ROARING FORK VALLEY
Now accepting students ages 4 and up at locations
between Aspen and Rifle, Colorado.
Please contact me for more information or to plan a time to observe a lesson!
Students take part in weekly private lessons, studio recitals, as well as other outreach performance opportunities. Many students also take part in the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra.
The Suzuki method is the foundation of my teaching, though from early on I emphasize the importance of note reading and draw from other teaching methods and materials as well as my own experience. I have completed registered Suzuki cello pedagogy training.
I emphasize developing a solid technical foundation through the study of classical music so that students are then equipped with the skills and musical experience to play any style of music they choose. I firmly believe that any child is capable of learning to play music. Only a small number of students may go on to study at the conservatory level, but all students develop a life-long appreciation for music and musical study, as well as invaluable life skills.
Active parental involvement during lessons and at home, as well as consistent weekly lessons are vital to the success of each student. The collaboration between teacher, parent, and student leads to long-term enjoyment of playing music.
Practicing is essential to learning to play an instrument. The level of motivation to practice can vary widely from day to day for students of all ages and levels. Practicing isn't always "fun," though it can be enjoyable and satisfying. Practicing is a practice, something to do every day through which you learn and grow. At times it is difficult, but the reward is hearing and feeling the progress and then sharing a piece of music with parents, teachers, other student musicians, or an audience at a concert. Once students begin to notice their progress, they are more motivated to continue the practicing routine and take great pride in the endeavor of learning to play.
Sometimes practicing is just a routine - something we do every day no matter what and we keep going by just maintaining the routine. However the more thought you put into practicing, the more you will get out of it and progress will be more apparent. It is important to remember that often progress is not linear. We take a step forward, one to the side, one back and all of a sudden we've lept ahead three steps. It is different for every student and every learning style.
Here are a few resources for strategies to help motivate students of all ages in practicing and also deepen our understanding of the process.
This article from PBS describes the benefits of goal-oriented practice rather than a set amount of time per day.
This excellent article from an NPR series explains how practicing an instrument is "a path towards self-disicpline that goes way beyond music."
What jazz pianist Bill Evans explains in this article and interview applies to classical music and life in general. He explains "It is true of any subject that the person that succeeds in anything has the realistic viewpoint at the beginning and knows that the problem is large and that he has to take it a step at a time and that he has to enjoy the step-by-step learning procedure. They’re trying to do a thing in a way that is so general that they can’t possibly build on that. If they build on that, they’re building on top of confusion and vagueness and they can’t possibly progress. If you try to approximate something that is very advanced and don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t advance." (shared from Brain Pickings website and the video "The Universal Mind of Bill Evans - Creative Process and Self-Teaching")
Yo-Yo Ma in a candid discussion of practicing, performing.
The Suzuki Association of the Americas webpage has a wealth of information and ideas for practicing, especially with young children. These include many strategies for varying practicing to stay focused using games and other motivational techniques. Also, there are great articles about being the parent of a young cello or string student.
Happy Farmer Practice Video
Practice the hooked bows (down down, up up) and dotted rhythm slowly and without the pick-up note. Then add the pick-up note which starts up bow, but only when you can do at least 5 perfect repetitions of the first measure in a row. In the second half of this video I play through the whole piece at a slow practice tempo.
Minuet No. 1 Practice Video
A slow practice video of Minuet No. 1. Use this for focused listening or for playing along to practice the timing and intonation.
of the Americas