Here We Come, Carnegie Hall! (I hope you're ready for us!)

 I can't believe this was two years ago at Carnegie!

I can't believe this was two years ago at Carnegie!

Every year I invite all of my students from both my home and Brooklyn Conservatory to participate in a group outing of music. I'm so excited about this one! This year we're going to Carnegie Hall on Saturday, February 4th at 7pm to see the very exciting Orpheus Chamber Orchestra perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Vadim Gluzman) and Symphony No. 3 (the Scottish) by Mendelssohn. Tickets range from $12.50 - $110.

Read about the performance and buy tickets here: 

http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2017/2/4/0700/PM/Orpheus-Chamber-Orchestra/

When I was a little girl, my grandmother most fostered my love of classical music. She would bring me to concerts with her all the time, but the smartest piece of her educational method was to acquaint me with the pieces before I was to hear them, so I knew what to expect and could even hum along. Here are links to the pieces we will hear. Especially if you can make it to this concert, please play these two pieces frequently around your home prior to our outing (i-tunes and spotify versions are just fine, of course!) It's much more exciting for everyone if they know the pieces. 

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTE08SS8fNk

Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbH95mO_o3A

(Of course the new work will be new to all of us!)

In the past we've sweetened the deal by pre-gaming with cheesecake from Carnegie Deli, but alas, like all things NY, Carnegie Deli has gone to deli heaven. Instead, let's meet at the Brooklyn Diner (slice of home?): 212 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019. Looks casual and easy. At intermission and afterwards we'll want to head home, but it's nice to gather first for a few minutes and take pictures and discuss a bit informally in the main lobby. 

Hooray for food-filled field trips (FFFT's)!

xoxo, Nora

Parent/Teacher Conferences Reminder

Just a reminder that we'll be having Mid-Year Parent/Teacher Conferences in order to review policies and set goals. These conferences will take place during regularly scheduled lesson times. This is a valuable opportunity to start 2017 with a unified vision between adults. This applies to ALL students without exception. 

Advancing students would benefit from being a part of this conversation, but parents with younger students should bring an activity for their child while the adults talk. The conversation should take about 30-40 minutes, depending on whether there are multiple kids in the family. Parents may find it easier to make alternate arrangements for young children with 30 minute lessons.

Please come prepared with several ideas/questions/concerns/suggestions/general feedback for me regarding group, private lessons, or the program in general. I would also like to encourage all adults involved in the education of the child to attend. 

Below are some things we'll be thinking about at our conferences:

  • Progress, overall: How is this students' overall progress? How quickly are assignments being accomplished? Long-range vision for each student. Are we respecting the learning style of the child?
  • Listening ideas
  • The Lesson: Attendance/punctuality, are good notes being taken? Does the parent seem engaged in the lesson? 
  • Group Class: Ensemble skills, socialization and teamwork. 
  • PracticingHow can we make practice more effective? Is the parent giving enough specific praise at home? Is the parent paying close enough attention to what the child is doing? Are families adhering to what we've worked on in the lesson?
  • Performances: How are we, as adults, thinking about our children's performances, and are we creating healthy nurturing environments in which performing feels natural and fun?
  • Philosophy: How are all the parts of the "Suzuki triangle" functioning? Are there parts of the method that need to be reiterated?

If you have a conflict and need to find a different time, please let me know and I will see what I can do, of course! I'm happy to answer any and all questions:-)

Here Comes the Paper Chain Challenge!

Ok party people. It's a new year, and that means it's time to make resolutions. Here comes the practice chain challenge. We're pledging each week to practice all the days in that week. For each day we practice, we're attaching one more link to an ever-growing chain. At the first group class in February we're gonna take it outside and see how long it stretches down the block. I have no idea how long it's going to be. I think I have forgotten to add a couple of my own links, come to think of it.

 This is from January 3rd! I'll post an updated photo sooooooon!

This is from January 3rd! I'll post an updated photo sooooooon!

 

That's right. I'm taking the challenge on too. I have pledged to practice every day of January, come rain or come shine. So far I'm on it. I'm a pretty busy lady. Believe it or not, I actually have a social life. If there's one thing I've corrected from my child brain, it's the notion that I have to go big or go home. I don't. If I have time (and I don't remember the last time I had time), I'll practice for a long time, but if I don't, I will accept less. I have seen the benefit I get from even a smidge of practice. It's gotta be better than none. I'm hoping my students can learn before they're my age, because I think the result is more practicing over all when you think that way. It certainly is for me.

The challenge is underway! Good luck, everyone!

Frozen Group Classsssssss!

Welp, my idea of taking the kids outside and playing Jingle Bells in the dead of winter for our neighbors last group class before the holiday break was...interesting. Having piping hot apple cider WOULD have helped if I had remembered to actually turn it on after getting it all ready on the stove. 

Also, word to the wise: violins do NOT like going from warm to freezing. Every single violin went impossibly out of tune. Disaster. But still fun! 

And thanks to Mim for getting the apple cider hot for our return. We were absolutely frozen. Will be tweaking this activity in the future! 

xo,
Nora

Congratulations On Another Beautiful Recital!

I'm just the proudest mama violin teacher. I was so thrilled to see revealed all the hard work my students have put into their violin studies at our fall solo recitals concert on the gorgeous stage of the Brooklyn Conservatory. It was really nothing less than magical. We had spontaneous dancing in violin position to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", we had the boldest, cutest "Up Like a Rockets", we had a daddy/daughter duet of plucking twinkle theme, and that was just the pre-twinklers! My big guys showed how hard they've been working on tone, posture, and intonation, and also each showed what flexible and confident performers they are becoming, each in his or her own way. My cuties were dressed to the nines, played their hearts out, and ate their hearts out afterwards.

What warmed my heart the most, though, was seeing how we are building community over time; families were chatting away with one-another and the kids were playing together. I always set out card with pens so that kids can congratulate each other on each other's performances after the concert, and I think I'm going to have to limit it for next time. More than one of my students told me that they ignored me when I said to write on "at least three cards" and went ahead and wrote on every single card. Who are these amazing children? I'm honored to work with your families every day. 

Thank you so much, again, to Emile Blondel, our wonderful accompanist, and thanks to the Brooklyn Conservatory for offering your gorgeous performance space at a friendly rate!

I am loving this blog already! What could be better than gushing about my kids?

We loved playing for the guests at the Concord Nursing Home!

I'm just starting this blog and am so excited because I have been saving up so many goodies and activities our busy little studio has been up to to share with you. So anyway, on November 30th, right before the holidays knocked us all over, we took a sort of a field trip to the Concord Nursing home in Bed Stuy to play our very first group concert of the school year. The kids blew me away with their professionalism and musicality. My goal was manyfold: to give my kiddies a chance to perform in a group setting  - check! To bring joy around the holidays to people who need it the most -check! There were so many smiling faces in the audience, and to show my kids how much what they do actually matters and how important this work is in a bigger way than just my studio. It was a great evening.