The past six months have been the most significant of my life to date. They were exhilarating, illuminating, and extremely challenging. Looking back, I am surprised by just how much happened.
Here is a non-exhaustive list.
– attended fresh inc, performed three world premiers and made a lot of great friends
– attended California Summer Music, performed two world premiers and made more great friends
– began a significant relationship ♥
– recorded an album with Light Horse Harry
– performed Appalachian Spring, Mahler 5, and two Puccini operas
– did the Miro Quartet Brahms Intensive seminar
– commissioned my friend David to write a piece, then performed it in a self organized chamber music recital
– (sort of) learned how to play the viola
– attended the Seanwes Conference
– welcomed five new students into my studio (all beginners!)
– applied to five graduate school programs
I am proud of what I was able to accomplish in the span of a summer and a semester, but the project I am most excited about is the establishing of my YouTube channel.
The inspiration to launch this project came from the frustration I experienced in not finding high-quality, professional videos of Suzuki violin teaching on YouTube. As I watched film makers in the realms of health, entrepreneurship, cooking, designing visual art, and studying evolve with the powerful, self-publishing tools available today, I was surprised not to find single “youtuber” publishing videos of Suzuki violin instruction.
I wish I could have journeyed to Japan decades ago to see Dr. Schin’ichi Suzuki teach his students. The generous way he shared his method, his new ideas, and his philosophy allowed teachers to steep in a rich environment of excellent instruction.
In 2016 we have the unparalleled opportunity to shape our own environments. I ask my students to listen like maniacs to the pieces they prepare to learn, because I know their ears will guide their fingers when they begin choosing notes. I can do the same for my teaching by selecting channels of information via books, blogs, journals, videos, recordings, social networks, and online communities to inform my practice. With Dr. Suzuki’s model of allowing access for any and all to observe the beauty he was developing in his students, I was inspired to use these new digital tools to share what I learn in my journey from violin student to violin teacher.
Motivated to share my journey with the greater Suzuki community on YouTube, I recorded hundreds of videos, developed simple processes for storing and transferring files, sourced good equipment, learned how to use Adobe Premier Pro and After Effects, and ultimately published over twenty videos online.
On my channel I feature three types of videos.
1. Full length Suzuki violin lesson observations
2. Skill building sequences
If you want to observe real, uncensored, unedited lessons from start to finish, look no further than this series. Unlike a master class, or even an in person observation, you know your gaze is not effecting the rhythm or energy of the lesson. In the description of each video I include timestamps of every teaching point so you can navigate to the section of the lesson that you most want to see. You can also rewind, re-watch, and take notes on the lesson at your own pace. You can pretend you are in my shoes. What do you see in my students as they play? What would you choose to work on? How would you intervene?
I know that I am not yet an expert teacher, but I am on my way. I know that from my full length lessons, skill sequences, and student performances you will learn via my successes and failures. You will not just read about my teaching ideas and principles, but see them in action.
Most exciting for me is the opportunity to document my growth and connect with other teachers. Dr. Robert Duke tells us in class that research on the brain proves we remember the peak and the final moments of our experiences. But I want to remember the beginning, and each step along the way. Every Wednesday I will post another dynamic snapshot of my teaching. Years down the road I’ll be able to look back through the lens of my experience and remember what was exciting, what was challenging, and how I worked to grow my skills.
My YouTube channel will document mine and my students’ journey to mastery. I invite you to join us.
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