There are some really amazing violinists and violists out there today! You've probably heard me mention some of them in our lessons. For a special listening assignment, go to YouTube and look for some of these names! Report back to me! What did you like? What would you like to try? What was the silliest thing you saw? Do any of them have a concert coming up near us??



Joshua Bell

Itzhak Perlman

Gil Shaham

Hillary Hahn

Maxim Vengerov

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Pinchas Zuckerman

Nobuko Imai

Yuri Bashmet

Kim Kashkashian

Tabea Zimmerman

Geraldine Walther


Less Classical

Andrew Bird

Stuart Duncan

Owen Pallett

Mark O'Connor

Jean-Luc Ponty


...and more! Can you find me some names that are not on this list??



Before we begin summer break and forget about the violin for a while, lets go through this list with a pencil and plan some violin fun for the summer! Put a :) by what you think would be a fun idea for you! As you do them, put the date next to it and report back to me in the fall!

  • Mom & Dad: Read a good book!

  1. Shinichi Suzuki, Nurtured By Love

  2. William Star, To Learn with Love

  3. Kay Slone, They're Rarely Too Young and Never Too Old to Twinkle

  4. Ed Kreitman, Teaching from the Balance Point

  5. Craig Timmerman, Journey Down the Kreisler Highway

  6. Daniel Coyle, The Talent Code

  • Set one day a week of your practicing aside to do only fun things. Use your imagination and be creative!

  • Have a party for your family to celebrate the end of another year of violin lessons. Do it up big with cake, and a concert!

  • Invite an old violin friend over for music, refreshments, and play!

  • Invite a new violin friend over for music, refreshments, and play!

  • Plan your own concert for someone special, complete with a written program.

  • Have one of your practices outside on a nice day

  • Have one of your practices in some other exotic location. Be creative and share pictures!

  • Have your own “Concert in the Park.” Pack a picnic, your violin, and plan to stay to play at the park

  • Invite a violin friend over to play duets. I'll provide some music if you ask!

  • Have a violin scavenger hunt for one of your practices

  • Go camping with another violin family and play songs around the campfire!

  • Go to a Suzuki Institute!

  • Anything else that you would like to try with your violin! Be creative! Let me know what you come up with. :)

8 Weeks Before the Recital

You want to be able to play through your entire piece with relatively few bumps. It’s normal if at this point we are still playing at a thinking tempo!
The next four weeks you should be working on slowly getting it up to full speed, and smoothing out the finer details and finding the spirit of the piece.

4 Weeks Before the Recital

You want to be able to play your song at performance tempo fairly comfortably even if you sometimes make mistakes. If you are making mistakes, that's okay! Remember that they are good if we learn from them! :)
It is useful to have a few points in the song where you can restart should things get tricky. This will save you from having to start all over should anything happen!

2 Weeks Before the Recital

Your recital piece should feel pretty comfortable now, and if we are making mistakes we should be able to recover from them quickly. Remember a polished piece has notes, dynamics, and spirit!
Practice playing for family and friends! The easiest way to simulate the nerves of a performance is to play for real live people. It is okay to be nervous! Being nervous for something means that you care a lot about it a lot, and want it to go well! If you have hit the milestones above you will do just fine. :)

1 Week Before the Recital

Just relax. You’ve got this! You know what you are doing and how to manage the odd “Oops.”
Play your piece for fun and enjoy listening to yourself. If you are enjoying what you are playing so will others!

The Day of the Recital

You have worked SO hard on your recital piece so take this opportunity to show off your hard work and enjoy yourself! Remember that everyone in the audience is so excited to hear you play, and wants you to do well! Plus there will be cookies afterward. ;)Plan to get to the recital location early to give yourself enough time for potential delays, plus any warm up time you may need. Always tune to the piano that will be used on stage, there should be someone nearby to help you should you need it. Remember also to have good manners while other children are playing, they worked hard on their pieces too! And while they play, remember to listen for something you love. :) 

By Charles Swindol

The longer I live, the more I realize that the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftnedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.

By Sue Evans

  1. Play it your age.

  2. Tape it.

  3. Pick an UNO Card.

  4. Throw the dice or die.

  5. Wear a funny hat.

  6. Wear funny glasses.

  7. Left foot in the air.

  8. Right foot in the air.

  9. Eyes on the ceiling.

  10. Eyes closed.

  11. With toothbrush in mouth.

  12. With gloves on.

  13. With Kleenex on keys.

  14. Write a story to sing with it.

  15. Imagine you’re on an island.

  16. Imagine you’re on skies.

  17. Imagine you’re in the ocean.

  18. With a cookie in mouth.

  19. While smiling.

  20. While winking.

  21. While crying.

  22. With a frightened look.

  23. While undressing.

  24. While dressing.

  25. With high octaves.

  26. With low octaves.

  27. While sitting on the floor.

  28. While standing up.

  29. While blowing a bubble.

  30. Making up a rap.

  31. Making up words from other languages.

  32. Making up nonsense words.

  33. Sing in a baby voice.

  34. Sing in a dad’s voice.

  35. Sing in different animal voices.

  36. Have a relative accompany you with sound effects.

  37. Have a relative play another song at the same time.

  38. Play it and reward yourself with an M&M or candy.

  39. Play it and give yourself money.

  40. Parents play one hand.

  41. Parents play another instrument at the same time.

  42. Play it at different MM markings.

  43. Wear a wig.

  44. Wear a Tie.

  45. Flip your wig.

  46. Moo like a cow.

  47. Oink like a pig.

  48. Invite friends over and act it out like a play.

  49. Invite friends over for a Piano Party.

  50. Put ear plugs in.

  51. Wear earmuffs.

  52. Wear a coat.

  53. Set an alarm clock for 5 minutes of play.

  54. Clap your feet.

  55. Play it with a damper pedal.

  56. Play it with the sostenuto pedal.

  57. Play it with the soft pedal.

  58. Play it on another piano: church, school, store, friend’s.

  59. Play it backwards.

  60. While reading a book.

  61. While balancing a marshmallow on head or toe.

  62. While gargling.

  63. While on the phone.

  64. While whistling.

  65. While wearing a crown.

  66. With the Suzuki tape.

  67. While lying on the bench.

  68. While kneeling.

  69. While standing on one foot.

  70. In the dark.

  71. With one eye shut.

  72. While telling a joke.

  73. While watching TV.

  74. Cross hands.

  75. Create some lyrics .

  76. While balancing a textbook on head.

  77. At midnight.

  78. In your head while lying under the piano.

  79. Play it while singing DO, RE, MI.

  80. While saying “I Love You.”

  81. Have parents or friends dance.

  82. By candlelight.

  83. By flashlight.

  84. With a baby on your lap.

  85. Blindfolded.

  86. Sing your name to the melody.

  87. While writing a letter.

  88. Hands separately.

  89. While drinking.

  90. While eating.

  91. At different times during the day.

  92. Play it on a dummy piano.

  93. Play it on the back of your parent.

  94. Play it on your lap and say the melody notes or harmony notes.

  95. With a pencil in your hair.

  96. With another CD going.

  97. With your parents tapping the steady beats.

  98. Play an ostinato pattern on kitchen instruments.

  99. On the phone with your teacher.

  100. While bouncing a ball with your other hand.

  101. At 15-minute intervals.

  102. DONE!

By Janice Peters

Our lives are all so busy so it is easy fall prey to the temptation of skipping daily listening or daily practice or both. So think of what happens when we skip? Why do we need to be faithful to both?

Imagine trying to learn a foreign language without ever having heard it spoken. Now think how much easier it is with an “immersion” experience. When Suzuki devised his “mother tongue method,” he capitalized on the fact that learning the language of music works much the same way as learning any language.

So why listen to the recordings? Here are a few good reasons:

  1. First, listening to good quality music is enjoyable. It increases our musical sensitivity and this enjoyment motivates the listener to continue listening.

  2. It is so much easier to master the rhythms and use correct intonation (playing in tune) when the correct example is already stamped on the mind. This also enables self-correction as the learning takes place. Once imprinted, the music enters the subconscious mind and a “musical intuition” (brain- finger connection) forms.

  3. Listening actually allows the brain to experience the music before you play it. This is like “practicing for free” without doing the work! (However, this cannot substitute for the consistent daily practice!)

  4. Being able to hear or sing the piece in the mind makes learning easier. Listening gives us this ability. It is akin to visualizing a perfect golf swing or a well-executed tennis serves prior to playing. Research has shown this really works!

So help make your child’s learning easier. Play the work piece on endless repeat each morning. Also include the previous (“polish”) and subsequent (new) pieces. This music will remain playing in the brain all day. (How many of us have had an annoying radio or TV jingle play over and over in our mind wishing we “could turn it off?”) Also listen in the background other times during the day (as in the car), concluding at bedtime.

Need a reminder? Put a clothespin or a hair clip on your bathroom towel, toothbrush, or pajamas to remind you to turn on the music at bedtime. Stick a sticker on the light switch of your child’s room. Tie a “reminder ribbon” on the car steering wheel instead of around your finger. Use a twist tie on a kitchen cabinet, breakfast coffee or cereal box, or in the silverware drawer. You can have fun with this, too. Hide clues and have a daily “treasure hunt” or draw from a hat each day to see who turns the recording on and off. Have a family contest to see who comes up with the most creative suggestions. Also, those automatic timers (for turning on lights), which can be set to turn on and shut off at predetermined hours, work well.

Play the entire CD or tape on a regular basis as well. You can have fun with it, too. Try dancing the rhythms or “head, finger or feet dancing” or make up your own fun. Be creative!

You have chosen to give your child the gift of instrumental music. Imagine how much quicker and easier you’ll both enjoy this treasure as you listen each day.

You’ll make new discoveries each time you hear the music, and your child will be on the way to experiencing the joy of finer playing with ease, coupled, of course, with diligent daily practice. So, HAPPY LISTENING! Start now.