Teacher Training at OPSA February 16-18, 2018

Teacher Training at OPSA February 16-18, 2018

We are so excited to be hosting a fantastic weekend of events for our 2018 Winter Workshop next month!

This event includes something for everyone!

Violin teachers interested in learning more about how to help their students can take our Enrichment course presented by Charles Krigbaum. Mr. Krigbaum’s 10-hour course, “Enjoying Violin Technique and Recital Training” can be registered with the Suzuki Association and will cover these fascinating books of the same title as the course.

Also of interest to violin teachers, will be our Friday evening masterclasses with renowned violin pedagogue, Almita Vamos. OPSA students will be participating in both the masterclasses as well as the Sunday morning Advanced Violin Group class demonstration.

Saturday morning will be a treat as we listen to Stefanie Faye Frank present an array of fascinating new research discoveries regarding how the brain develops and changes as we struggle, continue to challenge ourselves and our students, and then ultimately succeed. Ms. Frank is in great demand around the globe these days as so many people find her presentations transformational.

We can hardly believe just how FANTASTIC this line up is and can’t wait to see everyone there! See here for schedule, details, and registration. For questions, please email MLanfear@OPStringAcademy.com

The Teenage Brain

The Teenage Brain

Teenagers!

(This might as well say, “Toddlers!”)

There are some striking similarities with regards to what is occurring in the brain during toddler and teenage years. One of the main messages heard in this video is: be patient, be kind, and for goodness sake…let them sleep more!! 🙂

 

Benefit Concert Videos

Benefit Concert Videos

Happy New Year! Here is a small portion of our 2017 December Benefit Concert for Heartland Alliance. We will have more videos up on our YouTube channel soon! To view the photos of the concert taken by OPSA parent, Paul Ellenbogen, visit our gallery page.The concert was a beautiful event with a wonderful feeling of community all around. In addition to the OPSA students making friendship bracelets and cards for the children living in the immigration detention centers around Chicago, our OPSA community raised about $1700 dollars for the Heartland Alliance. Thank you, everyone, for your support!

Winter Break

Winter Break

We are preparing to power down here at OPSA so we can enjoy some quiet time with our families over the winter break. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday time and we look forward to seeing you back in January. Classes resume January 8, 2018. Our first open house of 2018 is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9th from 5:45-6:30p. You may RSVP here. If you are looking for a winter-themed movie for the whole family over the break, this is one of our favorites.  Enjoy!

Benefit Concert this Sunday, December 3 at 4p

Benefit Concert this Sunday, December 3 at 4p

Join us for a family-friendly concert this Sunday!

 

Sunday, December 3 at 4p at Pilgrim Congregational Church

 

Our students have been working hard to prepare for our annual benefit concert. This year, our concert will benefit the Heartland Alliance. OPSA students made cards and bracelets for immigrant children being held in detention centers around Chicago. Donations may be made here or at the concert. See you there!

 

OPSA at TEDx Women

OPSA at TEDx Women

OPSA students performed at the TEDx Women event on Thursday, November 2nd. We all had a great time!  Here are some photos from the event!

 

An Evening of Community

An Evening of Community

Giving Artfully at Oak Park String Academy

On October 16 at 6:30p, our Monday night group class students will be visited by a speaker from Heartland Alliance. Students will learn about why we are having a benefit concert, who we are helping and how they are supporting. After we hear from the Heartland Alliance representative, Giving Artfully Kids instructors will lead the children in making friendship bracelets and cards for the children we are supporting. Students who are coming into the studio for their piano rehearsals with Melissa on this same evening may stay awhile before or after their rehearsal and make a gift as well. All are welcome at this enlightening and fun event. Please join us for an evening of community!

 

10 Children’s Books for Teaching Growth Mindset

10 Children’s Books for Teaching Growth Mindset

Having a “Growth Mindset” is something we help OPSA families develop as they work towards mastering a challenging skill such as making beautiful music on the violin or cello. Here are several books to help you grow this mindset with your child. To learn even more about this concept, be sure to attend our February Workshop to hear Stefanie Faye Frank speak about the brain and how developing a Growth Mindset can benefit you and your child.

(written by Brandi Jordan and reposted from here)  

10 Children’s Books for Teaching Growth Mindset

Written By: Brandi Jordan

Growth Mindset, a term coined by Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist, is the idea that when people change their beliefs about their own efforts, they can better adapt to create successful outcomes.  In other words, when you believe that you will succeed after practice and effort, your odds of doing so improve.  It’s a powerful theory that’s gained popularity and been adopted by schools across the country.  So, how do you introduce the concepts associated with growth mindset to your class? One of the best ways is to incorporate children’s books about growth mindset.  Here are 10 books to start a discussion and help your students change their perception about their abilities and efforts.

Growth Mindset Children’s Books

1. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Perseverance and creativity are key to creating marvelous things, but what happens when things go awry?

2. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie learns a powerful lesson about success and failure in this adorable children’s book with a strong female lead character.

3. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D.

Streeeeeetch your brain and learn new things with the tips in this children’s favorite.

4. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett

What would it be like to never make a mistake? Beatrice Bottomwell is a perfectionist who must confront her very first mistake in this fun book.

5. What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

Change your mindset about problems and you may find that nothing is as bad as it seems!

6.  Thanks for the Feedback, I Think… by Julia Cook

Feedback, both positive and negative, can create growth opportunities. It’s all about how you handle it!

7.  Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Teaching children that it’s okay to make mistakes is one of the most important lessons they can learn.

8.  The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Creativity is on the rise in this adorable book that encourages children to embrace challenges that put them outside of their comfort zone.

9. The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This little book emphasizes to children that being OK at something is okay!

10.  Making a Splash: A Growth Mindset Children’s Book by Carol E. Reiley

Compare a growth mindset to a fixed mindset in this children’s book that addresses different attitudes and ideas about learning.

OPSA Benefit Concert to raise funds for Heartland Alliance

OPSA Benefit Concert to raise funds for Heartland Alliance

2017 Benefit Concert

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki was a Japanese violinist and humanitarian. Witnessing the destruction of his homeland due to the second World War, he formed a vision to help nudge the world toward peace through its children. Through music, Dr. Suzuki hoped to build noble hearts in children all around the world.

With this in mind, we produce an event each year that connects our students from Oak Park and surrounding areas to the larger world they live in. Last year, our students helped to raise money for the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) through their music. This year, our music students are collaborating with Heartland Alliance and Giving Artfully to help immigrant children currently in limbo and being held in detention centers in Chicago. OPSA students will be making keepsakes for the children there, writing cards of encouragement and also performing several events to help raise awareness of and funds for immigration challenges, especially with regards to children. Heartland Alliance will be the recipient of the funds we raise.

For the benefit concert, we will be collaborating with other Oak Park area musicians to create a global concert featuring music from around the world. Last year, we performed music from Syria, Lebanon, China, Romania, and more. This year, the concert will include special faculty performances, global music, and even a holiday sing along. Local Suzuki students from neighboring studios will join to play music together and hopefully make the world just a little more peaceful and beautiful.

Here are two pieces from our concert last year.

Hallelujah

Flatbush Waltz

6 Tips for Raising Independent Children

6 Tips for Raising Independent Children

Reposted from here. This article was written by   

As parents, it feels good—great even —when our kids NEED us. When they turn to us for guidance, affection, even that peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Those are all good things.

We do have to remind ourselves, however, our long-term parenting goal is to guide our kids from being totally dependent on us to being independent thinkers and doers. That’s no overnight task.

It happens in all the little moments and lessons that occur in the day-to-day. From little steps like letting them pick out their own clothes to tying their own shoes, to helping them learn to weigh out what to spend their allowance on to choosing a college that suits them. Every little decision they make, right or wrong, along the way is a learning experience that will help lead them to be independent people we can be proud of.

Then, the thrill you get when you see them take on a task all by themselves and win at it? That’s awesome! If you’re eager to see more of that, let’s look at ways to help your kids embrace independence.

6 Tips for Raising Independent Children

  1. Encourage effort: That perfection thing? It’s overrated and it causes a LOT of anxiety for kids. In fact, some kids are so locked into the fear of failure – they won’t even try. Instead, focus on the EFFORT. Encourage your kids to try new things, to go out of their comfort zones and be creative without the pressure to succeed or win or be perfect. When you do, they’ll be more willing to take on new tasks in the future.
  2. Family contributions: Every member of a family plays an important role in a successfully running household. From setting out napkins to picking up toys – encouraging kids to contribute in age-appropriate ways teaches them that they are part of an indispensable team that needs them! This builds their confidence, and encourages them to want to do even more.
  1. Promote problem solving. Curb your desire to jump in and fix. When a problem arises, wait. Give your child the opportunity to come up with solutions. Ask them “How?” questions. “How could you make your sister feel better after you took her action figure?” “How could you make sure you get up in time to make the bus?” If you want them to think for themselves, don’t provide all the answers.
  2. Take Time for Training: Each week, work on learning something new in a fun and engaging way. As children learn new skills and tasks, they feel more confident in learning the next one. Who knows, they may even help YOU learn something new!
  3. Turn over the reins: Every single day is filled with hundreds of choices. Apple or banana? Peanut butter or ham and cheese? Red shoes or blue? Allowing your children to make those small choices gives them a sense of control and dominion over their lives which leads to independent thinking. It also helps them take ownership of those choices – for some reason that peanut butter sandwich tastes SO much better since they picked it!
  4. Structure as a safety net: Providing structured routines for mornings, afternoons and evenings gives your kids the safety net they need to try new things in a controlled environment. That helps keep them from feeling overwhelmed by the process, and helps you keep the peace!

Raising kids to be independent thinkers and to take a proactive role in their everyday lives is a little scary for some parents at first. Don’t worry, they’ll always NEED you. Teaching them to do things for themselves is just part of being an amazing parent. Think of it as a gift that keeps on giving!

For more ways to develop strong, independent children that listen more, behave better and are prepared for future success, join me for our next webinar, How to Get Kids to Listen Without Yelling, Nagging or Reminding. Find upcoming dates and times here. I promise you’ll come away with tools you can start using right away! See you online!