Violin 9-25-14

Today O8 had her violin lesson with Miss Tina. She worked on Happy Farmer in Suzuki Book 2 and also started Bourrée. Miss Tina decided to start this before Waltz as she thought it might be less frustrating for our little violinist.

Later in the day, S10 had soccer practice. She had to run an extra lap around the field because she had a hand ball during last Saturday’s game. Oops!



Man vs. Wild Day 3

Today S9 attended the 3rd of four camps at On Target Outfitters.

The weather was pretty sketchy for much of the afternoon, so they stayed close to the pavilion and worked on a nature journal and made walking sticks. The nature journal is a publication of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and has some good resources that we may incorporate into our regular nature studies.



While S9 was at camp, O7 took her violin lesson. She worked on polishing May Song. Tina is going to videotape her playing it for her violin school website. We also worked more on Etude. She played the entire song through, and just needs to polish it more and memorize it. She has been listening to the CD version a lot in the car this week, and it really shows.

Suzuki Camp Day 6

Today was the closing concert for this year’s Suzuki strings camp in Columbus, OH. It was held at the ampitheatre just off campus.


O7 performed with the theater group (the Three Blank Pigs).  After all the other enrichment classes had performed, they started the play down.  She went up at Perpetual Motion this year.  Last year, she only played Lightly Row and Twinkle.  It is nice to see how much progress she has made in a year’s time, especially since the Suzuki method may seem slow and tedious.  We may still be in Book 1, but she has learned so much and is making great strides.  I think this camp has not only improved her skills, but I think it has also improved her self-confidence (both with violin and in general.)

After camp ended, we followed up with Mrs. Steig’s recommendation to get a new instrument for O7. Since we rent ours from the Loft, we were able to easily exchange it. She and I did that right after camp ended. To her complete and utter joy, the new instrument has backpack straps (and no wolf tone!) She was very pleased and is already looking forward to next year, when she can carry her violin on her back and ride her bike to classes.



Later that evening, we picked S9 up at the airport.  O7 really missed her and made a sign while we waited for her plane at the gate.


They were very happy to see each other.


Next year, we may look into a camp that does both strings and piano. There is one in MI called Blue Lake. It is a fine arts camp that has Suzuki camp for the first three weeks of the summer. While I loved all the people we met (and re-met) at the Columbus camp, it would be a lot of fun to go away somewhere as a family and also try something different.

Suzuki Camp Day 5

Today was our fifth and final full day of Suzuki string camp in Columbus, OH.  Tomorrow is the final concert, after which we will head back home.

DH sat in on all the classes today and got to see what the kids had been working on all week.  O7 was very happy and proud to have him there.  She really blossomed this week.  It was wonderful to see her come out of her shell for a bit.  We will see how/if that lasts when S9 comes back from Florida.

Theater class started with a working-together activity.  The kids had to stand in a circle, holding hands, and pass a hula hoop around the circle without letting go.  That was pretty tricky!





Then they did another mad lib, The Princess and the Blank. O7 was the princess, and Parker was the prince.


They finished up with a quick practice of what they would do at the concert the next day.  Then they all posed for a group shot (thanks, Heather!)


We went to Kodaly, then we had a little break. DH and O7 made the most of it and went for a bike ride.


Then we went to Graeter’s for after-lunch dessert.


In the afternoon, we went to Technique, then Repetoire, and finally our Master Class. Mrs. Steig was a wonderful teacher and we enjoyed her very much. Here she is with Amelia and O7.


We went to dinner, and then … went for MORE ICE CREAM. (Hey, that’s what camp is for, right?!)

Suzuki Camp Day 4

Today was our fourth day of Suzuki strings camp in Columbus, OH.

We started off with Theater and Kodaly orchestra. O7 liked that she did not need to bring her violin for the morning sessions. It definitely made the logistics easier for us. We went to breakfast and our two morning sessions, then we had a concert, break and lunch before the busy afternoon. There was lots of time to make a stop back at the dorm to pick up her instrument before we resumed at 2pm.

Theater class:


A shot of Kodaly in session with Mrs. Molly:


I sat through Repetoire today, unlike the other days when I went to the parent sessions. So I got this shot of Lilly,
O7, and Gideon fooling around before class began. These three were in Repetoire together last year, too, so it was a bit of a reunion.


We also had Technique and Masterclass. In Masterclass, O7 got assigned to play the first three measures (give or take) of each of her Suzuki songs with a good posture. She had to put her violin in rest position after each one. The game was to get her to practice setting it properly in the first place.

After dinner, we went with Lilly and her mom to Graeter’s for ice cream.


This is a big camp tradition, and O7 had been looking forward to it all week.



DH surprised her later that night by coming in to stay with us. So we Skyped with S9 down in FL ourselves, while he was driving. She was doing great and having a fantastic time at the pool. It didn’t sound like she missed us very much, unfortunately.

Suzuki Camp Day 3

Today started out much better.  O7 wore her tennis shoes to theater, and Miss Linda complimented her on them when she walked in.  That was the end of that.

In theater, the kids played a few team-building games.  First, she divided them into two groups and asked the groups to line up alphabetically by the first letter of their first name.  That was pretty easy.  Then they had to line up by the first letter of their mom’s first name.  That was much harder.  Then they lined up by the month in which they were born.  Finally, they played a game called Shazam!.  Each group had to quietly discuss amongst themselves whether they wanted to be Knights, Giants or Wizards.  Knights beat Wizards, Wizards beat Giants, and Giants beat Knights.  (Rock, paper, scissors embodied.)  O7’s group chose to be Wizards and were defeated by the other group, who had elected to be  Knights.  The next round, the Knights stayed knights, but the Wizards became Giants and beat them.    Finally, they did a few rounds of Mad Libs.  The game is played the traditional way, with Miss Linda asking the class for adjectives and numbers and interesting places; but then, while she reads the silly story, they have to act it out.  We did this last year and I can’t believe how much fun the kids have with it.  They did the Three Smelly Pigs (who lived in Bejing, Buffalo and Columbus) and the Princess and the Candy.

Next we went to Kodaly.  There was another round of Ida Red and some singing games, trying to match the pitch of a tuning note.

Getting ready for Kodaly

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After Kodaly, we attended the morning recital to hear our friends E9 and L11 play.  E9 played Allegretto and his brother played Hunters Chorus.  It was fun to watch and support someone we knew.  We sat up in the balcony with a girl named Lucy and her family.

Next, we headed back to the dorm for a break before lunch and Fun Day.  At 1, we joined the rest of the campers at Roush Hall for a Grand Concert and playdown. A playdown is when they have all the kids sit together and then everyone who knows the most advanced piece stands up to play it.  The next-most advanced piece is played and anyone who “has” (memorized) that song joins in.  The pieces get successively easier until everyone is standing and playing Twinkle en masse.  There is something unspeakably amazing about hearing Twinkle played by a huge group of Suzuki students.

The afternoon then morphed into Fun Day, with a jazzy jam session, fiddle contest, and outdoor games on the lawn.  O7 enjoyed the sprinkler with some friends, then did some sidewalk chalk and bubbles.

Suzuki Camp Day 2

Today was Day 2 of our Suzuki Violin camp in Columbus.

The first session, at 8AM, was theater.  O7 was very excited to have theater again this year with Miss Linda, but then we had a little shoe snafu.  Miss Linda asked O7 not to wear flip-flops again because they were not safe for the classroom activities.  O7 got very upset (embarrassed, I think) and left the group. She came over to where I was sitting and began to cry.  I took her out of the room for a bit until we were both calm, and then we watched the remainder of the class.  I was very worried that this was going to spell disaster for the rest of the day, but fortunately, that didn’t seem to be the case.

Next we went to Kodaly with Mrs. Molly.  Her class has a very kum-bay-a- feel to it, but the kids liked it a lot.  Kodaly is a method for teaching basic music theory through games, songs and other activities.  We learned “Ida Red, and Ida Blue” and a drumming call-and-response song.  It was a good transition to O7’s recital, which was next.

Here is O7 waiting for her recital to begin:

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She played Go Tell Aunt Rhody. Miss Linda was the accompanyist, which didnt’ seem to pose a problem, so that was good. O7 played well, with one stumble where she seemed to forget which part of the song she was on. That seemed to be a common theme with all of the performers. I imagine it’s very intimidating to go on stage, especially for some of the younger students who maybe have never done that before.

We had a short break, then lunch, and then we rode bikes and climbed trees for a bit with our new friend, L8. L8 lives in our town and goes to the same school as several of our old friends from ballet and Camp Fire.

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O7 has just learned how to ride without training wheels, so this is a very exciting thing.

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Soon, it was time to go in for Technique class. Here they are, waiting for it to start.

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After Technique class, in which they worked on following the tempo set by the teacher (which is much slower than the one they prefer to play at!) we went to Repertoire. I sat in on the class this time.

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Mr. Farrar is the teacher for this class, and he also worked with the kids on their listening and following directions skills. This is super important for a musician, especially once you start playing with a group.

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Finally, we went to our second Masterclass. Mrs. Steig asked how we did with the coupon and with practicing Allegro. Then we worked intently on playing some of Andantino. She had O7 play the opening rhythm but with the Twinkle notes:

(on A) That sounds great
(on E) That sounds great
(on F#) That sounds great
(on E) Yeah!
(on D) That sounds great
(on C#) That sounds great
(on B) That sounds great
(on A) Yeah!

Her assignment was to play that 11 times, and then to play the first line of Andantino twice. She had O7 play the twinkle-note version once in class, and told her she only had to do it ten more times tonight. We came back to the room after dinner and did that right away. She balked at the first few repetitions, but then managed to get through the rest without complaint.

Later, we joined some other students outside for some squirt-gun fun and some tag on the lawn.