New Year, New Students, New Hopes!

Each school year starts with a wonderful feeling of freshness and hope.  This year is no different.

I look at the calendar, filled with promises of new and more interesting jobs, and new students!  I will have two classes at St. Margaret’s, and I started teaching violin at the St. Louis School for Ballet, in addition to having some new private students.  So far all my new students are wonderful people and I look forward to our time together. I will be making an effort to stay more organized than in the past and be more methodical (in a good way, not in a plodding way) in my approach to teaching.

I am also taking a class on Suzuki Pedagogy.  So far each class has shown me how much more I have to learn about teaching.  I keep feeling like I have been teaching wrong all these years (my constant fear!) but I certainly hope that isn’t the case.   I will be teaching some Suzuki group classes in the near future, and know that that will be a huge learning experience as well.  Learning the violin is such a complex thing, and it is a constant challenge to make sure I am telling my students all I need to for them to thrive and grow.

Today I thought of some of my past students from Cleveland, and I really missed some of them.  I hope they are all doing well and continuing to enjoy their violin lessons and grow as musicians and people.  I can’t believe it has been over a year since I moved.  Some of them I taught for close to five years.  Someday I hope to have students I have taught for even longer, but for now, that is such a long time…

I have some interesting gigs ahead of me as well.  I will be branching out more into “non-classical” performances and I am eager for the challenge. I also hope to play more chamber music than I did last year!  And of course the usual orchestra performances, with a few Concertmaster opportunities as well, which should be great fun.

I wonder what else life will bring this year?  I hope I will continue to learn and grow, to be a better musician, teacher, and friend.

(This post turned a bit more soul-search-y than I usually feel.  Evidently I am becoming more introspective?)

Last two notes:  1) On the advice of a friend, I now possess Gaylord Yost’s Shifting Exercises.  20 pages of nothing but pure shifting…what a great exercise!  2) I just finished a marvelous book.  “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.  Very interesting, easy read about the “fixed mindset” versus the “growth mindset.”  I highly recommend it.