It’s been a long, cold St. Louis winter, but spring is just around the corner, as is Spring Break at West County Strings. Our Spring Break will run from Sunday, March 17 – Sunday, March 24, during which time there will be no private lessons or group classes. We hope you all enjoy a little bit of rest and relaxation, particularly because when we come back from break, things get busy!
Following break, we will have 1 more Tuesday-evening group class prior to the Spring Festival dress rehearsal and group performance on Sunday, March 31. Dress rehearsal will begin at 1:00 p.m. and run until 3:00 p.m. and run in reverse concert order, meaning Ensemble will rehearse first and Pre-Twinklers will not need to arrive until closer to 3:00. The concert will begin at 3:30. Both rehearsal and the concert will be held in the sanctuary of Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, 15037 Clayton Rd. And just in case you’re unsure what all repertoire you need to know, here’s the rep list.
Two weeks following the Spring Festival, students who have opted to participate in the Missouri Federation of Music Clubs’ festival will have their performances at St. Charles Community College. Schedules for the event have yet to be released, but based on prior years students should expect their performances to be held in the afternoon of Sunday, April 14. Rehearsals will be available with accompanist Daniel Fry on the afternoons of Tuesday April 2 or 9 in preparation for the festival. Details will be sent to participating families in the near future.
And finally, Spring Solo Recitals will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, April 28. Pieces for the solo recitals must be memorized no later than one month prior to the performance, or in this case roughly the end of March. Your teacher will be helping you select your piece in the next few weeks. Recitals are tentatively scheduled to be held in the KREW Room of Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, 15037 Clayton Rd.
On a personal note, I want to share how encouraged I am by the number of students and families who are putting in consistent, careful practice this school year. Many have been consistent – even daily – practicers for years, and are reaping the rewards of developing such wonderful habits. Many more are putting in the hard work of developing new, productive habits this school year and this semester, and I am seeing the transformation. You may be familiar with Dr. Suzuki’s mantra, “Practice only on the days you eat!” When I was a child, I thought that this must surely be hyperbole, intended to scare students in the right direction. As an adult, however, I increasingly see that the practice of a daily routine is something very fundamental to the way our bodies and our minds are wired, and this doesn’t just apply to building skill at a musical instrument, but any skill we want to develop (if you haven’t had a chance, take a look at the book The Talent Code on the coffee table in the studio). So, know that your hard work is making a difference, and it is noticed. And let’s continue to build even more successes on top of your current success!
And last but certainly not least, I want to thank all of you for the way that you have supported each other as a studio and a program this school year in switching lesson times with one another when a scheduling conflict has arisen for a student or their family. I think we may have had a record number of needs arise thus far this school year, and yet I think fewer lessons have been missed than ever before. This consistency has certainly paid off in a level of quality across the studio. Thank you all for lending each other a helping hand.
See you all this week, for our final lessons and group classes before break!