Thoughts on Practice

Published: Oct 6, 2020  |   Category: Practice Tips


The thought of practicing evokes different emotions and reactions in students. For some it seems a difficult chore. For others, they ease into with a fun motivation.  But whether we are learning an instrument, a math concept, or new words in a new language, we must practice. For us adults, when we set out to accomplish a goal, practicing is needed, too. For some, we use a vis.....Read More


Take Your Time: Don't Become Blinded by Your Frustration

Published: Jan 8, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized


Frustration surfaces when pride has gripped your sensibilities. Students can become frustrated for a variety of reasons. But the kind of frustration described in this post is the kind that comes when pride has risen up in a student who thinks they know more than the teacher. It is a dangerous place to be when pride enters in... Sometimes when a student is frustrated it is because he doesn't want to do what you are asking of him. Sometimes there is a student who thinks he knows.....Read More


Push through the Pain

Published: May 16, 2019  |   Category: Practice Tips, Insights Learned from Students


As Malik plowed through the middle part of his piano piece, fumbling here and stumbling there, I gave him a nudge and then exclaimed, "You have to push through your pain! Don't stop!" The middle of the piece, his playing laden with mistakes. That's when I received a revelation. "Huh? What are you talking about? What does that even mean?" Malik, at 11 years of age is very intuitive. He looked up at me wide-eyed as if he'd done something wrong.....Read More


Give Yourself Credit: You Are Right Where You Are Supposed to Be

Published: Jul 1, 2018  |   Category: Practice Tips, Insights Learned from Students


This post is just a small nugget from a bigger picture. I am my worst critic! It is the perfectionist in me that brings out the worst in me. I criticize, overthink, and compare myself when I should simply walk in the flow for the assignment for which I have been created and purposed. Have you ever felt down on yourself? Maybe you are demonstrating an activity or holding a practice se.....Read More


Don't Resist Me

Published: Feb 2, 2018  |   Category: Insights Learned from Students


  I teach group string instruction at vario.....Read More


Context

Published: Jan 3, 2018  |   Category: Random (Musical) Thoughts


On this beautiful, cold, snowy, Wednesday morning, I am sitting in my living room getting ready to write. I am enjoying my son play experimentally on the piano. It has been so good to have him home from college this Winter break and I'm kind of sad to see him leave in a few days. Our musical moments together have been fun and inspiring for me. He and his Aunt Casey gave my husband and me a little drum lesson while in Indianapolis over Christmas, and I can play simple drum beats now on the sn.....Read More


Violin Practice is Homework, Too

Published: Nov 25, 2017  |   Category: Practice Tips


November 25, 2017 "I wanted to practice and my father says that I have to do my academic work and to put the violin away. He doesn't want to have anything to do with the violin." My first grade student shared this with me as he was taking his violin out of its case before I began class. He is part of the 1st and 2nd grade class at one of the schools where I am teaching. My heart dropped when I heard this that I said, "Well, perhaps you misunderstood. I&#.....Read More


I Don't Have Time for That!

Published: Nov 3, 2016  |   Category: Insights Learned from Students


Anxiety is a serious thing!  After teaching my very bright beginner 2nd grade student the new skill of the "jumping 3rd finger" while keeping the 1st finger down, I exclaimed happily after seeing that he got the hang of it, "Good. Now, practice that pattern 25 times every day...," and before I could finish my sentence, he interrupts with, "What?!! I don't have time for that...!" This w.....Read More