Suzuki teaching seminar

I am suffering from brain overload.  As usual after hearing Susan Kempter talk I have a thousand thoughts bouncing around in my head. 

I attended a teaching seminar at SIUE today—the topic was “What I learned since writing How Muscles Learn: Teaching the Violin with the Body in Mind”—and the speaker was Susan Kempter, my teacher from last summer in Kansas.  Her main focus in teaching is having students avoid tension altogether.  So many violinists (myself included) suffer from a variety of problems such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, and many of these problems could be avoided by playing in a slightly different way.  It is harder to change when you get older, and much better to teach our students to avoid tension from the beginning. 

After the seminar we all ate dinner together and it was nice to catch up with a few old friends (shout out to Alicia Doudna!) and some new ones too.  The Suzuki world is a close knit world, and I’m glad to meet so many teachers who are both wonderful teachers and great people.

I’m still working on my review/thoughts of last week’s workshop about the Mark O’Connor method.  I’m purposely giving myself some time to think about it. 

I have decided to attend Ottawa again this June (I believe I mentioned that in a previous post.)  Even though I already have Book Five training, I know that Susan will talk about so many general violin related topics that I will learn more than I imagined, and that I will come home with a long bibliography (I have a short bibliography from today’s 2 1/2 hour workshop!) of books to read.  You know I love my books.

But really, I need to relax now—I’m missing the SIUE Suzuki Workshop this weekend due to a variety of gigs and rehearsals.  I’ve been putting a bunch of music together for tomorrow’s gigs, and Sunday is the opera.  I am looking forward to some quasi-spring-break time towards the end of the month. 

Today I went to a spinning class at my gym for the first time.   It was different than my regular class, but I imagine that each teacher brings their own style.  I enjoyed it, but it was a big challenge.  I decided to really push myself and run 3 miles on the treadmill afterwards (working towards that 93 miles in March goal!).  I felt pretty awesome after that, and used it as a good excuse to have two 7-layer bars with dinner. 

It’s storming outside…we have had our share of severe weather this week.  Hopefully tonight’s storms pass through somewhat uneventfully.