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About

I started playing Suzuki violin at the age of four. I began playing viola at age twelve. I graduated from the University of Evansville as a music scholar where I studied music therapy. I am a certified Suzuki violin and viola teacher and a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

I am now a faculty member with the San Diego Suzuki School of Music and director of the violin program at Santa Fe Montessori School.  My past writing work includes publications for the Suzuki Music Association of California - San Diego Branch quarterly newsletter, Strings Magazine and various e-books.  I also do some freelance gigging and orchestra work.

Being a Suzuki teacher is part of who I am.  I firmly believe that our education and surroundings shape who we become.  I started this blog because writing helps me to explore my work from different viewpoints.  The posts are centered around thoughts and experiences while exploring the Suzuki Method of teaching.  Teaching in an of itself should be a a constant learning process.

Popular posts from this blog

Interview with Dr. Molly Gebrian on the Neuroscience Behind Block vs. Random Practice

Welcome to Rethinking Genius, Molly! Can you tell us a little about your background in teaching and neuroscience?

Thank you for inviting me to do this, Danielle! I was a Suzuki kid myself (I studied with David Einfeldt at the Hartt Suzuki Institute from the time I started at age 7), and I’ve done some Suzuki teacher training, but these days, I’m a college professor teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I’ve been teaching for about 15 years, from 4-year old beginners, all the way up through graduate students. As far as neuroscience goes, I was a double-degree student at Oberlin College and Conservatory, majoring in viola performance and neuroscience. I had no plans to continue with neuroscience (it was just something I found fascinating, that I did for fun!), but when I got to New England Conservatory of Music for grad school, something was missing. My roommate at NEC, who had also been at Oberlin with me, participated in a study at Harvard looking at musicians’ versus …

The Private Teaching Business Model

Over my years of teaching I've come across a wide variety of interpretations about the private teaching business model.  I feel that this is a natural result of the type of society we live in.  Many services these days are either "subscriptions" or "appointments."  For example, a gym membership is a subscription.  You pay a monthly fee to use the facility at any time during their hours of operation.  A doctor's visit or a haircut is an "appointment."  You call ahead to set up a time, you show up and then pay after the services have concluded.

With most services falling into one of these two categories, most people try to rationalize music lessons as one or the other.  However, music lessons are neither subscriptions or appointments.  They are actually a combination of both if the business entity is going to be successful.

The reasons why this hybrid business model occurs are:

1)  The service itself is centered around personal attention (appointmen…

Minimalist Teaching

Teaching accessories are a slippery slope. Walk into any teaching store or browse through any specialty education website and it’s almost too easy to drop an entire year’s worth of income on supplies. It’s totally worth it if it makes the job easier for you and more fun for the students, right?

Maybe.

I’m always toying around (pun intended) with how much is too much when it comes to accessories. Like is that cute panda clip for the bow tip really necessary? Or can we get the same job done by only using the bow itself?

I tend to favor “simple” when it comes to teaching accessories. I dislike having to spend lesson time setting up some elaborate game. While these types of games can be effective, I can’t help but feel that more moving parts means more distraction. I want the students generally focused on their instruments and not which color of magic wand they are using.

Now this is not to say that I never use extra stuff during my private and group lessons. I just have a pre…