July 28th, 2021

Hello, Fiddle Families! 

   This summer is just zipping by so quickly, I can't even believe it's almost August! I've been enjoying doing some teaching outside and away from the screen this summer, and am so happy with how well everyone did at our first real-life  performance in over a year after just a few practices! There are some exciting updates to go over for August and for the upcoming Fall Semester I need to go over with everyone. Look it all over, and please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

   I have one more Summer Intensive Week planned for four days (Monday through Thursday) August 16th -19th. I believe this is the week that school starts (although for many of you that may not be the case until later in the week) so I only have afternoon spots for this intensive. It's set up for students to come four days in a row for either private or group classes, but I am pretty flexible if anyone wants to just schedule one lesson in that week ;-)   

   One little bug I want to put into everyone's ear is that it looks like the Alaska State Fair Fiddle Contest is a go on September 4th. There are a number of divisions you can select from to compete in if you are interested, and I believe if you sign up before August 20th the contestant gets free entry into the fair :-) Here is the link to sign up: https://www.alaskastatefair.org/site/events/asf-fiddle-contest/  

   The other update I wanted to announce is that all of the hybrid in-person/online group classes will be moving to the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in airport heights. We will be using their spacious social room for group classes. With families being able to pick from Saturdays or Mondays (plus a number of students who will only be participating online) I am estimating our group classes to be no bigger than 7 families in a class. All of the scheduled group class dates and times (which you can view here) will stay the same, and you will still be able to Zoom into class if you aren't able to come in person. For us to be allowed to use the space, we will have a few simple guidelines to follow (nothing all that different than what we were doing before.) I will be sending that information out with everyone's semester packets. :-) Private lessons will still be held in my home studio near Cheney Lake. 

   Hopefully by now everyone has gotten word that the Fall Semester Registration form is due on August 14th for both new AND returning students. I also just want to remind everyone how important it is to give me a few lesson time options for me to work with. There are many more returning students who will need later afternoon spots than there were last semester. Piecing a schedule together that works for everyone is always a big job, but somehow it always comes together, and I usually end up with a couple of spots for new students too.  

   By now, I think most of you have figured out how to log into MyMusicStaff via the Student Portal. Once you are logged in, you can view lesson notes, schedule, pull up tons of videos and practice tracks, and log your practice. (Logging practice will be a requirement once the Fall Semester starts!) While there is no actual "app" you can download onto your phone, once you get logged in on the web browser on your phone, you can "add to home screen," which should make it pop up just like an app :-) I pay the big bucks for this so you all can use it for free, and using the portal is an essential part of my studio... So if you are having any troubles whatsoever, PLEASE don't hesitate to let me know so I can help walk you through any hiccups. 

    I need to let everyone know that after the summer I will be implementing a bit of a rate increase for the Fall Semester tuition. Last year when pandemic kept kids home from school (and my husband away from his work) I became our family's primary bread-winner for the majority of the year, and despite teaching lessons both mornings, afternoons, and evenings... it still was a struggle to keep up financially. After 15 years of teaching experience, and upping my teacher certifications to a book 4  level, I have also realized that my rates to not line up with where other experienced and well-trained music teachers are. Before anyone gets too stressed out over this rate increase, please note that the total semester tuition is actually pretty similar to last semester since I will only be doing two group classes per month per level instead of three. I want violin lessons to be accessible to families of all incomes and certainly don't want anyone to leave my studio because they cannot afford lessons. One option to consider to help make your tuition a bit more affordable is to take your private lessons every-other-week. (I'm hoping this will also help me fit the high number of families in that will need the limited number of later afternoon spots.) I will also offer partial or full scholarships to families most in need. All the information with the new rates can be found on the lesson rates page on my website. 

   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

Previous events


Alaska State Fair Fiddle Contest


Fall Semester Begins


Fall Semester Registration Due!!


Greater Washington Suzuki Institute (online)

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Anchorage Suzuki Institute (online)

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June Intensive Week

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May Lesson Block

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End of Spring Semester


Mandatory Spring Semester Orientation (Zoom)


Spring Semester Registration Due!


January Online Lesson Block

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Winter Break (no lessons)

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