upcoming news…

As a lot of my students have been seeing in their lessons, we may have a new non-human addition to the studio soon! Stay tuned…

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conservatory camerata vol. 2

ArenskyPoems of roses and thorns told alongside stories of fated lovers accidentally dying. And unfated lovers making the ultimate sacrifice. All highlighted by a brilliant young mind studying at the Manhattan School of Music. On April 22nd, concertgoers are in for the ultimate exploration of love, accidents, and loss.

The Conservatory Camerata and Orchestra Omaha have a beautiful concert planned for April 22nd, 2017 featuring alumna Jennifer Ahn on violin as she ends the second year of study at Manhattan School of Music.

These pieces are so emotive and fulfilling to practice and rehearse, so I can’t recommend this free concert enough! Below is a taste of what you will hear next week:

 

 

These two great non-profits work hard to bring you incredible music throughout the year, so please also keep them in mind on the very special Omaha Gives day coming up on May 24th and share the musical love.

See you there!

>> photos by @creativecoffee, filters by a color story and afterlight

epic twinkles!

twinkle-marathon-dayY’all. It has been an INCREDIBLE 24 hours in the studio. In order for one of my students to graduate from Twinkles, they have to finish the Twinkle Marathon: play all 6 Twinkle variations, in a row, with me accompanying them. It’s like 8 minutes straight of playing, so a huge feat for a tiny cellist.

AND 3 OF THEM COMPLETED IT IN 24 HOURS!

Students work on this with their parents for quite some time; they practice a few in a row at home over weeks/months, and then like marathon training play 6 in a row. (Come on, marathon runners don’t run 26.2 miles to prepare for it…) But seriously, that much music is almost the same length as a sonata movement. Oh, and while I play a harmony part, so add 30% confusion as they can’t visually watch me at all.

So I wanted to shout their stellar accomplishment from the rooftops! There’s something in the air in my studio – and I can’t wait to see what we can do with it.  I know it is Groundhog Day, but I feel like we lived the perfect day on our first try.

Big shout out to littles K, C, and L – stellar job, tiny cellos!

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halloween studio fun

img_1641Motivation comes in many forms, and one of the whimsical ways it currently shows itself is the “Ninja Hunt” in the studio.

Each week ninjas show up in random (and hidden) places and the students get a chance to look for them at the end of the lesson – if they didn’t locate them already. Sometimes it is easy, other days is hard. The fascinating thing is that the older students are equally invested in the fun (maybe even helping the ninjas hide some weeks.)

These “Practice Ninjas” look at the students from all angles, checking the bow hold, bow path, posture, and those hidden thumbs that students can conceal if you aren’t careful.

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With recitals this Friday, it has been helpful to inject a bit of posture-oriented-fun into the lesson without having to be the teacher that is the enforcer 🙂 Enjoy the day everyone, and Ms. Ella Fitzgerald (or Lobster Fitzgerald) wishes you a happy and safe all- hallow’s eve!
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what i learned (csi 2016)

CSI stuff 2016 Sitting through hours of teacher training at the Chicago Suzuki Institute brings to light a few important things: I am a good teacher > I don’t know everything > my studio families are amazing > and I can help them more.

My incredible teacher trainer Carey Cheney had us do something very inspirational: she asked us to write ourselves a letter of the things we want to do when we get home to improve our teaching and studios, and in 6 months she will mail it to us. That is called accountability, my friends. So here are a few things I included in my letter to inspire myself.

  • Help parents more. I think my studio parents have a good understanding of what their child is asked to show me for the next lesson, but I think I can help more with the structure of practicing at home with their child. Parents, this family activity is not easy, and I want to help make it simpler.
  • Expect more. There are moments where I don’t want to push a student too hard to discourage them, but you do not grow unless you find limits you must push past. Humans are capable of incredible things, but great skill only comes after being asked/encouraged/demanded to get there.
  • Preview more. I can honestly say I am not a teacher that expects students to perfect everything about a piece before starting to work on another when they are in the beginning stages, but require review to get us there eventually. However, I want to be more strategic about what review is assigned and how to do it, as well as preview very small parts of upcoming songs to make them easier. I do this, but I want to look even further ahead to make skills feel more natural.

So, there is what is essentially my “cello teaching resolutions” for the year. Perhaps I should put them up in some kind of beautiful way in my studio to keep me on course…

[photo below: Carey Cheney teaching a master class to a 5 year-old student playing the Breval Rondo from book 6. She rocks that 1/10th size cello!]Carey and book 5 student

epic week

This week I hosted a concert where nearly 700 tiny cellists and violinists age 3-6 to play in an arena with the Omaha Symphony. TRULY AMAZING. What is even more amazing is that I have 0 photos from the actual event, only this delightful one of all the lead teachers getting ready for the kids.

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Huge day, full of proud smiles and beautiful music. How to improve the week? Have our last Sprouting Up concert with my cello kiddos! They are beyond adorable, and have learned so many wonderful cello (and non-cello) things this year.

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Good week, right? But then…it was my birthday! Life is good, guys. Especially when you  have students that know you so well that you are given a coffee mug that is a camera lens.

Finish that off with losing rhythm shoots and snakes to a student when I was a ninja and she was a moose. #worthit

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wonderfully terrible christmas music days 6-13

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And the collection continues! If you missed days 1-5 of #25daysofwonderfullyterriblechristmasmusc, check it here!

#6 A breathy “Oh Santa” by Kylie Minogue

#7 “12 pains of Christmas” with terrible audio and GREAT video

#8 Weather Girl’s “Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man) 80’s YES!
#9 (You know I love a cappella but…) Sing-Off’s “Little Saint Nick”

#10 I needed a pick-me-up so the WONDERFUL Rockapella “Glow Worm”

#11 a creepy/sad minor version of “All I Want for Christmas is You”

#12 the great Love ctually “Christmas is All Around” 

#13 is not really a Christmas song but surely a new classic from Christmas Queens album “This is How We Jew It”

Enjoy this & last year’s complication!

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