Excited for this upcoming joint recital with two friends and colleagues. Join us at St. Cecilia Music Center on Monday, January 22, 2018 to hear the students of Larissa Fall - violin, Matthew Heyboer - cello, & Joshua Keller - piano. There will also be chamber music selections performed by the teachers and a small reception to conclude the evening. 7:30pm start.
This is my first 'Studio Sense' blog post. For 4 years now I have been teaching private lessons and have learned a bit about the art of teaching and keeping a studio/business. I hope these articles bring some helpful tips to the table for other teachers.
My first tip is about scheduling. With a full-time job, weekend gigs that pop up, and holidays it can be a bit tricky for teachers and families to keep a consistent private lesson schedule. One thing that has really helped me is Google Docs. This app gives you the ability to co-edit documents via the internet. Rather than asking each and every one of my students/parents separately about their availability for lessons I am able to ask them all at the same time. This limits back and forth trouble shooting and schedule overlap. The document updates in real time. I typically just write out the time blocks I have open, leave a name slot blank, create a 'shareable' link, and send this off with instructions to families. They are able to peruse the times and sign-up on the document. All others who view the document after them should be able to then see their selection and pick from the remaining openings.
Pros: This app is free.
Cons: Not everyone has a Google account so may need to set one up to use.
As some of you may know, Music Theory (the explanations and meanings about how music works, and the science and notations that explain it) really interests me. In college, music theory was somewhat of a challenge to me. Because it was such a challenge to me, I ended up taking more of an interest in it after college. I see now how vital this knowledge is for young musicians. I have grown passionate about incorporating music theory into every lesson I teach. No matter what age or level of my students, I try to include theory. To be a fully engaged and educated musician, it is important to understand the language of music. Understanding theory helps one relate to other instrumentalists in any genre or style. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of ‘I’m learning the violin’, and then only think about playing the instrument. In reality, being an instrumentalist is just one part of being a musician. Yes, you need to learn the intricacies of your instrument. But what about rhythm, scales, intervals, harmonies, chords, vocabulary, ear training and notation?
Recently I have found some more great resources to use during lessons. If you have questions about them, please let me know.
For me, there will always be more to learn. This is somewhat intimidating, but also exciting!
Happy Thursday everyone!!
Practicing can definitely be a chore. It is a lot of work, & hard work at that if you do it correctly. Practicing an instrument is like training to run a 5k, or studying for the SAT. You have to constantly set goals for yourself and sometimes even push through working on things you may frankly just be tired of working on.
I love the violin. Sometimes I love practicing, other times I dread it. There have been a few times where I did not even want to look at my violin or pick it up. I think everyone experiences this no matter what field you are in, or what your career is or ends up being. Learning an instrument teaches you skills that pour into everyday life.
I think learning an instrument has great value for everyone, even for those who do not become 'professional musicians'. Practicing teaches you self-awareness and how to work towards goals. Self-Awareness & Goal Setting are some of the top skills for leaders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs in any field and any business.
Self-Awareness: Knowing yourself, knowing how your mind works, knowing your body, knowing when you need to stop, knowing when you need to push yourself, knowing when you need to listen, knowing when you need to play out, knowing how far you've come, knowing how far you can still go, knowing when to forgive yourself, knowing when to move on, knowing when you're stuck, knowing when you need inspiration, knowing when to rest, knowing how to motivate yourself, knowing when to ask for help, knowing your capabilities, knowing that hard work pays off even if it takes longer than you want.
As I have been practicing this past week I have been thinking a lot about how far I have come and how far I can still go. Self-awareness and goal setting have been on my mind. I hope this blog post is inspiring in a way to some of my students that may be struggling with practicing. Life is a journey, enjoy the ride! There are and will be hard times and things that may not be fun to experience, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Progress is a process. So as Julia Child said, "Find something you're passionate about, and keep tremendously interested in it." If you are stuck in a practicing rut, find other interesting aspects about your music you can learn about. If you don't or can't play your instrument one day, then maybe just research the composer or listen to a recording. There are many ways to practice - physically and mentally. Keep it interesting. You never know where your passions will take you. Look at Julia Child, she starred in eight television cooking shows, published 11 cookbooks, and was the first woman to be inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Hall of Fame. And to think she was 49 years old when her first book was published!! Wow.
Past Blog Post You May Like
Have you ever wondered what it looks like to change violin strings? Here is a snip-it. :D
I can't believe it...we have ONE group class left in this semester and school year. Join me in Holland for music, games, treats, memories, and laughs. We will review everything you all have learned this year. $5 for this class. I hope you all can make it!
When: Friday, May 19 5-5:30PM
Where: MidTown Center in Holland, MI
Who: Miss Larissa's private violin students
April is almost here, & that means the Spring Recital is quickly approaching! I am so proud of all of my students and how much they have learned in such a short period of time. This is also why I am excited for the upcoming recital on Monday, April 24th at 6-7PM in Holland at the MidTown Center.
I would like to invite and remind all students that the last Group Class before the recital will be Friday, April 21st from 5-5:30PM. The fee is $5. All ages and levels are welcome. This group class will be different from the preceding, because we will be going over recital etiquette. It will be a great run-through before performance day. Please put this in your calendars and email me with any questions.
3rd to last Group Class of the semester this coming Friday, March 24th! Join Miss Fall & Miss Xiang for a fun time!
I have started the process of recording a few supplemental video lessons for my students to help aid their weekly practice. I think these videos will be useful in reinforcing concepts I teach during each private lesson. It can be hard to remember everything we touch on, so these can be little reminders during your practice times. If you have requests for video lessons please contact me. Below is a sample of a few lessons I recently recorded to give you an idea of what they look like.
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