Hello everyone!

I hope you are enjoying the Labor Day weekend holiday. A reminder that there are no lessons this Monday September 2nd. Regular schedule resumes Tuesday September 3rd.


Invoices were automatically generated by the website this morning. Thank you to everyone who has already paid so quickly! If you have any questions regarding your invoice feel free to contact me.

Practicing Kindness

In group classes this past week we explored what being kind looks like in various studio situations. These kids have great ideas! I hope we can continue to keep this concept in mind, learning to filter our words and actions through the question, “is this kind”.

Fall ‘19 Suzuki Play-In

Mark your calendars for Sunday, November 10, 3:00PM! A Suzuki Play-in (or Play-down) is a chance for students from different teachers to come together and play music from the Suzuki repertoire. I am working with several area teachers in planning a Suzuki Play-in for Bloomington! Though this will be optional, I really hope you can participate. See the attached poster created by one of the participating teachers for more information! We’ll also be talking about it in your private lesson and in groups.

Fall Five-week Flashcard Focus

Flashcards are a great way to learn musical symbols, terms, and much more. But we don’t always have time to fit them in!  Beginning Monday September 9 and running for 5 weeks until Friday October 11, we’ll be incorporating 5-minute sessions with flashcards in your lessons and home practice. If you own music flashcards already please bring them to your lesson this next week (September 3-6) so I can see what you have. If you do not have flashcards yet I will have several sets available for purchase, about $6 each. I’ll also be making some special sets tailored for the very youngest children.

Videos of the Week

In the teen/adult group class we have been watching a video every week. Here’s what we watched in the month of August. We’re looking at how to build practice into our schedules!

~ 8/12/19 Timetable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLQ8AUVkAB0 

& Planning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nkCt3OF6-8

~ 8/19/19 Scheduling priorities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czh4rmk75jc

~ 8/26/19 Effective Practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2O6mQkFiiw

Workbook conversations

In the group classes for children through age 11 the parents have begun going through the workbook Positive Practice by Christine Goodner. It seems you are finding your conversations helpful. When we finish I will send out a survey - would love to hear your feedback!

A Significant Family Event Impacting Lessons

As the calendar policy page on the website states “In the case of weather, health, family, or other personal circumstances I reserve the right to cancel up to two lessons per semester without offering a reschedule option.  That is why the "bonus" weeks are on the schedule. It is unlikely though that I will need to use that completely, so you will likely get a “bonus” lesson or two each semester!”  My Husband’s daughter is expecting her second child in mid-September. When grandbaby #2 is born, my husband and I will be taking a day off to go and visit the family. This will likely mean cancelling a day of lessons, per the policy above. If your lesson is impacted you will receive an email notification. Thank you for understanding!

Looking forward to a Stupendous September of music together!

Miss Sarah


A mid-month newsletter update:

I wanted to take the opportunity to share a little more about the Play-In coming up in November.

  • When: Sunday, November 10, 3:00-4:30

  • Where: Bell Trace Retirement Community Commons Room

  • While it is “optional”, I hope if you’re available you choose to participate. A great chance to build community!

  • For string players:

    • A “Play-In” is where students come from various teachers and play shared Suzuki repertoire together. Sort of like the group play-alongs some of you have participated in at the end of recitals with me, but with students from other teachers too.

    • We go in reverse order through selected Suzuki repertoire, starting with a few students and adding more as we go along until everybody finishes playing Twinkle together.

    • Once you join the group at the piece you’re comfortable with you stay until the end. More advanced students may choose to play harmonies on easier pieces.

    • ALL ages are involved - the first student who has signed up (from another teacher’s studio) is an adult!

  • Pianists: while this kind of thing is common for string players, I plan to have a “Piano Spotlight” with several options for you to participate in as well:

    • Some of you are learning to play along with the strings on certain pieces.

    • There will be a short segment for 4-hand duets with a sibling or parent.

    • We’ll do a “Twinkle Train” as you’ve been learning to do in group classes.

  • For ALL:The registration link is now active. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VTRSBY2 Feel free to sign yourself up, or let me know you wish to be added. I will also email you an invitation to the survey incase this link doesn’t work.

  • There will be various volunteer opportunities we’ll be asking parents to help with, including welcoming people/directing them where to go, and refreshments. A separate survey will be sent a few weeks in advance to those who have signed up for the event.

Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas music! There is wonderful music that has been written for the holiday season which we rarely get to play. As musicians it’s important to be familiar with this repertoire. In order to be ready for December, I like to begin looking at holiday pieces in late October.

Pianists: there are “Christmas” books that go with the lesson book series/level that you’re in. We’ll be looking at those in lesson and deciding what to order for you. If you already own a Christmas book please bring it to lesson the next week or two so I can see if it will meet your needs this year.

Strings: there are several options, and I’ll be talking to each of you in your lesson about what’s the best fit for you. Again, if you already have something please bring it to lesson.

I would like to have decided with everyone by the last week of September/first week of October what materials you’ll use this holiday season so that if we need to purchase something for you I can place the order in a timely manner.