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.
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!
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
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!! 🙂
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!
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 RSVPhere. If you are looking for a winter-themed movie for the whole family over the break, this is one of our favorites. Enjoy!