Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back to Lessons and Saturday fun!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break.  For most of you, you've already had your lessons for the week.  Don't forget that Suzuki Saturdays start up again this week (Dec. 1) as well as some holiday Busking down at Bob's Hardware and downtown.  Read about the details: here.  

You should be getting your newsletters in the mail soon.  The fun really starts when we will be having our annual Suzuki conference in January.  And you will be thrilled to know that this fella will be visiting us.  Any guesses as to WHO he is?  

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What do you do on non-Suzuki Saturdays??

Sometimes its hard not to get excited for a change in the schedule, even for the most devoted Suzuki moms out there.  It's the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and we are going to enjoy our sleeping in, eating in, and being a family on Saturday morning.  

It would be fun to know what our local Suzuki students actually DO outside of music academy.  Do you have an interest or a hobby you'd like to share with us?  I was visiting with one student last Suzuki Saturday, and he told me he'd just spent the night at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with his dad.  This little guy was a science and math lover.  I've heard that somehow music and math are related.  Atleast that was the theory behind the development of the cuisenaire rods.  (pictured above)  Dr. Cuisenaire was astonished that children who could play music well were having trouble in math.  Perhaps the numeric/ sequences of numbers correspond to the mathmatical repetitions and variations of music?  Something to ponder... In the meantime, send me an email and tell me what you like to do besides music.  I'd be glad to feature you!
(I'm trying to protect my email from smarter-than-me computers)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Want the words for those great Suzuki songs?

Do you parents remember all of those little tunes for Suzuki book 1?  I find it hard to remember them also, but sometimes it helps if you have a few words to go with them.  

Here's some fun lyrics for the Pre-twinkle bowing Poem:

Up like a rocket,
Down like the rain,
Back and forth like a choo choo train!
Round and round like a happy sun,
Up on your head..
pinky and thumb
Up like a rocket,
down like the rain,
Back and forth like a choo choo train!

(your teacher's version may vary slightly)

Here's another: Song of the Wind

A time to play Song of the Wind
swirling through the trees,
swirling through the trees,
leaves are falling
leaves are falling,
falling tumbling 'round and 'round.
Leaves are falling,
leaves are falling,
falling to the ground.

If you would like more, I found these at the heartstring lyrics.

Have a great time practicing, you twinklers!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Do you have lessons this week?  We don't, since ours are on Wednesday.  Don't forget to enjoy your holidays--however you spend them.  

We will probably make our children "perform" for guests while we are cleaning up from the big turkey dinner.  Speaking of turkey, I couldn't help getting a huge chuckle from this.  

Are we thankful? for laughter? for friends? for family? for God? I am.  Hope you enjoy the laugh! 

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Performathon Success!

As many of you know, the students of The Music Academy of Rockford College celebrated the 80th birthday of the Coronado theater by giving a fund-raising "performathon".  There were a total of 338 performances that day.  Otherwise known as the Crown Jewels of Rockford, these students worked hard, performed well and gained the respect of citizens, supporters, faculty and family.  What sight to see these youngsters performing in a great, historic setting: the Coronado theater of Rockford!  What a success they accomplished by raising  $40,000 for scholarships and professional development.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for those who performed, who mentored, who taught, and who gave.  What a gift you have given to the community!

Pictured are students of Music Academy.  If you would like to order view photos online,  click here: goveve.  You can email also katharyn@goreve.com.  She can give you the information to view our photos.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To the Moon or Busk!?

"Will Busk for Food!"

So really, are we sending our kids out "busking"? Yes!-  It's fun for them, and gives them a whole new perspective on performing.  So, what is busking? Busking dates back to the traveling minstrels of yesteryear who literally played an instrument or some type of performance for food or compensation.  
Today, you might see them on the streets in big cities doing some amazing performing for pocket change.  Before you feel too sorry for them, keep in mind that some can make $230.00/hour (on a good hour).  Not too bad for the average street dweller. Click on this,  if you would like to read more on busking. 
If you like to see our hometown kids busking, they'll be at Bob's Hardware in Rockford on Saturday, December 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Students will also be at Stuart's Square (downtown near the King's Table) on the same day from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 I found this entertaining video of an "electric violin" busker--probably earning his way through Europe.  

There's something about this guy that reminds me of my electric-guitar playing brother.  I think it's neat how he can record his own music and make a complete concert with all the little effects.   Somehow, I don't think this is exactly what Marti has in mind for the upcoming busk, but it may inspire some of those less alternative thinking violin players?  


Friday, November 9, 2007

Having trouble getting that child to practice?

Really now, don't roll his head off!  Remember we love those little crunchkins, even if they do give us gray hair once in a while! 

In the big scheme of a day, we all have things we have to do as well as things we want to do.  As a parent, you can make the "have to's" come before the "want to's" of this life.  Oh sure, sometimes a child actually WANTS to practice-- that's great and all.  Give him the red plate for dinner, OK?  

Let's be realistic.  Having a child's whims line up with his required duties may happen as often as all of the planetary orbits align.  So, remember you are the parent.  You can make that little one practice before the talking cubicle comes on or the snack cart rolls through.  You can say NO to activity XYZ if practice times have not been met.   It's tough being a parent, but you can do it!   You are not a wimpy parent.  Just don't roll his head off.... yet.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Saturday morning breakfasts...

  For the Music Academy at Rockford College Suzuki families, this Saturday, November 10th, is the last Saturday morning Suzuki group classes for a while.  We'll be off for 2 whole Saturdays, until we get back on: December 1st!  

So, the big question is not: what are you going to do with all of your freetime? but what are you going to eat?  Will your car just drive itself to the bagel or donut shop?  Or, will you be doing what we'll be doing? feasting  on homemade waffles and turkey sausage? (yum!)  
In the meantime, don't forget that working the breakfast table is a lot of fun!  You get to meet everybody and get caught up on all the happenings with everyone.  So, if you haven't worked the table in a while, sign up next Saturday.  You'll be saving our music students and parents from dying of starvation and meeting new friends in the process!

Friday, November 2, 2007

We have cool music teachers

Click here and make the picture larger! 

We really do have cool music teachers here at the Music Academy of Rockford College. "King Richard the Lion Hearted", as I have dubbed him for this post, is not really a king, and it's not really his name, but perhaps if we used our imagination, he might look like a character from Ivanhoe?  Instead of fighting the medieval crusades of yore, he's fighting the battles of intonation, bowing, and timing.
   It's more than just head knowledge, although that certainly is important, it's about kid knowledge.  What do I mean by "kid knowledge"?  In the general sense, it's about knowing how kids think or don't think.  What turns them off (and not doing it), and what turns them on (and then doing it).. are just a few things that make our teachers cool. 
  In the specific sense, it's about knowing how each kid ticks.  It's sort of intuitive knowledge.  Somehow, a little bell goes off in their brain that says, "Oh, I remember.. this student likes this song.  Or he'll think playing this is a treat.."  It's the gobs of  little stuff that makes for the big stuff.  That's what makes 'em great.