Congratulations to the following young musicians for successfully auditioning for and being accepted into AFA! We are so excited to have young musicians ranging from elementary school to middle and high school participating in both the MS and HS summer music programs. Well done, everyone!
As we celebrate the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 it’s wonderful to take a look back at the accomplishments of LHS students! As your teacher, I’m so honored to have the opportunity to work with all of you. In the past few months alone we’ve launched a new, larger studio space at the Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery, performed all over Houston, and celebrated recitals, competitions, auditions, academic awards, and youth orchestra performances. It’s so tremendously exciting to see everyone take on leadership positions in their school orchestras as well. Bravo, 2016, and here’s to starting 2017 off on the right note!
Catherine & Lizzie perform at the Sugar Land Art Center & Gallery
Even the tiniest violin needs to be exactly in tune!
Ms. Haley and Daelyn
All smiles after a group class
Ananya at Carnegie Hall!
Manasa and Manjunath performed at an event for the Fort Bend Women’s Shelter!
Congratulations on your new medal, Amanda!
Way to go, Catherine & Lizzie!
Ms. Haley with Dr. Donna Brink Fox (Eastman School of Music)
Ms. Haley and Irina Walters after Ms. Haley’s lecture and performance at ACS Egham International School
With great excitement, Lauren Haley Studios announces a new lesson space within the Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery! This energizing learning environment furthers the LHS vision for dynamic music education and performance.
Our partnership with the Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery, a non-profit 501c3 organization and Fort Bend Star Readers’ Choice Award 2016 Winner, presents fantastic opportunities for group lessons and performances as well as a dedicated space for private lessons. We’re thrilled for the growth this move will foster in our young musicians.
More information about the Sugar Land Art Center can be found online at http://www.sugarlandartcenter.org. Lessons at our new studio location will commence on August 1st, 2016!
Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery 104 Industrial Blvd. Suite Q, Studio #9 Sugar Land, TX 77478
I’m so happy to be back in town after an absolutely brilliant week at Juilliard’s Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies. It’ll certainly take more than one post to pass along the wisdom shared by so many great violinists and colleagues, so let’s start off with one of my favorite events — Sarah Chang’s master class.
To begin the week, world-renowned soloist Sarah Chang offered not just her expert violinistic advice on major repertoire, but a prime example of positive teaching at the highest possible level. She frequently used questions to help students identify their individual musical intentions for each phrase, thereby giving students the confidence to present their own artistic interpretations with conviction. Meanwhile, her upbeat encouragement, quick humor, intelligent teaching process, and warm smile made her master class both a tutorial on technique and musicality as well as one on how to inspire your audience!
In talking about her own legendary teacher, the incomparable Dorothy Delay, Sarah Chang mentioned the importance of making disciplined learning fun. As one of the most skilled child prodigies in musical history, Sarah Chang still confessed to having watched an hour of TV after school every day — “Saved By the Bell!”
Welcome to the 2015 LHS 100 Days of Practice Challenge!
Registration is now open and will close when the Challenge begins on Friday, March 20th. Dust away the dreary winter and infuse your practice sessions with excitement, motivation, and progress!
Celebrate the milestones along the way, and join us for a party honoring your accomplishments at the conclusion of the Challenge in June. Signing up for the Challenge will give your family step-by-step support and motivation. We’re in this together!
Check out www.musicinpractice.com to learn more about setting students up for positive and effective practicing. Sue Hunt, its creator, provides endlessly helpful tips! My favorite article about the 100 Day Challenge is targeted at teachers, but the diagrams help everyone understand how consistent practicing is the key to musical success:
I still remember the fun practice games I played with my parents as a young violinist. You too can use practice sessions to bond, build self-esteem, and develop positive determination. Playing a quick, relaxing activity in-between practice repetitions helps keep the mood happy, and your involvement demonstrates to your child just how important their progress and happiness on the violin is to you. Here are some of my favorites for your family to enjoy!
1.) Candy Land
Candy Land is an ideal practice board game because it requires little play time per turn, keeping your practice session on track. Each time it’s your child’s turn, have them play a measure (or song, or new technique) before rolling the dice. What a great way to involve the whole family in practice time fun!
2.) Glitter Wands
There’s something about a glitter wand that mesmerizes even studio parents! Kids and parents alike set up their bow hold on the glitter wand and keep the hold relaxed and accurate until all the glitter falls to the bottom of the wand. Turn the wand upside down and start again!
3.) Arts and Crafts
Give a Rainbow Loom Rubber band to your child for each repetition and see what you can build in a day. Trade play-throughs for feathers, beads, craft supplies, everything. For each step in your project, play a review song. For the true artist, grab a coloring book and fill in part of a picture for every repetition. Paint-by-numbers works especially well for determining how much to fill in for each repetition.
4.) Build Them Up!
Legos (or Duplos, for younger kids) are an awesome way to help kids understand how each practice session takes them to new heights of achievement! Start a Lego village and add a piece for every conquered difficulty. For younger kids, put together a Duplo scene each day, rewarding each effort with a new Duplo. At the end, they’ll have a visual representation of their achievement!
5.) Third Time’s a “Charm!”
For every three times in a row your little violinist plays something correctly, give them a “charm” (a bead for a bracelet). Alternatively, use rhinestone embellishments and glue one on to a project for every three repetitions. Use these creations as presents for friends and family!
6.) Suzuki Review Games
You can find dice, review cards, and other Suzuki-specific games at thepracticeshoppe.com. You can use these dice to play Review Song Bingo as well!
A note on electronic games – while gaming on the iPad may sound like the ultimate practice reward for each kid, I don’t recommend it because isn’t centered around parent-child practicing, and earning screen time makes practicing seem like a chore that must be rewarded. Instead, practicing should be a time when parents and kids work together and enjoy the experience itself.
Above all, remember that every child’s first priority is making you proud with their playing! Praise their hard work, and let them know that trial and error is part of the process – we practice so much because we know that some things are too advanced to play correctly the first time!
All opinions are by Lauren Haley and all original content is copyright 2015 Lauren Haley Studios.
“I want my children to love music, but I’m no expert. How can my spouse and I give our kids the very best music has to offer when we’re so new to violin?”
Here are my favorite ways to help your kids learn!
Attend Every Lesson
Ask questions, videotape, take notes, and try playing a few songs yourself. The more involved you are, the easier everything will come to you and your young musician(s)! Teachers don’t expect you to be an expert — they hope you’ll be their teammate at home, supporting your child each step of the way. Not only does this effort help you keep up with your little violinist, but it also demonstrates to your child how much you love them and value their hard work. Remember that kids will mirror your attitude — if you’re positive and dedicated, they will be as well.
Talk to Other Parents
If there’s an obstacle standing in your way, you can bet someone else in the studio recently faced and conquered it. Friendships with other studio parents can be a huge resource. Ask your teacher to set you up with another family.
Youth Concerts — Recitals, local youth orchestras, and high school musical productions inspire us all. “Look how much fun those kids are having together! Are you excited to play with them someday soon?”
Professional Performances — Symphonies often have special concert series targeted at families. These family events often take place on Saturday mornings, making it easy for you to bring even the youngest ones along. Make it a special occasion and celebrate how grown-up the kids are at their first concert!
Houston Families: Check out the Houston Symphony (especially the Family Season!), Virtuosi of Houston, the Houston Youth Symphony, and the American Festival for the Arts.
Put on a favorite CD and let the kids spin around the room. Encourage them to move to the music — slow when the music slows, speed up and twirl when the music does the same. Encourage brave musical expression from your children by getting up and dancing with them!
Show children the fun of expressing how they feel through their voice. Sing in the car, on long walks, whilst doing the dishes, and, most importantly, whenever the kids are happy. It doesn’t matter what you sing or how everyone sounds: you’re building self-esteem, a love for music, and perceptive ears!
Rent Your Own Instrument
It may feel intimidating, but renting your own instrument and playing along with your child for the first few months is one of the most effective ways to jump-start progress at home. Who knows, you too might catch the Fiddle Bug!
Set Your Home to Music
Let listening to music and singing along work its way into every aspect of family life. Have a new favorite song each week, listen to your new Suzuki CD until yours neighbors could play Allegro, and show the kids how fun listening to Beethoven over breakfast can be.
All opinions are by Lauren Haley and all original content is copyright 2015 Lauren Haley Studios.