"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude."
August 7, 2020
Dear Students and Parents of Students,
I'm so glad to have you as a part of my studio and I'm proud of you for the work you've done during these odd and difficult times! I'm seeing some wonderful progress and I hope you're feeling and enjoying that progress at home!
In this newsletter is information on fall scheduling, COVID procedures and important upcoming dates.
Please note: Fall Schedule requests and deposits are due August 15! For details, see below.
Also, I am working on opening up scholarship aid for dedicated students who are having difficulty continuing in lessons due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Contact me for more information if you're able to donate!
Fall Schedule Information:
Since the Coronavirus developments in Chicago are constantly changing, I'm going to be closely monitoring what the Mayor and Governor advise and following their guidelines. See below for policies and procedures.
I am currently offering Fall Lessons Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday to start. I do not know what my college teaching load will look like yet, but once I do I might be adding Fridays as well. Please register here: Fall Registration and Scheduling Form (MIC students indicate your scheduling preferences here instead.)
We will all need to have a bit of flexibility going forward with lessons. I think it is going to be some time before we're ALL back in person. Depending on the schedule and interest, we may do in-person lessons alternating weeks, so that families are not coming into close contact with each other in my home.
For now, there are no lessons at the Fine ArtsBuilding. All lessons are in my home studio.
Lesson/holiday/event dates are all updated on my website!
I appreciate how we've all been working together to make sure to reduce any possibilities of exposure as we navigate through this pandemic. Let's please continue to be upfront about the contact we have for the safety of everyone in the studio!
REVIEW OF STUDIO PROCEDURES DURING PANDEMIC
ITEMS OF NOTE
Zoom Mini Recitals will continue! Dates to follow on the website. Please follow FaithSlaker Music on Facebook, or join our private studio page here to see performances.
Graduation Recitals will continue at PianoForte with a limited audience and online streaming.
Group Classes will begin in September (see website) and will be held via Marco Polo. These classes will cover all reading/theory/history/musicianship aspects of music study.
Has everyone received their magnetic staff board? Anybody in Suzuki Book 1A, 1B or 2 Group classes should purchase one (the red one) so we can do some great note reading activities with them! Let me know if you have any questions!
Stay tuned for Viviene's Book 1 Graduation Recital!
Upcoming Dates (see website for more)
Sept 8. Fall Lessons Begin! Oct 13. Royal Conservatory Assessment Registration Deadline Nov 25. Thanksgiving Holiday (Lessons Resume Dec 1) Nov/Dec. Royal Conservatory Assessments Dec 15. Sonatina Fest Registration Deadline Dec ?? Studio Recital TBD Feb 7. Sonatina Festival - Video recorded performances
My piano is lonely and misses everyone playing beautiful music on it!
While I'm continually monitoring the virus situation in Chicago, I think it should be safe, based on best practices being recommended by scientific experts, to consider coming back to in-person lessons in a limited way. I'm announcing a tentative opening of Tuesday, May 26th to those who are interested.
Please read the following policy announcement carefully regarding keeping safe distances, enhanced sanitizing protocols, lesson procedures, and online options! Let's stay in touch, respect everyone's concern for safety, and work together to keep music nourishing us!
Please respond to me with how you'd like to proceed for next week!
ENSURING SAFE DISTANCES
One student will be permitted in the studio at a time.
At this time, I will refrain from hands-on adjustments and will rely on verbal instruction to address technique and coordination.
Plan to arrive on time and wait outside. I will accompany each student in so there is no needless touching of lockboxes, doorknobs, etc.
Lessons will end five minutes early to allow for thorough cleaning between students as well as social distancing in the hallway.
Masks must be worn in the hallway and upon entering the studio. If we are able to keep proper distancing during lessons, masks may be removed.
ENHANCED SANITIZING PROTOCOLS
High-touch surfaces of studio, bathroom, and hallway will be thoroughly disinfected between each student.
Hand sanitizing stations will be available outside the studio and near the piano.
Masks will be worn while students enter and leave the studio. Masks will be worn or on hand during lessons.
An air purifier will be running and windows will be open during lessons.
Students will wash hands before each lesson, using paper towels (not cloth towels).
Please arrive on time and wait outside. I will come get your child at his/her lesson time.
The front door will be locked, and the lockbox will not be available for use. This is to protect everyone taking lessons and maintain safe distances.
Parents, siblings, and other observers will not be permitted during lessons. Older students will take their own notes, and I will e-mail you the notes for younger students. If you're available, we can set up FaceTime or Skype during the lesson so you may observe.
Students will bring their materials, notebook, and a pencil and eraser. We will not be sharing objects.
All families will need to sign a new waiver. I will send a separate email with the new waiver, which you must return before lesson.
ONLINE LEARNING CONTINUES!
I understand and respect that not everyone feels comfortable coming to lessons yet.
Additionally, I appreciate those that haven't been able to maintain quarantine, have traveled outside the state, or have been exposed staying home to keep the rest of us safe.
The good news is that I will continue offering distance learning to those who prefer to continue that way for the time being. This is flexible and we will go with everyone's comfort level for lessons.
Group classes will continue to operate over Marco Polo through June.
"Overnight successes are generally years in the making. And most progress is made in isolation, far from the public eye."
Dear Students and Parents of Students,
I'm so proud of you for the work you've done in the past seven weeks of online lessons! I'm seeing some wonderful progress and I can't wait for you to all show it off in person!
In this newsletter, I want to talk to you a bit about how we'll reintroduce in-person lessons and when that may happen. I also want to discuss options that make online learning a bit easier, some mental health ideas, and announce some exciting events!
Please note that I'm currently considering opening my studio up for in-person lessons on May 26th (see below) as long as everyone feels safe. I will be teaching eleven weeks during the summer session (10 weeks for MIC students), which begins June 1st. Please let me know if you have any travel planned (assuming the world reopens sometime soon!).
I hope everyone is doing well this week. Summer MUST be right around the corner! Right???
Studio Opening Policies:
Since live-school is canceled for the rest of the year, I'm going to be closely monitoring what the Mayor and Governor advise. However, I'm proposing going back to in-person lessons starting May 26th with the following conditions:
Lessons will be drop-off only for all students that are capable of taking a lesson without a parent.
Only one child and one parent will be admitted at a time.
Lessons will end a few minutes early to provide time for cleaning of: piano keys, doorknobs, faucets and handles, stair banisters, piano bench and observer chair.
I might have to do my Saturday lessons at home until the Fine Arts Building is open again to the general public.
I will provide hand sanitizer at the door and at the piano. I will provide paper towels instead of cloth towels in the bathroom. Masks must be worn and/or available for use for everyone's comfort.
In order for everyone to feel comfortable, since many of us have high-risk family members we are trying to protect, this is only an option if the following conditions are met:
Families have been observing the "stay at home" order.
There has been no travel outside the state.
Nobody is sick in the household.
Nobody in the household has been in contact with the general public.
Virtual lessons will remain an option for those that want them. And if anyone is showing any signs of sickness, please take advantage of this option! We have to work together to keep everyone safe and I welcome your input to the above ideas as we move forward to being able to work together in person again!
Quarantine Piano Highlights
Click the image to be taken to Facebook to see Declan's Suzuki Book 4 Graduation recital! We streamed it live on Monday, May 4th at 7pm!
Vincent had a challenge for school that he shares with us here! Way to go!
Here's a fun video of me and Dayton playing Minuet 2 together. He's just learned the theme, and the sound quality isn't great, but it was momentous and we captured it, so I thought I'd share!
Annie did the Spring Break Quarantine Challenge beautifully! She is playing Honeybee along with my recorded duet. Excellent job!
ITEMS OF NOTE
All Zoom Mini-Recitals and Full-Length graduation recitals will be streamed live on Facebook. Please follow FaithSlaker Music on Facebook, or join our private studio page here.
Has anyone received their magnetic staff board yet? Anybody in Suzuki Book 1A, 1B or 2 Group classes should purchase one (the red one) so we can do some great note reading activities with them! Let me know if you have any questions!
Anyone participating in the Royal Conservatory Assessments might want to try out their ear-training online! It is $5 for a month, which is really all you need as we approach the exams. I strongly recommend this!
Stay tuned for Anthony's Book 1 Graduation Recital and Diego's Book 3 Graduation Recital!
Next Mini-Recitals will be the week of May 18th. Let's choose recital pieces next week!
Musical Challenge Links:
For anyone who wants to participate in the quarantine challenge, the following are links to play along with. If you can listen on one device and play with me, you can record on another and send me the video! (That's why it's called a challenge!)
"If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart."
February Music Notes
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners in the Sonata Sonatina Festival this past month! Adara won a gold medal! Declan, Diego and Vivian all received bronze medals. I'm so proud of everyone.
A Few Notable Dates:
February 21: All-Student Studio Recital! PianoForte, 6:30pm. Performers--please be there at 6:10pm! February 22: Intermediate Level Group Class. 5:30pm, Fine Arts Building. March 1: Tuition Due March 17: No Lessons. Election Day. April 6-11: Spring Break. No lessons.
(For a more complete list of calendar dates, please see faithslakermusic.com.)
For those of you who study with me in my home studio, please do not knock or ring the doorbell before your lesson time!
Dayton's Book 1 Graduation Recital! If you didn't already see it on Facebook Live, here it is! Give him a high five if you see him in the hall or at group class!
Rosie and Derek are READY! I can't wait to show you more from the studio's newest pianists!
I was in Peru earlier this month. I appreciate everyone taking the week off while I taught at the Suzuki Festival there! It was tough and I was so glad to see everyone when I came home! (But, it wasn't all bad, as you can see from the view and the food.)
Dayton got a new piano! What a huge event! (He got his piano at PianoForte, which is where we're having the recital this week. Feel free to take a moment and check out their showroom before or after the recital!)
Here is Kabir, inspiring shoppers with his beautiful playing. It looks like Clementi. Well done!
MY DECEMBER RECOMMENDATIONS
ARTICLE/BOOK: Teaching Growth Mindset in Suzuki Education. If you happen across the most recent Suzuki Journal (48.1), I recomend my article!!! :)
PRACTICE HELP: Parents as Partners , a collection of short videos by Suzuki parents, teachers, and musicians. I think these clips are great and range across all topics, so I'm sure there is something there for you! I've been enjoying it immensely. Ask me about how you can access them in you next lesson!
Ready to Upgrade? Or do you have materials to donate? New students are always looking for footstools that your child may have outgrown. If you're no longer using it, let's pass it along! Footstools, pianos, keyboards, extra Suzuki books, CDs, Practice-help books, etc! Thanks for sharing and adding to our community! You can just bring these items to your lesson and I'll pass them on to those who need them!