Strickland Suzuki Strings


Hello, and Happy New Year everyone!

January check in:

At the start of the new year many people make resolutions or set goals. Now is a great time to check in with where you are, and evaluate where you want to go with your music journey. We’ll take a few minutes of lesson time each of the next four weeks to check in on various points. 

Week 1 topic is the To Be List. Before you think about your “to do'' list (including music), it helps to consider the bigger picture. You may peruse the following articles to help you to get started thinking about your own “To Be” list. It’s totally up to you whether or not you choose to share your thoughts on this with me. 

Create a To Be List     Ditch the “to-do” list      To-Be before To-Do     To-Be, the WHY of To-Do

(This is more for parents and older students. But feel free to discuss the concept with your child as you see fit. Most of the “To Be List” information I’ve found relevant to children focus on how to be Kind or Grateful.)

Each subsequent week this month I’ll send out relevant articles or discussion starting questions relating more directly to music.


Suzuki famously said “It is not necessary to practice every day. Only practice on the days that you eat.” That said, research shows that practicing the same thing for long periods daily isn’t the most effective practice strategy. “Spaced repetition” is much more effective. There are two simple steps you can take  to achieve spaced repetition in your daily music practice:

1. Break your practice into 2-3 shorter sessions instead of one long one.

2. Don’t practice the same thing every day. In your lessons we’ll talk about how many days that week would be best to practice specific pieces or exercises. 

1 day 

2 days (not consecutive)

3 days (not consecutive)

5 days/daily

I’ve updated the Practice Menu with a “#” column for you to put in the number of days that would be good to practice each item in a given week. (In general, newer things more often, older things less.) You then can decide which items from the “menu” to practice each day.  Please print the Practice Menu to have on hand for note taking during your lesson. 

I just finished watching this series of three videos related to “spaced practice”. Here are links should you wish to dive deeper into the subject.  Part 1     Part 2     Part 3

Jazzy January

In this Month’s Music History Story Time we’ll be exploring Jazz. What is Jazz, how can we “jazz up” the pieces we play, who are some famous Jazz musicians and composers, and how have Jazz and Classical music influenced each other?  Jazz is a genre I’m admittedly not very well steeped in, but I’m excited about learning much more and sharing with you!

Website updates

I’ve spent a bit of time over break updating a couple pages on the website. Check out the “Tech Tips” and “Online Resources” pages. You can also find contact info for local luthiers and piano tuners on the “Instrument Services” page. What tips or resources would you like to be able to find easily?

Looking forward to a wonderful 2021 together!

Miss Sarah