Friday, June 19, 2015

Intermountain Suzuki String Institute

Ellie and I had a great time at her first Violin Camp.  She did the Twinkle curriculum at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute.  The program went from Monday to Saturday, and Ellie had two classes: her Master Class and a Movement & Music class.

Grandma filled us in on what to expect, and she suggested Lynlee come along to observe Ellie's classes.  The first day was registration and a "play-in," where all of the students went on stage and played along with the songs they knew.  A nice faculty member helped Ellie get her shoulder rest situated and her violin tuned.  Then Ellie stood next to our friend Brielle and played the Twinkle variations at lightning speed.

Then we had a looooong orientation meeting, lunch at Grandma's house, and then Ellie's first Movement and Music class.  Grandma had said that in past years, the teacher had invited younger siblings to participate as well as the registered students.  This year, two of the classes were combined so it was a large group, and the teacher said that no children except for babies under 8 months old in a stroller could come to the class.  Lynlee was disappointed...

Because of the long day, Cece had stayed home and played with Brinn.  Grandma thought that I could bring all of the girls with me, so we tried that Tuesday.  We had had a lot of late nights that weekend and the night before (the 50th wedding anniversary party), and Cece was beyond done.  Tuesday was tough, and Cece, Lynnie, and I spent most of the classes in the hallway.  I texted Brinn in the middle of this adventure and she graciously agreed to babysit Cece the rest of the week.

Ellie's master class was her favorite.  She loved her teacher, Ashley Watabe.  Miss Ashley was unfailingly patient and encouraging, and made the class very exciting.  She was able to correct some of Ellie's positioning, and reinforced things that Grandma had been trying to get her to do for months.

Movement and Music, day 2.  The theme was "Birds" and all of the songs were fun and talked about -- you guessed it! -- birds.  Miss Christina wrote words to some of the Suzuki Book 1 songs, about birds, of course.  She also incorporated some folk songs (like Kookaburra and a Kindermusik song called Morning Sun Has Risen) and the bird songs from Camille Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals.

Here are the children pretending to flap their wings and be birds.

I didn't notice an official photographer, but this picture was on the ISSI facebook page.  You can see me, Cece, and Greadma in the very back, observing the class.

On Wednesday morning, when I told the girls that Cece was staying with Brinn again, Lynnie asked if she could also stay home and play.  That was totally fine and it worked out really well.  Ellie and I enjoyed our "mommy and me" time and Lynnie was a big helper with Cece.

Friday was the concert and it was cute to see Ellie's classmates dressed up for their Master Class.

Friday was the final Movement class, so we got a picture with Miss Christina.

After a quick lunch with Grandma, it was time for the concert.  I didn't bring my telephoto lens, so this was as good as it got for me (look for Ellie's purple dress).

But so lucky for me to find this great shot of her on the ISSI facebook page! Her friend Gena is in the yellow dress next to her.  Because they played with the cellos, they did the first two variations on the D string.  I just asked Ellie what her favorite thing of the week was, and she said it was to play Dr Suzuki on the D string.

She is the second row on the right. 

My favorite tidbit from the week was when we got to be cuckoo birds to The Syncopated Clock by Leroy Anderson.  Miss Christina would always sing "fly away! fly away!" during the bridge (about a minute in to the song).  Ellie loved doing the actions, especially "breaking" at the end and falling on the floor.

On Saturday, Greg had training meetings, but Ellie only had one more master class, so we brought the little ones.  They did great this time and it was another witness to me to not mess with bedtime...

Miss Ashley is awesome and had Lynnie "help" Ellie during her turn.

It was a wonderful week, and Ellie learned a lot.  She has also been more motivated since her experience and practicing is going more smoothly.  Definitely worth it, and we are already looking forward to next year.

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