Friday, July 5, 2013

What I've been up to

I see it's been almost two months since my last post! Lots going on but hard to focus my thoughts on it all.

Last week, I took a Book 1 Suzuki teacher training course offered at our local Suzuki association's summer institute. A Suzuki institute is a week-long series of classes for students, teachers, and parents. I took this same course in 1987 and 1990 (back then, you had to take Book 1 in two separate courses; now, they cram it into 8 rather long days so you can get it done all at once).

The course involves a series of lectures interspersed with observation of teaching and a little hands-on experience leading a group class of kids through one song in the book. I really don't remember what the earlier classes were like, but this time around, I enjoyed it very much -- the other  people in the class (there were 11 of us) were all interesting, of varied ages and levels of experience, and it was fun watching the kids interact with the teachers and their parents. I enjoyed it even though I had to get up at 6:00 every morning and drive to Virginia. It was like going back to music school.

My one regret is that I didn't take very good notes. I was too zonked from the change in my sleeping schedule to be thinking clearly and didn't devise a system for it. But there were lots of handouts, and a lot of it was similar to the material I learned the first time around.

And now I have lots more ideas about how to approach my own teaching, which was the main reason I took the class. I still need to make the required audition video -- they ask for it before the class starts, but they give you a month after to get it in. If I don't get the video in on time, I won't be able to register the class officially, which would be a shame, so I'm working on it. There is set repertoire; the most difficult piece fulfills all future requirements should you want to continue with the other books in the method (there are 10 of them), so that's the one I'm going to record -- the first movement of the Haydn C major concerto. So stay tuned for that. (Though I don't know yet if it's something I will want to share with the world.)

I have begun my teaching gig at the music school. So far, only two students signed up for the summer, but that's okay -- I get to ease into it.

I guess my biggest news is that I am resigning from my full-time day job. I may or may not continue there part time, but soon a lot more of my time will be my own. I'm a little scared and a little excited about this change. I hope I can make the best of it.

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