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Practice video: The Easiest Way to Improve Music Practice with Your Child

How can you keep music practice interesting

Welcome to Practice Corner! If you watch only one Practice Corner, it should be this one.

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed or burnt out, and that comes through in practice. Even in difficult times (such as the holidays or the end of the school year), there is one thing you can do that will help you and your child have a better practice, feel more motivated, and build a stronger connection to each other.

Dr. Suzuki says: “Children learn to smile from their parents.”

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

What is one good thing you can say about your child’s practice today?




Practice video: Practice Buddies: Creating a neutral voice

Your child doesn’t have to feel defensive about practice mistakes

Welcome to Practice Corner! How do we help a child with mistakes without the child feeling attacked or criticized? The answer can be as simple as a helpful frog, ladybug, or dinosaur.

Dr. Suzuki says: “Creating desire in your child’s heart is the parent’s duty.”

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

What is your child’s favorite practice buddy?




Practice video: Preparing for Recitals

Is your child preparing for a music recital?

Welcome to Practice Corner! Whether a Suzuki book graduation or a full-on studio recital, performances can be a time of celebration, anxiety, and opportunity for your Suzuki kid. Yet the recital prep you do at home can be far more important than the recital itself. The tone we set for performances makes a big difference in setting up a child for success. How can we ease nerves, get familiar with recital routine, and set expectations?

This week we’ll go over creative ways to prepare kids for recitals and ease their nerves.

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How do you prepare your kids for a recital?




Practice video: The Importance of Summer Institutes

Why should your summer include a Suzuki institute?

Welcome to Practice Corner! Suzuki summer institutes are around the corner. Why should your child go to one? Today we are discussing how inspirational and fun a Suzuki summer institute can be.

Here in Eugene, we are lucky to have an institute in our own backyard! On the UO campus, the Northwest Suzuki Institute (NSI) is July 30–Aug. 4.

Here is the SAA’s listing of Summer Institutes 2017. Where will you go?

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

Please share with us your experiences and why you have enjoyed going to summer institute.




Practice video: Appreciate your child’s unique journey

Keep faith in the process

How do you connect with your child’s unique journey? Welcome to Practice Corner!

Today we talk about staying focused on the work we do with our children and how to appreciate the small steps of learning. Your child has their own unique journey that won’t look like anyone else’s. Keep faith in the process, and your child will bloom in their own time. This week we’ll talk about staying engaged in your child’s musical and developmental journey.

BONUS: Get The Carrot Seed

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How do you remember to appreciate your child’s unique journey?




Practice video: Review Games

How can you keep music practice interesting

Welcome to Practice Corner! We’ve talked all about why review is so important to build our repertoire… but how do you keep it fun and engaging? This week we’ll go over some creative ways to use review games to keep practice interesting.

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How do you keep review interesting and engaging?




Practice video: The importance of review

Why are review songs important?

Join Jodie for a discussion of the importance of review. Review is such a large part of the Suzuki philosophy, and it can make a difference in the success of the child.

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

What are your tips and tricks for review songs?




Practice video: The Odd and Even Game

How can you work on endings or tricky spots in a practice piece? Are you looking for a way to diffuse conflicts or add some fun? Get out your dice and play the Odd and Even Game with Jodie!

This video is our first foray into doing practice videos on Facebook (we’ll also be rolling these out to YouTube in the coming weeks).

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other Monday evening at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the new ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

How are you using dice in your practice?




Bead chain practice challenge

Jodie is also earning beads for her 100 Day Practice Challenge!

Jodie is also earning beads for her 100 Day Practice Challenge!

ESMA’s 100 day practice challenge

Students aren’t the only ones who need regular practice—teachers need it too. I recently started a #100DayPracticeChallenge with some fellow Suzuki teachers. It’s simple: practice 100 days in a row.

And you know what? That’s something I’ve (surprisingly) never done.

As I was preparing for the challenge, I realized that it was something the entire studio could share. A practice challenge—whether it’s 7 days, 30 days, a 100 days, whatever—is a great way to encourage practice, inspire learning, and get back into a good practice groove after a break (such as summer or the holidays).

My whole studio is now counting up to 100 days of practice. Some students are doing 100 days in a row like I am, and other students are just counting each day they practice.

How do you keep track of practice? Bead chains!

Each participating student has their own bead chain hanging in the studio's welcome room

Each participating student has their own bead chain hanging in the studio’s welcome room.

To help each of us keep track of our practice progress, I’ve set up bead chains in the welcome room at the entrance to the studio. The chains are simple—just a length of string with a name tag at one end, and a loop tied at the other end for hanging on a small hook. (I’ve hung these pretty high so our Little Notes babies and toddlers can’t get them.)

When a student comes in for their weekly lesson, we go over how many days they practiced during the week since their previous lesson. At the beginning of their lesson, the student picks out their new beads.

Practice challenge bead jars and name tags

Practice challenge bead jars and name tags

For days 1-4 that they’ve practiced over the past week, they get a round bed. For days 5-7, they get special star beads. After we finish the lesson, the student strings on their new beads as they leave the studio for a new practice week.

What happens when I get to 100?

First, congratulate yourself! You made it. If you’ve been keeping notes, take time to look at the progress you made in 100 days. Or take a short video every 10 days of what you’ve been working on. Too often, we are putting in hard work and it’s hard to see the progress. Celebrating those successes can be a huge motivator.

For our studio, we’ll be celebrating our 100 days of practice with a party in April after Spring Break. There will be prizes for anyone who does 100 days in a row as well as for the first 5 students to reach 100.

If you haven’t started your practice challenge yet, let’s talk about it in your next lesson! As for me, I have a bead to earn—time to practice!




Workshop Mar. 12: Ring Around Your Review

Workshop Mar. 12: Ring Around Your Review

In partnership with the Eugene Suzuki Strings Association, ESMA is one of many local Suzuki studios leading a review song workshop on Mar. 12.

The workshop features lively, fun-focused Suzuki group and musicianship classes with teachers from throughout our community, with a focus on how to integrate review into your family’s practice routine and maintain your motivation for keeping review in your life: into the intermediate books and beyond!

  • WHEN: Saturday, March 12: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • WHERE: University of Oregon School of Music and Dance
  • 9:00–11:00 a.m.: Group and musicianship classes, plus breaks for socializing and snacks
  • 11:00 a.m.: Public play-in (casual performance) in beautiful Beall Hall

Join us! Cost: $20 per child, with the attendance of a supervising parent or guardian. Scholarships available. Pre-registration is required: email cmi@uoregon.edu.

Questions? Contact Lillie Manis at 541.346.5694




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