Friday, October 22, 2010

The Playlist

I love my iPod. What I love most about my iPod that wasn't as easy or convenient with my good ol' portable DVD player or walkman is the PLAYLISTS. Since the Suzuki method is so focused on listening it becomes a daily part of my life. My playlists makes it easier to listen to the Suzuki music over and over and over and over and over again....

Here are some examples of playlists you can have on your iPod:

  • Put your whole Suzuki book on and add the next three songs 2, 3, 4, or more extra times so it gets extra listening.

  • Include different versions of the pieces you're learning. In the upper books there are multiple versions - often in an orchestral setting or with a different instrument.

  • Include outside pieces your teacher is having you learn. Most of the time there is a recording.

  • Make a playlist of only accompaniment songs. This is great for kids in the upper books to use for review.

  • Put all the pieces from every Suzuki CD you own on one playlist for background listening.

  • Insert some of your child's favorite songs as well as the Suzuki pieces on the playlist so they can do some fun listening as well as the Suzuki listening.

  • I make a car playlist with songs for each of my children. This includes Book 1 songs, Book 5 songs, nursery rhymes, and some Kids Bop (from McDonalds) for my son.

A SMART way to practice

My ambitious, excited 4-year-old wasn't so excited to practice this week. The first day after her lesson we started practicing and we only got three things done and my daughter sighed, "Mom, I'm running out of gas! I'll finish later." Well, after this was said there was no use. I tried to be upbeat, but I started to get irritated so I just quit practicing. And, because of my busy life - it didn't get done later either.
So, the next day I pulled out some treats from my studio. Smarties to be specific. There are 15 little Smartie treats inside a Smartie package and I told my sweet daughter that she could have one little treat every time we did something for practice. So, we bowed and said "Good Afternoon" and she got a treat. We did a bow exercise and she got a treat. It turns out that A LOT of practicing can get done with 15 little Smartie treats. Aside from the first day - this has been the best week of practicing.
{other things we practiced: Up Like a Rocket, Stirring the Witches Brew, chin holds, Tuca on E string, Tuca on A string, elbow stick, Pop Goes the Weasel, clapping rhythms, and everything all over again.}

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I was practicing with my 4-year-old daughter, and she struggled to do 10 of what I asked her to do. The next time around I told her I would say the alphabet, one letter between each repetition. Before she knew it she had done 26 happily. Sometimes you just have to change things up a bit!