Book List

Book List

Love to Learn?

Top 10 Books to Build a Brain, a Relationship and Feel Better while doing so!

  1. Mindset by Carol Dwek
  2. The Genius in Every Child by Rick Ackerly
  3. Simplicity Parenting or The Soul of Discipline by Kim John Payne Oak Park String Academy Summer Reading
  4. No Bad Kids by Janet Landsbury
  5. NurtureShock by Po Bronson, Ashely Merryman
  6. How Children Succeed Paul Tough
  7. Children the Challenge by Rudolph Dreikurs, Vicki Soltz
  8. Parenting from The Inside Out by Dan Siegel, Mary
  9. Kids are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso
  10. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Even before I had children, I loved to read about the youngest members of society and why, when and how people raised them to become not only informed and capable people, but also kind, helpful and aware citizens of the world. Raising kids in a culture where parents are quick to be villainized and slow to be supported is still mighty challenging, although we are making progress in many communities. Parenting is a relentless job that often leaves us feeling like we are sprinting only to reach a long line in which we suddenly find ourselves waiting, with little to do.

But take heart! We live in exciting times of research and information! It seems that every day we can read about new research and understanding about Growth Mindset, child development, the plasticity of the brain, the power of modeling and environment.  I have hope that the world around us is slowly but surely developing strategies for growing kindness and laying the seeds of empathy in the hearts–and brains– of our children.

When I feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn and wonder whether what I am doing is hurting more than helping, I find solace in books. Sometimes this is an escapist novel, but often it is a book like the ones on this list. Rather than feeling like I am reading a book about everything I am doing wrong, these books help me fill my cup with concepts, strategies, and ultimately, the inspiration to try a different way, keep at it and carry on. Even the most balanced and steady parent with a loving and peaceful upbringing has moments when they wonder, “What is this behavior about? Why is it happening and how do I handle it with this child at this moment?”  If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed as a parent and wondered how to make things easier or more peaceful (and what parent hasn’t?!), try one of these books and I hope it helps you find encouragement for what is, no doubt, the challenge of a lifetime.

Happy summer reading!

Oak Park String Academy Summer Reading

Spring Recital Coming up!

Spring Recital Coming up!

Spring Solo Recitals Approaching!

Join us for our spring solo recitals on April 28 at 1p and 2:30p at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park.

Recitals are free and open to the public. We encourage prospective families to come and listen to and enjoy these great student performances! Students between the ages of 4 and 16 will be performing on these recitals. We will hear Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and more! If you have been considering starting violin or cello lessons with your young child, this is a great way to introduce them to our program. Come and join us for all or part of a recital. We look forward to meeting you!

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.