Ruth's Calendar

Monday, March 31, 2014

April Attention

Dear Parents And Students:

First of all 
to everyone who played for Federation on Saturday!!!

May I draw your attention to the printed April calendar for the Godfrey Violin and Viola Studio  The April schedule is unusual due to Easter on April 20.  Violin Group Lessons are April 12.  April 14-18 there are NO LESSONS except for a few makeup lessons.  The third week of April lessons is April 21-25.  April 28 begins the first week of May lessons.  Please let me know if you have conflicts.

Ballet West is running again.  Next week I have rehearsals every night.  This conflicts with the Monday and Tuesday lessons after 6:30pm.  Those lessons will be rolled over to April 14-15 as makeups.

The final registration deadline for the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute is tomorrow.  I do think that if you apply in April, even up to May you will be accepted.  This exceptional Institute welcomes enrollment!

Next month the Utah Youth Symphony and the Young Artists Chamber Players are holding auditions. These are two of the finest youth orchestra organizations in the state.  Both offer more than one performing ensemble.  YACP in particular offers three performing groups in order to give students at all levels the exciting and formative experience of playing in a wonderful musical group.  Go to their websites for detailed information.  I recommend orchestra membership to all of my students!! It is FUN to play in orchestra!!
You can find other performing opportunities with the Jordan Youth Symphony and the Granite Youth Symphony.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Benefits of Lesson Trading

Life is so busy!  I know that between the many families in the Godfrey Violin and Viola Studio, collectively there are innumerable sports events and practices, school rehearsals, dance classes, gymnastics, orchestra concerts, choir concerts, and family activities.  Just last week I had eight families notify me of not being able to make an upcoming lesson.  Often it is illness or another last minute unforeseen challenge.  For a same day cancellation I do not make up the lesson.  Eight is a large number.  Usually I have maybe one or two.  This prompted me to update the contact information for parents and students in my studio on the Phone-Email list and make sure that all students and families received this file, along with my current teaching schedule.  Since I don't have a secretary or receptionist (wouldn't that be nice?)  I am hoping that when a student cannot make their lesson time they will try to trade with someone else that I teach.  I am certain that there are parents or students who would rather not "bother" with this task and just take the makeup lesson at the end of the month.  Then again many will call or email another family to try to trade times.  I know how hard each family initially works with me at the beginning of the year to obtain a time that fits well into their lives. Certainly we are all in the same boat.  To my studio families, I would suggest, since everyone occasionally has a lesson that they can't make please consider trading if you possibly can with someone who approaches you in a bind for a trade.  They may in turn be happy to help you when you have conflicts.  When you do this you are not only helping each other but you are helping me.

I don't want you to miss your lesson.  It slows the flow of what we are working on when you skip a lesson.  This is manifest when we have the "Off" week at the end of the month after the group lesson, although I consciously try to send home enough material so that each student will practice well for two weeks.  I may not be able to give up non-scheduled teaching time for a makeup.  When you have a conflict I realize that you may look at the schedule and not see even one lesson time that you can make, even if a trade were possible.  In that case the end of the month makeup is usually available or I might be able to fit you in someplace during the week that works for both of us.  The Godfrey Violin and Viola Studio has more students than it did six months ago and so my non-scheduled time is less than it was.

I am so blessed to teach the special young people that come into my life.  I want to give each of them the best that I am capable of.  I know that working together in the Godfrey Violin and Viola Studio we are giving children a powerful musical legacy. Each developing talent brings me much joy and satisfaction.  Thank you for your many kindnesses to me and for your consideration of the makeup policies, just another detail in the excellent process that we are engaged in.     

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Violin Olympics

Violin Group Lessons on February 22 were a lot of fun.  In the Twinkle Group we earned gold medals for best bow hold (Olivia A) best bow game (Mason) best Twinkle variation (Olivia G) best Fiddle song (Ethan) best Lightly Row (Sabrina) and even more Twinkle events!  We played "London Bridge is Falling Down" and Chantelle got the gold medal for getting under the bridge the most times without getting caught!!
In the Book 1-2 group we had a great time playing the Olympic Theme by ear and even the first phrase of our national anthem,. The Star Spangled Banner.  We practiced some pieces from Book 1 such as "O Come Little Children", "May Song:" and "Long Long Ago".  We reviewed our Song Words to Book 1 pieces and we played a lot of Book 2 such as "Musette" and "Hunters Chorus".  Everyone earned a gold medal for an excellent violin technique such as keeping the bow on the highway, good dynamics "piano" and "forte" with crescendos, or good Giddy Up bows on Hunters Chorus.
Miss Ruth earns a gold medal for good teaching early on a Saturday morning!
In the Book 3-5 Group we played The Star Spangled Banner in a beautiful duet version.  We also sight read national anthems from the countries which received many medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics such as Canada, Austria, Germany and Russia.
Some of our music from Advanced Group and Books 3-5
In the Advanced Group we got a lot accomplished on well known work called Canon by Johann Pachelbel, a German composer from the Baroque era or pre-1700's.  We studied and marked the fingerings and bowings.  We noticed that the three violin parts are exactly the same except for a few bars of music at the end.  Each part enters exactly two measures behind the one before it.  The Advanced Ensemble will give a wonderful performance of this piece on the Spring Recital.

Erik, Victoria, Shalese and Whitney at the Advanced Ensemble