Life-long learning

Published: Aug 16, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized

Or... what I have been up to since spring! Hopefully I can remember all the webinars and teacher training events I have taken advantage of, now that so many things are offered online with no travel requirement...

The first thing I did in March was Zoom training... music teacher vlogs, Zoom webinar, and a lot of sharing of ideas for online teaching using Zoom amongst music teachers! Huge learning curve ... it took a lot of my time, so I did not experience the boredom of lockdown over spring break that a lot of people did!

I missed my usual April pro-D teacher observations when the Shuswap Music Festival was canceled, but I signed on as an observer with CelloBello's CelloKids online workshops a few times a week over the spring and picked up some good ideas there!  They organized their first CelloKids Teacher Training event earlier this month, and I attended two of the webinars: "Growing a Cellist" with Yari Bond and "Anatomy of the Young Cello Player" with Andrea Yun.

The Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) canceled their on site institutes and teacher training events this summer, as well, but immediately organized enrichment SOS classes for teachers who already had some registered training with them. (Suzuki Online Seminars)  I attended the five-hour "Establishing Excellence from the Beginning" with Sally Gross. Excellence, not necessarily in performance, but as a learner - so much depends on the environment, the atmosphere, the mindset!

Christine E. Goodner, Suzuki violin teacher and author of Beyond the Music Lesson and Positive Practice, gave a parent pep talk titled, "Setting Up for Success." Ideas I can pass along to parents.

Another offering from a violin teacher was Laura Nerenburg's "Creative Ability Development" introduction.  I have previously attended an evening workshop while taking my Suzuki teacher training, so this was refresher for me, and a different teacher's experiences.

Most recently, I attended a webinar held by ASTA (American String Teachers' Association): a panel speaking on "Resuming Instruction During COVID-19.Yes, a cello neck can be washed! (Carefully.)

I was planning to audit a five day course on online cello teaching by Carey Cheney (remember Budapesto, anyone?), but it has been delayed due to lack of enrollment.  Maybe because there has been so much on offer and people just couldn't fit it in?? I'll be watching to see when it is rescheduled.

Oh, the online SAA Parents as Partners videos, too!  These are an annual collection of short  inspirational/instructional videos I like to watch and share some with my studio parents... I need to get back to checking those out, as I will admit to only having watched a few so far!

In addition to teaching-related things, I also finally learned to play Danse Rustique (Squire) so that I could play all the pieces in the Philadelphia Orchestra Play-IN offered online earlier this month with Yumi Kendall, the granddaughter of the man who brought the Suzuki method to North America, and assistant principal cellist with the symphony. That was fun, but I learned my eyes don't see music as well at 8:00 AM!  And I have participated in (recorded myself for) three COVID Cello Projects with Tony Rogers since June, as well.  Great to have these motivators for challenging practice!

As far as technology goes, on top of Zoom, I also learned about Source Connect Now - a superb online audio platform, and have recently set up an account with - a platform designed for online music lessons which is supposed to also offer a higher quality sound than Zoom. I hope to test it soon!  The learning continues!

And where did I hear about all these ways to continue learning and connecting?  Online teacher groups!

I have been so thankful for the connections with my students, and the purpose you all have given me during the lockdown - this kept me sane!  As well, all the connecting with other music educators, and our church, and the opportunities we have these days in the way of technology. This pandemic would have been so different an experience had it happened even 10 years ago.


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