April, 2021

Happy Spring (well, almost!) 

     The extra sunlight we've been gaining has been so lovely, and may have gotten me a little overly excited about setting up our back deck for outdoor lessons. Whenever the snow finally melts off, we do have a covering and a propane patio heater, but it's looking like we'll need at least a few more weeks before I can offer outdoor lessons ;-) 

     My big news as of recently is that I have officially completed Suzuki Violin Unit 4 Teacher Training, and am a certified Book 4 teacher! :D In addition to the Unit 4 online course with James Hutchins from Maryland, I was able to do Ed Kreitman's "Teaching from the Balance Point" course online, and a handful of mini-lectures with Daina Volodka Staggs from Frisco, TX... all from the comfort of my own home!! I've already been trying out some of my new activities and tricks this semester, but I'm excited to try some new things for my studio in future semesters. 

     April is the last month of the Spring Semester. Our big Zoom recital is scheduled for April 17th, and I am super excited to show off the video projects everyone has worked so hard on! In addition to each level recording some pretty challenging pieces, we will be performing a handful of lessons live on recital day. Unfortunately we cannot share the Zoom link for just anyone to watch the recital, however I will be recording the recital and uploading it to the portal for families to access after the fact.

     We were originally going to do a Twinkle Graduation Party this week for students who finished their Twinkle Burgers this semester, but the weather had other ideas... so the new date will be May 1st. This means we won't be able to share a video from the graduation in our Zoom recital, but I will make sure to acknowledge everyone on recital day. 

     I'm still a bit unsure of my full summer teaching plans (I was just summoned for Grand Jury Duty, which put a wrench in my original plans...) I will for sure be doing a 3-week-long block of lessons in May, which you can register for here on my website, or by logging into your account on the Student Portal and selecting a time on the calendar. Group lessons will still be on Zoom for the May Lesson Block, but once I figure out my summer schedule, I hope to do some combination online/in-person group stuff outside for families who feel safe doing so. 

     I have been hired to teach at a few online Suzuki Institutes in June, so I will only have one week available to teach private lessons. However, I strongly encourage everyone to sign up for an institute ASAP!! There is an excellent list of which Suzuki Institutes are offered online at https://suzukiassociation.org/events/institutes/ I hope everyone will check it out and consider one for either this year or keep next year in mind with hopes that many of the online events will be in person next time.

   The last little thing I wanted to share with everyone is the idea I had for the fall for a "fiddle club." Students who have graduated their Twinkles and can at least play "Boil Em Cabbage Down" can get a handful of fiddle tunes to work on and then participate in regular play-along style "Jam Sessions." With a few of my studio families moving away after this semester, I would like be able to offer this online so they can still stay connected... AND if it becomes safe to do this in-person, I think we could also have some families come in person too. It's still just an idea at this point, but I love sharing my ideas with families ahead of time to hear if there are any tweaks I should make before I try to make it happen.

   Before I sign off, I just want to say thank you to all the families who have helped keep my little studio going through this crazy year. Trying to come up with the "perfect" rhythm for running my studio has always been an evolving process, but I am so impressed with how well everyone managed to adapt to such drastic changes and still be able to learn, grow, and enjoy music so much! With some new ideas and inspiration under my wings, I can't wait to see how this generation of students are going to learn and grow as musicians and humans. As always, please don't hesitate to let me know any ideas, questions, or concerns you have. 

- Amanda


Upcoming Events


May Lesson Block

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June Intensive Week

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Anchorage Suzuki Institute (online)

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June Lesson Block

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Greater Washington Suzuki Institute (online)

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