Studio IV

Violin and viola instruction in Brooklyn, NY.

Studio IV is the violin and viola teaching studio of Erin Ellis in Brooklyn, NY.

Filtering by Tag: Erin Ellis

New York Area Concerts for Children and Families

As you know, listening is a vital component of the Suzuki method. I encourage you to expose your kids to as many performances as possible! I find them to be fun, inspiring, and engaging for children.

For those of us in NYC, there are quite a few places that offer programs specific to children. Here are links to a few resources:

Carnegie Hall Family Concerts

New York Philharmonic

NYC Arts 

Symphony Space Family

Let me know if you'd like to arrange a group trip!

 

 

 

Attending My First SAA Conference

In just a few short weeks I'll be attending my first Suzuki conference in Minneapolis. I was not sure as to whether or not I should go, given that my budget allows for either the conference or another teacher training this year, but I decided that I'd really like to see what it's all about. I'll continue my training next year. I wasn't feeling completely solid in my choice until I read this post on the SAA blog. Upon finishing this article, I knew I'd made the right decision.

I've mentioned before that I don't believe one methodology is necessarily better than another. Different approaches to learning work better for different people. However, I know that the Suzuki approach is the right one for me. In particular, I embrace the community aspect - teachers supporting each other; sharing ideas, forming groups, meeting together for coffee. I've never felt more welcomed into a musical community. I love that someone took the time to post a blog about what it's like to attend a conference, and recommended that we all make an effort to reach out to one another.

I'm looking forward to the presentations, concerts, seminars, and teaching points I'm sure to learn in Minneapolis. Most of all, I look forward to reconnecting with people I've met in my Suzuki journey, and meeting some new folks with whom to share ideas.

 

A Day in the Life - Thursday, March 27, 2014

I thought it might be fun to write about a day in my week - there is definitely no "typical" day!

Last week, Thursday, March 27th was a super busy day. I didn't have any students on Thursday, but that didn't stop me from having a full day of music. 

I woke up and did some lesson planning, and then headed to Manhattan to rehearse chamber music with my friend and her sister (who is now also a friend). We had a blast! My friend and I have been working on the Bach Double Violin Concerto. Her sister is an accomplished pianist, so we met for a few hours to work on it as a trio. It completely changed the vibe of the music and added to the fun we've been having with it. We are planning to get together this week and polish it up.

I headed back home and did a bit more studio work; lesson plans, paperwork, and basic day-to-day things necessary for running a studio. It felt good to catch up.

Around 6:30 PM I headed back into Manhattan to rehearse with The Doctors Orchestral Society of New York. This orchestra was founded in 1938 by physicians who were also musicians and wanted to play orchestral music. (FYI - I'm not hiding a secret MD, they've opened the group to other members!) The program is a really fun one to play, and is called "A Celebration of American Composers." The pieces are An Outdoor Overture by Aaron Copland, A Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, and Symphony No. 2 in D-flat Major, Opus 30, W45, “Romantic” by Howard Hansen. The piano soloist for the Gershwin is a high school student here in NYC.

It was a really fun and productive day practicing by myself, with a few friends, and lastly with 60+ other people. I came home around 11 PM completely exhausted but extremely satisfied with the way my time was spent. I'll post about a day of teaching soon!

Headed Back to Dallas

I'm about to set off to Dallas again for my Book 3 Suzuki Teacher Training. I'm looking forward to it for a number of reasons, in no specific order:

1- The Teacher: I took my Book 2 training with Judy Bossuat-Gallic and am thrilled to have the opportunity to study with her again. She teaches in a way that really works with my learning style. I'm a better teacher and a better player because of the time i've had with her.  I've loved all my teacher trainings so far, they've all been incredible experiences.

2-The Camaraderie: One of the many things that constantly excites me about the Suzuki Method is the support system that comes along with it. Teachers are supportive and collaborative with each other. I've gotten so many great ideas from other course participants, and have connected with people that I hope to keep in my network throughout my career, professionally and personally. It looks like some of the people I met in Book 2 Training will also be in this class - I look forward to seeing them again and meeting those people I haven't yet met.

3-The Repertoire: I've really enjoyed going through the Suzuki repertoire with the teacher trainers. They know so much about why each piece was chosen and in what order, and have great ideas and suggestions for how to teach them. 

And now to the silly stuff:

1. A bathtub! I live in a WONDERFUL but tiny NY apartment. A bathtub for an entire week is pretty much the definition of luxury to me.

2. A car! There aren't tons of places for me to go, and I plan to be very busy practicing, but it will be fun to drive again!

3. Pay per view! Perhaps I'll even have a little time to watch a few of those Oscar-nominated movies I never saw. (And I never saw any of them...)

4. Slightly warmer weather! The weather in Dallas is much like that of my hometown of Atlanta, GA. Not yet balmy, but warmer than it is here. I'll take it.
 

Stay tuned for updates from the road!

Taking Lessons

As a teacher, I feel it's imperative to practice regularly and keep my skills up in order to set the best example for my students, as well as for my own enjoyment.

This past Monday, I was fortunate to have a lesson via Skype with an instructor I greatly respect and admire. I completed my Unit 2 Suzuki Violin instruction class with her, and will be studying Unit 3 with her in just a few weeks.

It was such an eye-opening experience! We worked together for an hour, mostly on my left hand position, but also on my bow arm. It's truly incredible what just one lesson can do. While I feel I do a good job adjusting my studentss' positions, I hadn't been paying close enough attention to some bad (and painful!) habits I'd let myself get into in my own playing. By the end of that hour, my left elbow no longer hurt, my intonation was better and and my left hand felt relaxed. I have another lesson in a few weeks and can't wait to see what comes from it.

Lifelong Learning

One of the things I love the most about playing an instrument is the fact that one never stops learning. I can go back and play pieces that I learned in high school and now incorporate new technique, new feelings, and new experiences that shape the way I play. It’s a lifelong learning process, and I feel it’s such a gift to have this.

I can’t stress enough how much I’ve enjoyed the Suzuki training I have pursued this year. I didn’t grow up in the Suzuki method, and I believe there are many wonderful and diverse ways to learn how to play an instrument. I’m really inspired by the community aspect of the Suzuki method and the support system I’ve acquired in the past year.  I also feel this method has been wonderful for my students.

Through these seminars, not only have I learned how to be a better teacher, but also a better player. It’s wonderful to be in a supportive learning environment with your peers, each of whom are from different backgrounds, and we teach to and learn from each other.

I’m greatly looking forward to my next trip to Dallas in March to study Unit 3.

More on the training in the next post!

  © Studio IV LLC 2018,  All Rights Reserved.