100 Days of Bruch

The dog days of summer are here. Time to get our last few evenings out on the deck making barbeque, because before you know it, we’ll all be hibernating again! Here at Studio Kingma, I am taking a couple of weeks well-earned rest to get ready for the fall semester. After my (hopefully) successful RCM exam on …

Practice Schedules Made Fun!

As the back-to-school season approaches, my thoughts have turned to the new students starting in September. I think it’s natural to make every teaching year better than the last. I learn something new from every student, because sooner or later, every student asks me a question I’d never heard before and never thought to ask! …

Creating a story through violin music – Accolay Concerto in A minor

This post is the first in a new series I’m planning called “Creating stories through music”. In my study of pedagogy, I’ve learned that there’s more to learning an instrument than technique. There’s music history and appreciation, interpretation and story-telling, development of creativity through composition, etc. I will touch on all these subjects in future blog posts but the subject for …

What makes a good violin teacher?

And when is it time to switch? You know the old saw: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”. Of course you know what I’m going to say: I disagree with this statement (but not entirely!) The Performer A great performer, like Itzhak Perlman, is someone who has spent hours developing their talent. Playing …

Vivaldi – Modern or Baroque?

I recently discovered the youtube channel of an early music ensemble, called Voices of Music, who perform baroque music in the style in which it was performed at the time (or as close as possible anyway. Their website http://www.voicesofmusic.org has a great explanation of how the baroque style differs from what we’re used to hearing today.  I’d …

Motivation in music lessons

I recently had a discussion with a parent about the value of things like RCM exams, festivals, etc. This parent felt that these activities were superfluous to the lesson year, and created an additional cost without any tangible benefit. While I understand that some parents may be facing tight budgets, I want to explain why …

Thoughts on memorization

With the Brooks Music Festival happening 2 weeks ago, I had the chance to talk to a lot of people active and interested in promoting music education in our community, both parents and teachers. One thing that came up repeatedly was memorization. At the Brooks festival, we do not currently require performers to have their …

Kiwanis Southeast Alberta Science Fair!

It’s been another crazy busy day for Studio Kingma. Early this morning, I set off for Medicine Hat for the day so I could attend the Science fair. The day started off with some delicious waffles provided by Medicine Hat college for the volunteer judges. After some chitchat with my fellow judges, many of whom …

Brooks music festival 24th edition

I am spending a quiet evening at home after 2 busy nights attending and volunteering at the Brooks music festival final concert. I have to say, I am always impressed by the level of talent that our community’s youth have to offer. From youth choirs and school bands to musical theatre and composition, it was …