Register for Fall Classes and Lessons!
Caty Dalton Suzuki Violin
How was Summer Camp?
Helpful Tips for Practicing your Craft!
Student shout outs!
Pictured from Left to Right: Rinzin, Natalie, and Soliana
Congratulations to my hardworking Suzuki students for their amazing
preparations this summer! The following students were accepted into
the local orchestras:
Amber Liu - MCYO Symphony
Samhita Ramakrishnan - PVYO Prep. Strings
Eileen Shih - PCYO Philharmonic
JoanneTsai - MCYO Symphony, PVYO Philharmonic
Christopher Yeung - MCYO Young Artists
David Wang - MCYO Chamber Strings
Clayton Zhao - PVYO Concert Orchestra
Congratulations to all, and here's to a great year of large ensemble fun!
Harmony Road 2 students who completed their book early and have graduated to Harmon Road 3 last session!
FALL 2018 AT A GLANCE
FOR MORE INFO ON REGISTRATION FOR ALL CLASSES AND PRIVATE LESSONS
Caty Dalton Suzuki Violin
Year Long Search is Over: “We Finally Found the Perfect Person to Join the Program.”
The Academy can now accept new Suzuki Violin students into the program. Suzuki Director Leslie Smile has a full studio of students. But, until Caty Dalton auditioned last week, the Academy has been unable to find a person that met the program’s high standards. “After a year of searching and considering candidates, we finally found the perfect person to join the program”, says Academy Director Philip Hosford.
Ms. Dalton, an outstanding violist/violinist, has trained in Suzuki Pedagogy with Ronda Cole who initiated the famous University of Maryland Suzuki Program, and with her partner, David Strom, who began the Academy of Fine Arts’ Suzuki Program in 2001.
“Caty has it all” says Hosford. “Her audition and interview were perfect. She showed her ability to work with young students effectively and with the nurturing approach true Suzuki should always have. Her teaching and playing caliber is very high and we are thrilled to be able to open the doors to new Suzuki students.”
Best of summer camp!
10 tips to help you practise more effectively
By: Amy MacKenzie
Incorporate these tips into your daily practice routine, and you'll soon see the benefits.
1. Create atmosphere
Get the right set-up for you. Whether you prefer to concentrate in a quiet practice room, or somewhere with more stimulation, try be consistent with your choice - this will help you enter the right mindset when you begin to practice. Also make sure you have everything you need close by: water, snacks, pencils, sharpeners, rubbers, highlighters, manuscript paper - it will save you a lot of time. Technology can also be an amazing aid - providing you don't spend too much time faffing with it: you can download free apps that act as a metronome, a tuner and a timer, all essential tools for practicing.
2. Warm up
Like a physical workout, a warm-up is essential. But don’t just plough through the same warm-up routine every-time and let your mind wander - a warm up is not simply to get your muscles moving. Take it as an opportunity to prepare your body and mind for work and take notice of how you're feeling, how you're breathing, the tension your body is holding and why you are doing that particular exercise. Your warm-up doesn’t always have to be 15 minutes of scales - try different technical studies or sight reading. If you are going to do scales, considering the keys of the pieces you are rehearsing will help get you in the right mindset for when you start to stare at all those sharps and flats. And as a cool-down, revisit a piece of music you already know well and enjoy.
3. Have a goal
Just playing through your music isn’t the same as practicing. Start with the end in mind - by having a goal for each practice session before you start playing, you will find you progress much more quickly and effectively. Then, break each goal down into smaller, focused objectives. You will also feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete each goal.
4. Be realistic
We all grow up with our teachers telling us, "don’t leave it until the night before." We’ve all been guilty of it at some point, and if we have an intimidating part to practice, it is easy to push it to the back of your mind. However, it is much more effective to practice little and often, and slowly chip away at your nemesis day by day. It’s about quality, not quantity - if you aim to practice smarter, not longer, you will find yourself with a lot more willpower to draw upon. By setting small and realistic goals, you will find you overcome tricky areas much easier, and you'll be less likely to beat yourself up for not completing absolutely everything you had planned.
5. Identify and overcome the problems
Don’t just play a piece or passage over and over again, and definitely don’t just power through a problem area and ignore it. Identify where you are stumbling out of time or continuously using the wrong fingering, work out why it's going wrong, then decide how you are going to fix it. Not every problem should be approached in the same way, too. If it is a rhythmic problem, try practicing the rhythm alone on a table or just using one note alongside a metronome so you don’t have to think about the notes as well, starting slowly then gradually increasing the tempo - once you’ve mastered the rhythm, you will find re-introducing the notes much easier. Once you have overcome the problem, don’t go straight back to the beginning of the piece or passage - practice working in and out of the phrase from a few measures before until a couple after to ensure continuity.
6. Being a musician is so much more than just playing the notes
It's also important to understand your instrument, its repertoire, the history of the period and why the music is written a certain way. For example, if you are singing in a foreign language, make sure you translate the libretto so you understand the true meaning behind the words. Spend some time listening to great artists and recordings of the music you are playing and try analyze what makes the artist or particular performance so great.
Visualizing yourself playing the music can also be extremely helpful. Whether you visualize playing the part perfectly in the practice room or the concert hall is up to you, but spending some time away from your instrument, hearing the sound you're aiming for, seeing the music in front of you can make a huge difference to your mental and physical performance. If you’re tight for time, or you’re going to be stuck somewhere quiet like a train, take your music with you and read through it in your head.
7. Write on your music
Don’t be afraid to scribble on your scores. Obviously some music does have to be treasured, but photocopy your score and do whatever it takes to make it easier to interpret the music. If you miss something once, make a mental note. But if it is a common occurrence then don’t be afraid to write in the correct fingering, highlight dynamics or remind yourself of a key change.
8. Record yourself
By recording your practice sessions you can listen back and perhaps spot some things you may want to consider doing differently that you miss in the moment of practicing or performing. Even consider filming yourself as well as recording yourself, you may notice tension that you were unaware of.
9. Be in the right frame of mind
We’re all human, and sometimes we're simply just not in the mood to practice, and there is certainly no point in practicing and creating new mistakes rather than overcoming them. Sometimes if it’s got to be done, it’s got to be done. But unless you’re under a huge amount of time-pressure, it’s OK to take a day off, or simply keep your fingers moving by spending 10-20 minutes playing something you know well and really enjoy. Ultimately, we all play because we enjoy the feeling and sound of our instrument and sometimes it can be easy to get frustrated with the pressure and forget to have fun.
10. Reward yourself
At the end of each practice session, remind yourself how amazing you are to be playing an instrument and treat yourself afterwards!
Thanksgiving Holiday - 11/21/18 - 11/24/18
Winter Holiday - 12/24/18 - 1/1/19