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Transforming my thesis and violin curriculum into relevant videos a tiny step at a time...

Wow, it's insane how time has flown by, it's nearly 6 months since I last posted anything. I guess the COVID-19 situation and constantly fighting fires, adapting to new lifestyles and work styles, planning for TMC and our students as well as the uncertainty of the entire situation has kept us all on the edge.

These few months haven't been the easiest journey for sure, we're constantly thinking of Plan A, B, C, perhaps even D, but never knowing which might be executed and when they can/will be. That being said, the TMC community's resilience to the situation and how well our students have adapted to the online learning environment has really kept the entire team at TMC going through this difficult period. We're thankful for all the support and encouragement we're receiving from our students and their parents! And looking back at the past 2 months, having moved all our teaching online - individual lessons, group classes, early childhood classes, camps, performance classes, trainings, kindergarten teacher trainings, I'm definitely proud of how the team has pushed forward!

A huge multi-layered project I've always been trying to conquer is an entire series of videos for my students - warm-up exercises, practice, aural and theory are the essential ones, and I'm hoping for more offshoots in future! As violin teachers we see our students once a week, and sometimes that's not sufficient and there is always so much more I feel like our students are able to do during the week! I've tried to start this recording project many times throughout the years , to basically bring my thesis into a format that will be helpful for all my students, but the fear and procrastination even after recording videos was real. I guess it's kind of like going on a diet? You start and then..... but anyway, I digress!

I always had the fear that it will not be good enough, or professional enough. What kind of fancy equipment do I need for the audio, video quality to be great? Why do I look so awkward in front of the camera? Should I just get my students to record the videos instead, which I actually did a month worth of recordings for but was not satisfied either! That fear led videos to pile up, no students were benefitting from this project at this point. But finally I thought, now's the time! It doesn't matter if it's not perfect or extremely polished, I will learn along the way!

So there, I started 3 series for now - Warm-ups with Tee! Theory for Violinists and Practice with Tee!

I'm grateful for colleagues who have helped me through this, given me feedback and suggestions. For students who have been so involved and sending me videos of them completing their homework, parents who tell me how the videos have helped their child practice better.

While I was procrastinating editing theory videos, one of my students told me in her lesson that she has finished all the videos and she needs more! Definitely helped me get my lazy self going... The support of the people around me has helped me in this journey so much and I'm excited for more coming up! =)

The first series I would love to share is Warm-ups with Tee! Click below for the youtube playlist! =)

I figured what’s better than nagging my students every week about their warm-up exercises (or practicing!) is assigning them a practice buddy… and let the video do the nagging?! Hehe! Still fumbling a lot with the recording and editing, so if anyone has tips about anything I would love to hear them! It has been quite successful with my students so far, students who have practiced with the videos are making good progress, yay!

My students have been very accustomed to doing their warm-ups before their practice and lessons, and even though it’s called warm-up exercises, the aim is more to either build technique in the long-term or for them to learn to play with healthy habits. Over time, some start to do it mindlessly, without paying attention to the focus of each warm-up, or sometimes doing vibrato exercises on the right hand?!? So having a practice buddy keeps them in check and also helps make repetitions somewhat more interesting!

These videos were recorded mainly for my students to practice with, and since they have already learnt the exercises during their lessons, I don’t really speak about the mechanics, purpose or benefits behind each exercise! Definitely will be addressing those in a new series of videos mighty soon! =)


Tee '20

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