival piece. Our AHS Festival will be held the first weekend in May at BYU.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lesson Rates and Studio Policies 2015-2016

Starting September 1st, I will be returning to a flat monthly fee.  The winter term (September - December) will include 15 lessons + 1 makeup lesson.  Please note that Suzuki Membership Renewal fee is due with your September payment as well.  It is $30 per family for the year and may be included with your September tuition.  You only pay this once per year and it covers all Suzuki studios - if you have another child with another Suzuki teacher, please let me know.

Your lesson day and time:

 Rates:
30 minutes - $100
45 minutes - $150
60 minutes - $200

Lesson schedule:
September 1, 8, 15, 22
October 6, 13, 20, 27
November  3, 10, 17, 24
December 1, 8, 15
December 16 - January 5 Winter Break
Makeup lesson - September 29

The lesson fee is the same regardless of how many lessons you attend per month. Please give your lesson top priority as I will no longer offer makeup lessons.  If either of us are sick or have a personal emergency, I will offer one bonus or makeup lesson per term.  If I am sick, or have a personal emergency, I will find a time to make up the lesson at a time that is convenient for both of us.

Recitals/Concerts:

We are fortunate to be in a Suzuki Celebration Concert year.  We have 155 + harpists performing in a harp only concert: Saturday, September 12, 2015 @ 4:00 PM in the Tabernacle at Temple Square.  I strongly encourage all harp families not already performing in this concert to attend.

We will also participate in a North Utah County Christmas Recital in late November, early December.  Location and time TBA

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sight Reading

Sight reading is one of the most essential building blocks to playing any instrument. Regardless of the method, sight reading should be an integral part of your lessons and practice time. We LOVE using flash cards and have found it to be the quickest, most painless way to conquer the task.


For only $3.95 at your local music store, you could be sight reading fluently in a matter of weeks! Starting with the treble clef, select 5 notes to work on. Place them on the music stand and have the child play the note, not say it. By eliminating a step in the triangle (see, say, play) their mind will start associating the actual key or string when seeing that note.  Once those 5 cards are mastered, put them aside and introduce 5 more. Occasionally place select cards from the ones previously worked on back into the new pile. If a note is missed, pull it out and place it into the pile with two well known notes. Go over those 3 cards again and again until it becomes second nature. When all notes are familiar, challenge your child to a race - how many seconds/or minutes can you get through the entire pile?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Counting Beans


Lately we've been counting beans. I have a jar on the piano and a container for each child. I give them 15 beans for practicing the full time without complaining, 30 if it is done before school. They get beans for picking a part tricky measures and thoroughly working them through multiple times - 1 bean for each repetition. I give 100 beans for memorized pieces, double if they are more than 2 pages long. Beans can also be taken out of the jar for complaining or cross words. They use the beans to shop my candy store or save up for something special, i.e., new dance shorts. We've agreed that they can only earn beans if I am in the room - thus promoting a happy practice with mom:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Free play

I love the structure of my son's Kindergarten class. Each day during work time the teacher divides the classroom up into sections: 2 sections are "must do jobs" that include practice on a skill that they just learned, and the other stations are labeled "free play." The children have to sign in and do their must jobs before the free play. I decided to incorporate this concept into our practicing. We spend the first 10-15 minutes (depending on child and level) on "must play" which is their practice sheet from their teacher. I then walk away from the instrument, sit on the couch and listen to them "free play." Free play is not only fun but it allows them to explore their creative side.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Worksheets and other fun educational tools

I love this website: http://www.superkids.com/


They have basic educational tools as well as music worksheets and games.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jello Jello Blue Blue



Having rhythm troubles? Try using words instead of numbers to count. These are some of the words that I use in my studio:




triplets- strawberry


quarter notes - blue


eighth notes - jello (JE-LO)


sixteenth - watermelon


half notes are harder - I either use HE LLO or just 1-2


whole notes - "whole note hold it"




going from eighth notes to quarters can be really tricky, especially for little ones. They tend to play the eights really fast and then slow down on the quarters. Stop and have them say it a couple of times (jello jello blue blue...or whatever the pattern,) then play it while you say it a couple of times and then let them try it alone.








Roll the dice


The thing that I love about kids is even the most simple activities get them excited. Next time you have to play a piece multiple times, get out a die and have them roll to determine how many times it has to be played. You could use this with measures you are trying to re-work too!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Put the timer away


The length of a child's practice session is always a fun topic among parents, students and teachers. I personally hate timed practice sessions and would encourage parents everywhere to throw away the timers.


Telling your child to "sit down and practice until the timer goes off" is like sending them to their room and telling them to "clean until the timer goes off." Would their room every really get clean? I've found the more specific I am with my children about their chores, the better the end result is. Practicing is the same. Make your sessions task oriented. I like practice sheets as do my children as they know that when they've checked off the "to do list" the session is over!


Here is an example:


Warm up- 2 minutes of something very easy to get their fingers going. This should not be something new. Warming up is essential...much like stretching before you go out for a run.


Review - This should be fun and could be considered part of the warm up. Pick a piece that they already know and like. Reviewing old pieces not only helps memorization and retention skills but it is the perfect place to work on technique as it is near impossible to have perfect technique when plunking through a new piece.


New Piece - You should really only work on one new piece per session. Any more than this can get overwhelming. More on how to tackle new pieces later...


That is it ~nice and concise!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Favorite Teacher


Our favorite school of music for children and teens is The Community Music Department at UPS. I write this with such longing in my fingers, as we were once a part of this school but alas with gas prices as they are, we abandoned them for local teachers. However, if you live anywhere near Tacoma, and you are looking for good music instruction, this is definitely the place. They have well trained, very disciplined teachers, that offer a balance of tone, technique, theory and performance. The most marvelous thing about this program is its affordability. When we were there a couple of years ago, it was $15/lesson~which when you read the credentials of these teachers you will realize what a kill of a deal that is!


For more information:http://www.ups.edu/communitymusic.xml

Get Descriptive

Imagery works wonders with children and it's fun!


Instead of "curve your fingers" try "pretend you have a golf ball under your knuckles"
Instead of "keep your elbow up" try "pretend you have a quarter on your elbow, try to keep it on there while you play this piece"
Instead of "play loud" try "play like a lion"
Instead of "play staccato" try "play like your keys are hot coals"


Sometimes I will actually try the visual to help them with the image.
You get the idea!

Practice Tip - "my turn, your turn"

Typical practice fight - your child is half way through a piece when you decide that you can't stand to hear that wrong note or rhythm played for one more second. SO, you stop them...they give you that look...you tell them what is wrong...they get feisty...you get feisty...they hate their instrument...THE END.


Nobody likes to be interrupted. I remember trying to play a piece for my college professor and her stopping me every single measure for a correction. I felt like an anxious car on a road with a million speed bumps - would you let me play already!
We've started to play "your turn, my turn." The deal is, she can play the piece one time through without me saying a word. THEN, she plays it again and I can say anything I want. We rotate until she has played it about 5-6 times. During "my turn" I find the 10x measures that we'll use M&Ms or some other counting method for. (see M&Ms and Dixie Cups)

Practicing Tip ~ fix the problem

Playing straight through a piece is not practicing. If there is a measure with a problem, playing the piece over and over again is never going to fix it. Practicing is dissecting the piece and working through the tough spots to make them smooth. It is like putting dirt over weeds to make them go away. You need to get to the roots for the problem to disappear. Someone once told me (many times) "practice the passage until you can't get it wrong." HOW? What child likes to play a measure 100 times? give them DIXIE CUPS and M&Ms!


Let the child play the piece once. Find one spot that you feel needs work (there may be several but just pick one.) Ask them to play it 10-20 times. Each time they get it correct, put an M&M in the cup. Pretty soon your child will be asking to re-work several measures of the piece.

Practice charts

Yes it is "old school" but I swear, practicing charts really work. They are simple and can be picked up at any music store. My children have to practice 5-6 days per week and get 1 star for every day. One row of stickers = 1 point. They can choose to spend that point at the "practice store" or save it for something bigger when they've earned more points. 1 point will get you something like an eraser and 10 points will get you a journal (or something similar.) This concept is great because it not only rewards them for practicing but teaches them the value of saving.