March 2007

see tapes of Suzuki in action

March 29, 2007 03:30

The Suzuki Association has a link on its web page to an archive from the University of Wisonsin. It is a series of 35 tapes of Suzuki teaching at Stephens Point in the mid-seventies. So I let Suzuki himself teach my 5 year old daughter last night. We sometimes have battles over following instructions, staying still (all of which she does perfectly in school, of course). So we noticed how all the children stayed focused and carefully watched during Twinkle and the other exercises he did with them. Later her "best friend froggy" had a lesson (watched by an audience of stuffed animals) on his cardboard tube violin. She wore my shoes so she could look more like a Suzuki teacher. If you are interested in seeing Suzuki action you should visit this archive and check it out.

http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Arts.SuzukiAbout

Archive link


Yellow Haze and Tiny Bubbles

March 26, 2007 13:12

If Jimi Hendrix had come from Macon, he would have written "Yellow Haze". The pollen has turned my trusty Subaru from dark green to more of a mustard yellow. You can see it in the air. Everything is blooming furiously (the cherry trees got to blooming at the end of the festival). Normally this would all mean "spring break" is here, but alas, our district decided it would be wise to wait until after testing is done. So even though our students get out on May 23rd, our spring break does not start until April 16. My schedule goes haywire for 2 weeks and then we have break. And then 2 weeks after we get back, my students (who you know will all practice so diligently during this time) have to play a concert. I get to monitor the filling of bubbles during testing (I must have skipped that class at CIM) and generally be the test police.

My middle school students (as all middle school students are) continue to be a curious bunch. Last week, on Bach's birthday, I played a middle portion of the g minor fugue for them. When I hit the episode they spontaneously added a rap beat. However, can anyone explain why an inner city 7th grader would be singing "Jeepers Creepers"? Today, my 7th graders thought they might just die because I asked them to stand and play for like 5 minutes. And what on earth could I be thinking when I had them warm up on a very short chorale in the same key as the piece we would practicing? The best part of the day was that the entire trifecta of talkers had managed to get themselves placed in In School Suspension before they got to me, so we got a lot done. Now onto my own practice!

3 replies | Archive link


Early Happy Birthday, Johann

March 20, 2007 14:49

What better antidote to another day of twinkle than to play the Bach g minor fugue at 7:15 a.m.? The dance teacher thought it was a CD through the wall (LOL-it WAS early after all!)

1 reply | Archive link


Cracks, subs, philosophy, sonnambulism , new strings, & one hobbit

March 16, 2007 16:32

My week:
Monday-due to many days of low humidity, my bow developed a surprise crack in the frog. It's all repaired now, and fortunately it was not a bad crack, but it was still a surprise.

Tuesday-call another ridiculous number of people to try (but fail) and find a sub for next Thursday.

Wednesday-one Suzuki parent thinks I should run my Suzuki class "military" style. Hmm-I guess a review is in order about Suzuki's philosophy about creating "noble" hearts.

Thursday-my middle school students' internal clocks have yet to reset for daylight's savings. How you can actually snooze on a hard metal chair while everyone else who is playing has still failed to realize that A# and Bb are the same note is truly an amazing skill.

Fri-changed my strings bright and early; used teaching as an opportunity to break them in; enjoyed the look on my 6th & 7th graders faces when they found out the principal was my going to be my sub on Thursday next week.

Tomorrow-sleep past 5 am! And go play in Atlanta for that hobbit-haired singer of "You Raise Me Up".

Archive link


No tornadoes this time, only tonsils

March 8, 2007 19:55

What could be more fun than having to find your own sub so you can be with your 3 year old when she's having a tonsillectomy 2 weeks from now? Yes, although we are supposed to have classrooms that are a virtual techno-palooza, the district does not utilize any of the widely used computerized services available for acquiring substitutes. It's so much more personable to call 35 people one by one and get rejected because everyone is already subbing for math teachers who are going to a 3 day conference that same weekend. Then there's also that little bit about how the district won't pay for a sub to cover my elementary classes, so I can only offer someone a half day. And subbing for a strings class tends to make them all run away.

Around the corner is the Cherry Blossom Festival (same week as the tonsillectomy). Macon is slowly being decorated in shades of pepto-bismol. We have some gazillon numer of cherry trees here, imported from Japan. Our elementary students sing accompanied by the wildy unbalanced instrumentation of our faculty orchestra (1 vn, 1 vla, 1 cello and several flutes and trumpets + electric keyboard; tuning optional). There are lots of outside events and food booths, etc. Ah, trees will be blooming and so will my allergies.

Also up next weekend is a freelance gig with a touring pop artist. No gigs this weekend; it should be nice and quiet until our 12 year old cat meets the new kitten on Saturday.

3 replies | Archive link


Tree 1, Carport 0

March 2, 2007 14:16

It's always nice when a tornado touches down in your neighborhood 10 days after you've moved in to your newly purchased house. Our carport was pretty much destroyed by a big oak tree in the front yard. We missed our symphony rehearsal, as our power was out and the babysitter was stuck at her college because of the tornado warning. Plus, some the roads were flooded and trees were down, so it was nearly impossible to get to our house. So the tree has been taken away and a tarp is coming. And we might even be able to play Brahms and Vivaldi tonight.

3 replies | Archive link


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