Heartstrings Violins-Lessons/Weddings

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Tips for Parents!

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on May 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM Comments comments (0)

Tips for Parents

Your student is learning a new skill (like riding a bike). Nothing about learning violin comes naturally....

They will need your encouragement and support in order to succeed. Parents - your child needs you to be involved even if you know little or nothing about violin! Here are some thoughts and tips for you. As always, if you aren't sure what is expected of you; feel free to ask!

1. Be patient!!!

2. Show an interest in your child's instrumental music experience.

• Be supportive through frustrations, and enjoy progress together.

• Give your child feedback and sign the practice card/calendar.

• Praise your child's efforts.

3. Encourage good practice habits.

• Assist your student in setting up a regular time and quiet place for practice.

• Encourage creative practice, such as practicing in front of a mirror.

• Provide a music stand.

4. Assist in the care of the instrument.

• An instrument works well only when it is maintained in the best possible condition.

• It should be cleaned after each use and returned to its case and stored in a safe place.

• Repairs should be made by an experienced, qualified repair person.

• Only your student should play the instrument, no one else.

5. Instrumental music is both an individual and a group endeavor.

• Reinforce skills needed to participate as part of a group, including individual responsibility, dependability, ownership, and attention.

• Stress the importance of being punctual for lessons and rehearsals.

• Encourage faithful attendance at school and community music activities and other cultural events.

6. Get acquainted with your child's director.

• Call or email whenever you have questions or concerns.


Stolen Strad!!! Gasp!!

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on December 23, 2010 at 10:21 PM Comments comments (0)

3 arrested in UK for stealing Stradivarius violin

– Thu Dec 23, 1:14 pm ET

LONDON – Three people were arrested for stealing a 1.2 million-pound ($1.85 million) antique violin from an internationally acclaimed musician while she stopped for a snack at a London sandwich bar, British police said Thursday.

South Korean violinist Min-Jin Kym was eating inside the sandwich shop outside Euston station on Nov. 29 when she noticed that her black violin case — which contained the 300-year-old Stradivarius as well as two expensive bows — was missing, police said.

The violin, made in 1696, is one of only around 400 in the world. It was stolen with a Peccatte bow, valued at 62,000 pounds, and another bow worth more than 5,000 pounds.

Police arrested and charged John Maughan, 26, and two teenagers on Wednesday for theft. The teens, aged 16 and 14 years old, cannot be named for legal reasons. Maughan is in custody and the two teenagers are free on bail.

Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of the rare instrument. An insurance company has offered a 15,000 pound reward for information that could lead to the violin's recovery.

South Korea-born Kym began playing the violin aged six. She made her international debut with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra when she was 13. Since then, she has performed with some of the world's leading orchestras.

Recital! 2010

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on December 7, 2010 at 9:31 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, the time is here! The 2010 recital is this coming Saturday at Still Water's Community UMC in Jackson at 1pm. I certainly look forward to the event and hearing how hard everyone is working on their respective pieces. This recital will be comprised of 5 of my 6 students. Trinity has a conflict and is not able to attend. We look forward to having her join us next year!


To all the parents...thank you for supporting your child and encouraging them as they progress! It's with the parental involvement that our kids know how much you care! It's also a HUGE help to me -the teacher- to have your involvement as well. I thank you so very much!


To my students: Thanks for your dedication and commitment. This recital is a wonderful time for you to reap the benefits of your hard work. The more focus and time you have with your practicing; the more improved your playing will be. Keep it up!




Posted by Lisa Kitzke on August 2, 2010 at 12:28 PM Comments comments (0)

As much as I love summer (and don't get me wrong....I LOVE summer) --I am excited for a new school year to begin.

One of my students (Crystine) starts with MYSO this fall, and that in itself is very exciting. I look forward to he growth as a young violinist with great aspirations. It's a great achievement for her. I also look forward to new students that may choose to study privately and advance their knowledge and opportunities further. I have few openings for those that are intersted. Then thirdy, auditions will be coming soon for the WCYO (Washington Cnty Youth Orchestra)-which means another season coaching the kids and hopefully some strong talent this year! Lastly, I wanted to post a link to a site today that has the most awesome t-shirt designs-musical ones of course. http://www.stringsavvy.com/2008/06/19/musical-humor-great-musicalpunspelling-images/

If you are visiting the site, feel free to sign the guestbook. Hope you like what you saw.

May everyone have a great remainder of the summer!


Orchestra Dork Jokes...

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on March 26, 2010 at 11:54 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, these just cracked me up! I am guilty of some of these...certainly not all! I hope you enjoy them!!!



You Know You Are An Orch Dork When...

~You buy light colored shirts to avoid rosin stains

~You get together with your friends and in the midst of deciding what to do, you find yourselves playing chamber music

~You don't go out on weekends because "you have an audition" the next day...or even orch dorkier, a rehearsal

~You buy things like cookie cutters and pasta in the shape of musical notes and instruments

~You've put Tchaikovsky' s birthday on your calendar

~You know every viola joke by heart

~When you think about it, you really don’t think the viola jokes are that funny because you know that they are all so TRUE

~You have separate buddy lists...one for orch dorks and one for "regular people"

~You know the words to the choral version of The 1812 Overture

~You know that there is a choral version of The 1812 Overture

~You go to parties and people direct you right to the "orch dork corner"

~You've decorated the inside of your case...with things that pertain to music

~You know what an Austrian 6th chord is

~You don't mind getting up at 7 on Saturdays

~You carry around a pocket music dictionary.. .and read it just for fun

~You've named your instrument

~The highlight of your New Year's is the Mostly Mozart concert

~You follow along in the score when you listen to classical music

~You own scores

~You find some way to incorporate music into all of your school research papers

~During your homework breaks you practice Shostakovich string quartets for fun

~You correct your friends when they call pieces "songs"

~You can draw various instruments on your etch-a-sketch

~You carry around a nail clipper

~You play along with Mahler symphonies on the kazoo

~You know how to pronounce Dohnanyi

~You have friends with screen names like Carlpebach and CadenzaV2

~You sing Beethoven/Tchaikovs ky symphonies in parts for fun

~You have random spasms which cause you to play Copland’s Rodeo

~You take up badminton to try and get your mind off your depression caused by orchestra ending for the year

~You see seating auditions as a social gathering

~You avoid gym volleyball to avoid hurting your fingers

~You can play the first and second violin parts of Tchaik 4 on cue

~You ask for reeds/bows/rosin/ mutes for Christmas... and then cry when you don't get them

~You have a conniption when people clap between movements

~You get together with your friends and in the midst of deciding what to do, you find yourselves playing chamber music

~You know what a hemidemisemiquaver is

~You read program notes

~Someone asks you what car you drive, and you respond: "Kreisler"

~You start off conversations with things like, “The funniest thing happened last night during my 11 measures rest in the second movement of the Tchaikovsky. ..”

~When you come to a rut in the conversation, you show off your perfect pitch skills by singing A 440 to break the tension

~You protect your hands at all costs...except in the case of Egyptian ratscrew

~The Shar catalog in the mail brightens your day

~You have Shar on speed dial

~You have a fit in choir when people don't cut off at the right time

~Your graduation (birthday, etc) party guest list contains more orch dorks than people from your school

~Whenever you're in school you think about how an orch dork school would be so much cooler

~You know Mozart's full name

~You get a copy of BMG's Encore Magazine twice a month

~You go nuts when you hear the school bell go off because you try to figure out what pitch it is

~You dance along with your “Dr. Beat”

~The A440 has gone off on your pocket metronome in the middle of English class

~You have inadvertently referred to Saturday as “audition day”

~You sing along with the microwave.

~You have a compulsion to complete other people's cell phone rings, and to do so out loud.

~When the politicians mention DeLay on the news, you think "Dorothy" and wonder when she got into politics.

~You find yourself counting rests when you're driving and listening to music.

~You refuse to take a class required for your major because it meets during your orchestra rehearsal

~You can't keep a constant speed while driving because you're tapping your foot

~You're walking down a sidewalk, you try to take "triplet" steps within the "duplet" cement squares, just to practice rhythm

~You're on a dinner date, you'll interrupt conversation by pointing at the ceiling, cocking your head and saying, "This is Dvorak, we played this my junior year..."

~... likewise for movie soundtracks

~You've said, "Flight of the Bumblebee is so cliche for movie soundtracks"

~You finally blast out the guys playing Hip-hop too loud down the hall with 1812 Overture on a sound system that they could only dream of having.

~You have a Strad poster in your dorm room (Brothers Amati viola, c. 1620...)

~You have soundpost setters in your dorm room

~Your instrument cases take priority over books on your dorm room shelves

~When cleaning, you find violin strings in odd places and wonder how they got there...

~When you have a violin calandar...

~When your license plate says "vln vla"

~You have christmas music stuck in your head before thanksgiving cause you're already rehearsing it

~You not only name your violin, but its named after a composer

~People think you're a goth because you have so much black clothing

~Violining is a regualr word in your vocabulary

~You tell heifetz jokes

Good Job

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on March 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, congrats to Crystine for a job well done! Earning a 1* for her solo violin performance of Bruch's Violin Concerto (2nd mvmnt). To all those out there wondering if hard work pays off? Yes....it does, but it also means you can't give up....there is always something else to learn and accomplish. Getting satisfaction from putting in the time and succeeding at what you are striving for is an awesome thing!

Where is everyone?

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on February 12, 2010 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Wednesday eve I was lucky to attend a rehearsal out at Schauer Center thanks to an invite from Linda Tennies. I had the chance to observe both Bravura and Presto strings....but work ran late and so did I. I was able to arrive just as the young ones were packing up their instruments...next time Presto strings-next time. So, I stuck around and played with Bravura for their practice. I was happy to see the structure to the rehearsal. That's cool. The kids new what to play and when. They also have a great sense of what to work on for the following week. Rather than taking an entire piece and giving it to kids it's always sensible to assign sections-not entire symphonies! Ask any students of mind...disect every piece. Otherwise it's so often way too overwhelming. Especially for the beginners out there. I was amazed however at the lack of really developed players in stronger numbers. No fault of anyone's really--just surprised with the fact that there are so many string players out there that could be great players, but don't wander outside the box. And what I mean by box is-school. So where is everyone? Surely there must be kids that would love to hang out with other musicians and make music (oh, and have fun?!). I know the years I was in  MYSO (Music for Youth back in my day) were FANTASTIC! We Washington County citizens have opportunities here too....GET INVOLVED EVERYONE! I'm hopeful for the future...there is plenty of potential out there with so many involved in our string programs just in public schools alone. Now to develop and cultivate! I knew I loved gardening...just never applied to music before! Happy Notes everyone~


Hopes and Wishes

Posted by Lisa Kitzke on February 6, 2010 at 4:39 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, here it Saturday afternoon. Youth orchestra sectionals was shall we say....interesting?! Unfortunately, we only had one violinist show up. I guess I could jump with joy that it was a 2nd violin -a new 2nd at that! Welcome Leah! (I swore I wouldn't forget her name!) She is joining us from Menomonee Falls High. Glad to have her on board. Now for the hope and wish that we get more dedicated musicians to show up next week for full rehearsal. The 1st violin coach Tammy and I worked with Leah the 1st hour and then joined the rest of the string section for the last hour of sectionals. There is hope amongst us all that things come together. Now if we could just squeeze all those 32nd notes in one measure!! HA!

Then there is a personal hope and wish. My poor 4th finger is close to bleeding after working through the 1st movement of Wieniawski's violin concerto. Oh those octaves - over and over and over!! Well, no rest for the wicked I suppose! I figure if I am auditioning for Kettle Moraine, I had better play them over and over. I hope the practicing does pay off and wish it would pay off faster! All in due time...at least in time for the audition...<sigh> maybe I can get back to playing Prokofiev again?

Keep makin' beautiful music everyone~