Category Archives: For Parents

Fall Solo Recitals Sign-Ups & Information

Every semester, we look forward to our solo recitals as both a goal to be strived for and a moment of achievement to celebrate all the learning that has been done over weeks of work and many days of practice.

Our solo recitals this fall will be held at:

Chesterfield Presbyterian Church
KREW House
15037 Clayton Rd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017

The KREW House is located on the east side of the church’s main parking lot.

Recitals will be held at 2:00, 3:15, and 4:30 p.m.  To see which recital your child/children will be playing on, please see the recital assignments list.  We have tried to incorporate all scheduling requests into our recital time assignments.  If a correction needs to be made, please let us know as soon as possible.

Piano rehearsals in preparation for the recitals will be held in the studio (1199 Fieldhurst Dr.) on Tuesday, December 4 and Wednesday, December 5.  Additional rehearsal time will be made available on Sunday, December 9 at the KREW House (15037 Clayton Rd.) prior to the first recital.  We ask that this time be reserved for Book 1 students, and it has been divided into 10 minute slots, instead of the usual 15 minutes.  Please tab over on the rehearsal sign-up sheet to find the Wednesday and Sunday sign-ups

And finally, we always look forward to the time for students and their families to visit with each other during the reception after each recital.  Please visit our volunteer sign-ups to sign up to bring a snack or a drink for everyone to share and/or to help set up or clean up for each reception.  Please scroll down to find the sign-up sheet for your particular recital time.  Thank you so much for your help.  We truly couldn’t do these events without you!

Thanksgiving Break ’18

Hello WCS Families!

As hard as it is to believe, the majority of the Fall ’18 Semester is already behind us and Thanksgiving Break is now here!  There will be no lessons the week of November 19 – 24, to allow students and their families time enjoy the holiday with family and friends.  We hope you all enjoy a restful and joyful Thanksgiving Day and break!

That said, we hope students still find opportunity to take out their instruments and practice over break.  I believe Dr. Suzuki was very serious when he said, “Only practice on the days you eat!”  (Maybe we should practice extra on Thanksgiving!)  Just like our bodies need daily attention to keep them healthy – eating well, exercising, brushing your teeth – so too do our talents and abilities need daily practice to keep them from diminishing!

When we return from break, we will have less than two weeks before our Fall Solo Recitals on December 9.  Recitals will be scheduled for 2, 3:15, and 4:30 p.m in the KREW House at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, 15037 Clayton Rd.  If you have other activities the afternoon of December 9 and need to be placed on a particular recital, please let us know as soon as possible!  Piano rehearsals with Ms. Parkin will be held in the week leading up to the recital (sign ups will be posted soon).

That is all for now, so until the week of November 26, enjoy your break and a very happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of our students and their families!

Halloween Recap & Parent Night Info

Hello Everyone!

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for our Halloween Group Performance & Party.  What a fun evening it was!  Students, you played beautifully.  Getting so many of you together playing as one is really something special.  Thank you for your hard work and preparation this semester thus far!

Don’t forget, next Tuesday, November 6 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. is our final “group” event of the semester – our Parent Night, which will be held at Local Chef Kitchen, 15247 Manchester Rd.  We look forward to seeing you all there to discuss what “progress”  looks like and concrete ways that we can measure it.

Here are some photos from the Halloween gathering.  Thanks again for making it such a memorable evening!

 

October ’18 Update

Today, it’s finally starting to feel like fall is in the air.  And as the leaves change and the temperatures continue to fall, they’ll bring with them some of our favorite fall semester studio events!


Halloween Performance & Party

The first is our annual Halloween Group Performance & Party, which will be held on Tuesday, October 30 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall of Good Shepherd Church, 1166 S Mason Rd.  This informal performance gives students a chance to showcase what they’ve been working hard on in group classes this semester, and will be followed by treats, musical games, and a chance to get to know each other better.  Costumes are highly encouraged!


Parent Night

The next event is our Parent Night for the fall semester, which will be held on Tuesday, November 6 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Local Chef Kitchen, 15274 Manchester Rd.  The topic will be, “Help! Is My Child Making Enough Progress?”  Local Chef kitchen is owned and operated Rob and Mitzi Uyemura, whose sons Ethan and Owen are long-time West County Strings students.  No purchases are required, but we certainly encourage you to sample their locally-sourced, healthy, and delicious menu while we’re there!

 

Solo Recitals

And last but certainly not least, our Fall Solo Recitals will be held at 2:00, 3:15, and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 9 at the KREW House at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, 15037 Clayton Rd.  Solo recitals offer students the valuable opportunity to polish a piece to the very best of their ability, perform from memory in front of a supportive audience, and see how far their work has brought them since they last performed.  Recital pieces must be selected no later than one month before the performance date, so your teacher will be working with you to choose yours soon!


As a final note, we are now already in the midst of the eighth week of the Fall ’18 Semester.  And these first eight weeks have really been exceptional.  I’ve been so excited to see what’s going on in group classes, and for the consistency I’ve seen so many students exhibiting from week to week in their practice and the progress that goes along with it.  Let’s keep it up as the semester progresses!

Fall ’18 Group Class Updates & Information

Many thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for our annual Play-In & Ice Cream social to help kick off the school year.  It was a lot of fun to see and hear you all back in one place again after summer.  There’s something really special about a large group of stringed instruments playing together, as you can hear at Suzuki Institutes, Workshops, and group performances – I really recommend experiencing it as often as you can!  To those who weren’t able to make it this time, we missed you and we hope you’ll be able to join us for the next one!

Starting next Tuesday, August 28, fall group classes will begin in earnest at Good Shepherd Church (1166 S Mason).  The schedule is the same as in past years:

  • 5:30-6:00 p.m. – A Majors (Pre-Twinkle – Andantino)
  • 6:10-6:40 p.m. – G Majors (Etude – Bach Bourree)
  • 6:50-7:20 p.m. – Viola Choir (layered violas of all levels)
  • 7:20-8:05 p.m. – Circle of 5ths (Book 4+)
  • 8:05-8:50 p.m. – Performance Ensemble (supplemental/non-Suzuki Book 4+)

HOWEVER, many of you have graduated to new class levels!  If you have moved into the second half of Book 1, we would love to have you join us in G Majors.  If you’ve completed Book 3 and are making your way into Book 4, we would love to have you get your feet wet in Circle of 5ths AND keep coming to G Majors.  If you’re solidly in Book 4, 5, 6 or above, we’d love to have you in Performance Ensemble, as well.  Please refer to the sheet below to find your assigned group(s) for this semester, and let your teacher know if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday evenings!

FA19 Group Class Rosters

Spring Festival ’18

West County Strings’ 2018 Spring Festival is set for the afternoon of Sunday, April 29.  Dress rehearsals will run from 1:00-3:00 p.m., and the concert will begin at 3:30 p.m.  Reception to follow.  All events will be held at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, 15037 Clayton Rd.  Read on for everything you need to know about the day!

 

Who Have You Invited?

For the past few years, we have been grateful to be welcomed to hold our Spring Festival at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church.  The space is awesome.  It is also large!  Your children have all worked so hard this semester to prepare for this concert, and we want them to have an audience as wonderful as their playing! So,

***We’re asking every student, every sibling, and every parent to invite at least one friend, classmate, colleague, or neighbor to come***

It will be a great afternoon of music, and there’s food and drinks to follow!

Now, I know you might be thinking, “Other families will invite people, I don’t need to do it.”  If that’s you, then this message is specifically for you!  Bring someone along.  It’s always a wonderful time.

Dress Rehearsal Schedule

– 1:00 p.m: Vivaldi 4 Seasons
– 1:20 p.m: Bach Double
– 1:40 p.m: Violas (Lully Gavotte, Musette, Etude, Swanee River)
– 2:00 p.m: Humoresque, Boccherini Minuet, Hunter’s Chorus
– 2:30 p.m: Gossec Gavotte, Minuet 2, Perpetual Motion, Allegro
– 2:45 p.m: Song of the Wind, Lightly Row, Twinkles, Chicken on a Fencepost, Old Brass Wagon, Paw Paw Patch

***Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled rehearsal start time in order to allow time to unpack, tune, and be prepared to begin right on time!***

Performance Attire

We ask that all students and their families wear their “Sunday best” for all performances.  This means no jeans, no tennis shoes or sandals, and no t-shirts.  Ball gowns and tuxedos are certainly not required, either!  Dress slacks, button-down shirts, and dress shoes are suitable for boys, and tasteful dresses or skirts/dress pants and blouses are appropriate for girls.

***All students whose performance requires sheet music must have their music in a black, 1/2-inch, 3-ring binder, preferably in plastic sheet protectors.***

Parent Volunteers

Do you have a favorite treat that is your specialty?  A punch recipe that is to die for?  Are you able to pick up a box of cookies or crackers or a bag of fruit on your way?  If so, we would love to have your contributions to this year’s reception.

***You can sign up online, or in the studio during your lesson.***

We are extremely grateful for your help!

Still Wondering… ?

Not sure if you know all the pieces you’ll be playing?  Check out the Spring Festival ’18 Repertoire List.  If you have any other questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher in your lesson or Mr. Brad at group class.  Speaking of group class, we only have classes the evenings of 4/17 and 4/24 left to prepare!  So we hope to see you there!

Summer ’18 Registration Now Open!

It may be hard to believe, with temperatures in the 30s as I write this, but summer is just around the corner!  And with summer comes the Summer ’18 Semester at West County Strings. Registration (you can get your form here) for the summer is due by May 19, and the summer semester will run from June 4 – August 17.

Kirby and I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with so many of you this summer, and to the opportunity to begin working with many more of you who have been patiently waiting for a lesson time to become available or who are considering lessons at West County Strings for the first time. Here’s a couple things that makes the summer such a great time at West County Strings:

  • We remake our schedule from the ground up.  So, if you’re a prospective family that’s been waiting patiently for an availability or a current family hoping for a time that would work better for you, there’s literally no better time than right now to get started and make that happen!
  • Scheduling is flexible.  We know families are in and out of town throughout the summer, so we allow you to sign up for only the weeks you’re in town and available for lessons.  If you want lessons every week, we’ve got you covered.  If you’ll be out of the county much of the summer, we’ll miss you while you’re gone, but we’d love to see you on the weeks you’re here!
  • Students have more time and less stress than during the school year, which means they can devote more time and energy to practicing and often make great progress over the short course of the summer.
  • Students have less other musical demands from orchestra, All-Suburban, All-State, and the like, which means we can focus less on making improvements to their individual technique, ability, and repertoire.

Current students and their families, and prospective families who have competed their observations with me or Kirby, please complete and return your summer registration form at your earliest convenience.  If you are a new family that has not yet had the chance to observe a lesson with me or Kirby, please contact us at (636) 219-0450.  We’d love to tell you more about our program, and schedule a time for us to meet and for you to see what lessons at West County Strings are like!

We look forward to seeing you all this summer!

– Brad

SU18 Registration