905 South: Spring 2021 News

The SAO Board Representative for 905 South is Mary Burke. You can send her your news at enniskillen.suzuki@gmail.com.

News from Laurie Mitchell, Bowmanville, Ontario

Recently, I organized a zoom workshop on the topic of Healthy Practicing and Performing. Our clinician was Janet Horvath, who wrote the book, ‘Playing Less Hurt’. Her book has sold 10,000 copies so far and is used by musicians, teachers and physiotherapists as a guide for playing without pain. The audience was captivated by her awesome descriptions, pictures, knowledge and suggestions. I highly recommend watching the videos on her website, playinglesshurt.com, and getting her book, available through Amazon. The workshop was hosted by the La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra.

News from Kathy Coltof, Whitby, Ontario

I really enjoy teaching and my studio is varied with mainly violin students, but also viola, piano and beginner cello. I am back to the swing of things and am teaching with “zoom” due to pandemic concerns and protocols. There is definitely more work involved with writing up the notes myself for each student, since parents and students are not allowed to come. I have to continually remind them they must listen to the Suzuki recordings daily. I recommend CadenzaStrings NC as the violin teacher plays the violin pieces from Book 1 to 7, 8 etc. This works quite well as he follows the bowings marked, plays the pieces slow, medium and fast. As some of my students do not have a CD player, the access to mp3 is a good alternative.

I do teach music theory as it is really vital to the students learning notes, values, Circle of Fifths, etc. I have three families where the parents are learning how to play (piano, violin, cello). This is a lot more fun with them involved and I make them sing before they have to play. When I need to give out handouts, I leave this in my mailbox for the parent to pick up and at times I will drop off teaching material.

I have done 2 book graduations so far with the grad lasting for 30 minutes. After the music, I gave out some musical cupcakes that the parent had picked up beforehand.

Zoom is not great, but it does the job. I am always trying to improve on the sound quality, because as you know sounds get lost, both verbal and instrumental. I have paid for all of my 14 families to take part in Parents as Partners Online. This shows them that the other teachers and families have similar issues and we can discuss them. I look forward to that time when we can have our group lessons and perform for fundraising events and joint concerts with colleagues. I plan to learn how to make Youtube videos and would welcome any of you who could help me!