How to finish this rather unique year?
This school year has been so challenging and so different for many of our readers!
Between teaching online, hybrid, teaching in smaller groups, we all had to face a series of challenges.
What is more, this blog has many readers from Europe and other countries, where unfortunately students are back online.
So for this post, I have tried to do Suzuki activities that can be done online but also would work well for in-person classroom.
As the readers of this blog are from all over the world, it has been difficult for me to also post new material. Many places have completely different arrangements, some are online , others go to sessions but at limited capacity. We have many readers from Europe. I know kids there have been going back and forth quite a bit between being online and going to school.
So this has presented difficulties in my own teaching but also knowing what to wrote and how to help the readers of this blog best.
I am putting my best foot forward with a very quick post and what I do in my string group classes around this time of year.
I would LOVE to see what you experience has been this year and how you teach online. This may also give me more ideas to help through the blog. PLEASE DON’T BE SHY TO SHARE IN THE COMMENTS! WOULD LOVE TO READ ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES AND IT WILL HELP OTHERS
Best SUZUKI VIOLIN CLASS Activity To END THIS YEAR?
Master Class Format
I feel this is the very best activity you can do with your students at the end of the school year.
- At the end of the year students have accumulated material they are ready to play.
- It works incredibly well in a zoom format for one student to play at a time and receive feedback.
- It will work well with any other of students and you can rotate the students performing on that day depending on your class size.
- You can adjust it to any level or skill. Students can play their pieces but also technical material, scales, etc. Pre-Twinklers can play open strings as well for feedback.
- Many student may be preparing for youth symphony auditions around now. Excellent way to help them further in your Suzuki violin group class.
- It works incredibly well in a zoom format. You can also do it in a hybrid model if you have less students in your class.
- Playing solo in front of others and receiving feedback is an excellent way to if concerts are not allowed in your area.
How to structure?
- Start the class with a warm up: scale or review of old pieces.
- Assign about two students to play their solo and receive feedback/mini lesson in front of the class.
- Rotate students till the end of the school year.
Turn This Idea Into Fun Project or Unit
If the situation is that you cannot participate in concerts, you can have a project where students play for someone else. This will add an extra layer of motivation.
You can also invite a “judge” or guest teacher to work with your kids. Online environment allows for wider reach in this respect!
Not sure who to invite as a judge? You are welcome to approach me:) no matter where in the world you live in. If I can make the time work I am happy to volunteer for it.
My Experience With This
I do both Suzuki Violin and also teach a public school strings program.
At my public school string program we opened up the schools late in April in my state. Six weeks before school is over…However, students can choose to stay at home if they wish. Guess what…most students in my class have already chosen to finish the year at home. So I would end up with about 4 kids in a class and all others online.
I will be using the ideas above making them do lots of technique and solo/master class format work.
Bonus Suzuki Violin Group Class Activities
X Factor Suzuki Violin Game
I enjoy doing this game toward the end of the school year and especially with my students late book one and higher.
You can modify so it is essentially a way for students to play solo and get feedback while adding a fun element.
This is a great way to involve the parents even in an online environment.
I have a detailed post with the Suzuki violin game you can read here.
History of Music
Having a discussion on musical elements or history of music works REALLY well in online environment. Your older students mat really enjoy a segment on composers, history of music or music theory elements.
A Simple lesson plan idea would be to do a review of piece for the first portion of class, then use the last 20-30 minutes talking about one composer, period of music or music theory concept every class. Don’t forget to share the screen and show students different recordings.
You can also combine all ideas in this post which would work beautifully:
- Start with a quick warm up
- Master class (one person playing in this case)
- History of music exploring a composer