Yummy Gum Drop Notes!

Don’t think About Fish

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing™ 

A concept connecting how we learn

and our how our brains process information

with the study of music,

 

(I am using music and music theory as an example)

We can avoid short circuits and mental roadblocks by working with the unique wiring and learning styles of each individual.

To touch lives with a calm and gentle spirit…

waterfall 2

Working seamlessly embellishing Traditional and Suzuki Music Lessons

Carol Anderson

Igniting Sleeping Brains!

Creating fluid thinking

I was reminded this weekend that a child’s history can be written on our hands.

At a birthday party for my grandsons, one asked why it was getting hot.

What fertile soil!

animatedfish-8

By the way, during our time together, try not to think about fish.

We’ve been taught to set goals and achieve them.

Win if there is a prize to be won.

As mentors, whether as a grandparent, parent, teacher, friend, etc. we have a style of influencing others.

There are the silent, the chatty, the sugar sweet ..the culture comes through loud and clear.

I run from manipulators.

I have to put up with critical people.

They haven’t worked on developing another way of introducing change to a person,…especially a little person.

I used to tell my family that I can deal with anyone’s criticism and put it into perspective, calculating how I need to apply it, but if it would come from them, it would matter deeply.

I see criticism as a diseased style or model  and praise as a healthy way to guide a young person.

A study done a few years ago showed that socio economic levels dictated the quantity of praise or criticism given a child by their parents.

Other studies showed that praise is ok but criticism hits the soul. And the pain of trying to reconcile their quest to improve with the criticism received is a dimmer switch for progress  Feedback on performance is good.  Good intentions doesn’t sugar coat a criticism.  Are we kicking the ‘cat’ because someone criticized us today, yesterday, twenty years ago?  A moment of pause before verbalizing is ‘gold’.

Practice feedback etiquette. It’s helpful to remind ourselves of some of the basic rules for providing criticism:

  • Always do it in private.
  • Don’t do it via email. Always talk to the person face to face.
  • Be succinct. Don’t lecture.
  • Don’t overgeneralize. Never say, “You’re always late,” or “I can never rely on you.”

Here is the study results:

Low income:   6 criticisms to 1 praise

middle income: 4 praises to 3 criticisms

high income: 6 praises to 1 criticism

The objective is not to praise for the sake of being a ‘positive thinker’ but for the growth within the soil it will fall on.

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

By the way, try not to think about fish!

animatedguppie-10

Did you ever notice that when you think about something

too much it seems to become part of who you are…your thinking or actions?

I am saying to you…..’don’t think about fish’.

fishbowl

No matter what, don’t think about fish.

 avatar2419_1

Think about a blue sky or fancy new car but whatever you do,

Animated Gif Fish (17) (2015_09_18 18_42_50 UTC)

Don’t animatedfish-8think animatedfish-6aboutanimateddiscusfish-32

 

 

FISH

How’s that workin’ for you?

*********************

 

Let’s say a student or your child is continually, apparently totally unaware, doing something incorrectly, even after you have corrected them.

You have done everything you believe is in your power short of….well, I don’t know what.

You fall into a pattern of saying, ‘ stop, look  …..’

   So you point out the problem…again.

At this point you are on a slippery slope heading straight into the sticky hands of the Diseased Model!!

bluemeaniefish

Here is an example:

If you point out the negative,

you are bringing to the forefront of the student’s mind

what you

don’t

want them to think about.

(don’t think about fish)

avatar2419_1

The Healthy Model

where progress magically accelerates

paintmoon

Healthy Model – Demonstrate to the student how it should be done & have them try it.

Healthy Model – If something is incorrect, touch the area, minimize verbal correction.

Healthy Model – Resistance can be a red flag not always a behavior issue.

Healthy Model – One essential key for assuring success is to talk about what the student or child already knows to be true.  By doing this, the student is already agreeing with you.

Healthy Model – Be clear with your expectations.

Healthy Model – Create a framework – provide both a summary and a detailed expectation.

Healthy Model – Let them know when they reach the finish line.

Healthy Model – Be comfortable with silence.  Let others talk.

Healthy Model – Brain storm- ask – ‘what is missing’…..Not what is wrong.

Healthy Model – Focus on the substance

Healthy Model – Catch them doing something right and focus on it.

Healthy Model – Play ‘the composer’….pull the best from those you are working with.

Healthy Model – take a risk….let them piece together ‘learning’ through experience.

Healthy Model – ‘Own’ your own emotional state….don’t ‘kick the cat’.

Happiness comes from stretching yourself and seeing progress and growth. This has to be done in a safe environment where mistakes are just part of the process.

The ‘discomfort zone’ is where you want your students to be but they will fight you if they feel it is unsafe.

animatedguppie-10

Healthy Model – Point out the correct action (no matter how minuscule) and demonstrate it.

Healthy Model – Recognize a ‘job well done’ whether to the student or their parents.

Stop and celebrate the experience.

Healthy Model – Expect a student to start to ‘assimilate’ excellent habits ……….
they are watching

The teacher is the model

The student is the reflection

Diseased Model

bluemeaniefish

Diseased Model – Point out their mistakes. Allow them to see your frustration

Diseased Model – Dominate the conversation

Diseased Model – Try to put a square peg in a round hole?

Diseased Model – Put on some pressure.pressure fish

Diseased Model – Reprimand them in front of their peers. Humiliate.

Diseased Model – Life isn’t going to cater to them so throw them into the deep end.

Diseased Model – Let them learn to adjust.

Diseased Model – Keep changing your expectations and be vague.

Diseased Model – Know what you don’t like but don’t define what you want

Diseased Model – Teach them just like you teach everyone else.

Diseased Model – Twinkle is Twinkle..so what’s the big deal?

Diseased Model – Catch them in a mistake

Oh by the way….try not to think about fish!! 🙂

animatedgoldfish-35To continually point out what someone is doing wrong

and expecting them to come out on the other side with a

great attitude

is like trying

not to think about a fish

when it is

Visually before you

and

animatedgoldfish-35

Mentioned often

*****************************************************

fishbowl

Amazon Kindle books

and Paperback books

Create fluid thinking.

That’s the goal.

Fluid thinking means we don’t have to really think about the answer, it is embedded and now able to be used as part of our mental structure. I use music theory games to accomplish this.

The games are digital downloads, print a sheet for your students to take home.  Make a number of cards for a group lesson

(no mass production, no free downloads or resale please – thanks)

Any questions: carolanderson@scalesarentjustafishthing.com

Students of music need to be aware of what is going on around them.

The games  require the student to multi-focus on what they are doing as well as what others are doing.

A little competition adds to the fun.

Print the cards and make multiple games.

Laminate them.

(not for resale – thanks)

 

Digital and Zip File  – Downloads to print

A Month of games teaching the musical symbols and their relationships and values.

for your own use.

1 – Study cards

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

IMG_5870

Downloadable ‘Symbols Study Cards’ 

Study Symbols Cards - Digital
Study Symbols Cards - Digital
The symbols study cards are the start to building a strong foundation of knowledge on little step at a time. Reviewing cards that hold on the answers and weekly removing a small part of the information is a way of embedding knowledge and insuring success with the pat on the back of success. The students will know the answers. They will be nurtured not tested.

(don’t overlook this step.  It provides success in the following weeks with the games.  Great for the right brained student and the visual learner.)

2 – Symbols with Symbols

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

IMG_5655 

Downloadable ‘Symbols with Symbols’ 

Symbols with Symbols Digital
Symbols with Symbols Digital
Match musical symbols with the same symbol. This is the first of a series of 'Ten Minute Music Theory Games'. Match the symbol with the same symbol. Play a game of 'Go Fish' or 'Memory'. In class, simply present the shapes of the symbols without too much detail.

Simply match the symbol with the

symbol.  Lots of suggested games.

Display symbols memory Here’s what you get

3 – Symbols with names

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Downloadable ‘Symbols with Name’ 

Symbols with Names Digital
Symbols with Names Digital
Match the symbols with their name. One game "Snap" is suggested. It's fun and fast and requires attention to what others are doing as well as what you can do. What would normally throw someone into a tizzy out of frustration is overcome by competition with self and others. Download the zip file and print as often as you like. Make as many sets of cards as you need for your own personal use. Not for resale.

4 – Symbols with Rests of equal value

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

symbol with rest

Downloadable ‘Symbols with Rests of Equal Value’ 

 

Symbols with Rests of Equal Value
Symbols with Rests of Equal Value
Download a zip file of the symbols and their matching rests. This game includes clue cards that give all the answers. Print as often as you like (not for resale - thanks)

5 – Cover the card

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

boards

Downloadable ‘Cover the Card’

 

6 – Bingo – Tic Tac Toe

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Bingo heres what you getThis is what is included in the download

Downloadable ‘Bingo or Tic Tac Toe’

Musical Symbols Tic Tac Toe/Bingo
Musical Symbols Tic Tac Toe/Bingo
This is a Digital Download of a card game of Tic Tac Toe and Bingo with large boards. Each card has 9 symbols on it. When the symbol is called by someone who calls the symbols as he picks the key card from a central pile, place a marker on the symbol.The first to cover their card wins.

7 – Hierarchy of Notes and Note Exchange

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Downloadable ‘Heirarchy of Notes’

hierarchy notation exchange

Hierarchy of Notes and Rests - Digital
Hierarchy of Notes and Rests - Digital
Digital - Measure Up and the Note Exchange are a great game for learning how notes relate to one another and make a measure.

 

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

 

 

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A concept connecting how we learn

and how we process information

with the study of music

I hope that as you progress through this series of newsletters, you begin to realize that the suggestions given can be used to teach just about anything.

I am using music as the example.

The principles are universal.

Claiming that the Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing method works like magic might be a stretch but have you ever seen a small child sight-read Book three Suzuki music?

Two-year old tiny people leave my sun room where I teach after one or two lessons reading rhythms and understanding where they are played on their instruments.   I have seen it happen multiple times!

musette three phrases preview (2)

Using color-coded notes, which I like to refer to as ‘Gum Drop Notes‘, may seem like the quality and mystic of music theory is being made into child’s play.  And you are right,  it is.

Whether an adult of 80 years old or child of two, when playing music with the color-coded notes, magic is happening behind the scenes.  The carefully constructed walls to protect you from the horror of ‘music theory’ or a painful new learning curve seem to melt away and you understand complex music theory concepts.

Join the free workshops and receive weekly play-along music and free sheet music Enjoy!

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a  back door method of working with the unique wiring and learning styles of each individual with the goal of igniting sleeping brains.

It has taken many years of studying learning styles,  how the brain works and music theory to come out on the other side with the “Ten Minute Music theory games” and “The Gum Drop Note Sheet Music and play-alongs”.

*************

Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂

**********************************

Or start taking a class that includes play-along music, digital books, preview spots and some composer bios.Check out what you get in the schools here.

guarantee

Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂

Read my books on kindle or hard copy

Free Workshops

Piano Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Violin Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Pretwinkle books

 

 

Book One

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

Violin  Book two

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

Violin  Book three

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

Violin Great Extra

Books

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

 

 

 

Ten Minute Music Theory

Card Games Series

 

 

Install this web app on your Android: Tap menu, more options, and then Add Shortcut To Homescreen.×

Organized Clutter

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

A concept connecting how we learn

and our how our brains process information

with the study of music,

developed for over thirty years

To touch lives with a calm and gentle spirit…

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a  back door method of teaching just about anything

(I am using music and music theory as an example)

We can avoid short circuits and mental roadblocks by working with the unique wiring and learning styles of each individual.

Igniting sleeping brains.

 

waterfall 2

When we begin to plan

change in our lives,

no matter what kind of change,

we have unwittingly

drawn a line in the sand

with our brain on one side,

 

 

and our desires on the other.

It’s just the way we are designed.

Motivations? Habits? Desires? Don’t they all play a role in whether we move toward an accomplishment or we stay in the dream state?  Actually, no.  I know I talk a lot about the four kinds of motivation, but when we really simplify to the core, it all comes down to  the way we are designed.

If we want to change, the brain lights up and says ‘but that will make us less stable, uncomfortable, and confused – let’s put a stop to this immediately”.  The brain sets out to stop us even if only with a ‘pause’.  Not a bad thing if we haven’t considered all the options.

But what if we had?

How can we force change

 

without the brain going into a tantrum

 

& stopping us before we start?

Whether it is learning to play an instrument, getting a better job, making our home into a sanctuary, or establishing boundaries in our lives, — there is a way

wednesday-september-7-2016-12

Organized Clutter

Thanksgiving at our little carriage house is a big thing.  I prepare for months ahead making everything special down to the tiniest detail.  The minimalist mentality of today is interesting in that it encourages you to have things you love around you and rid yourself of unwanted baggage.

Fine.  I get it.

And as long as there is no definition of what or how much I love and no judgement call, I will go along with it.  But what might disqualify me as a ‘minimalist’ is that I love seeing something I don’t use everyday surprise me when I look on a shelf or in an antique cupboard prompting a memory of someone or some event.  I wrote a poem during my ‘poem writing’ stage of life that validates my house.

 

‘Organized Clutter’

by Carol Anderson

Oh, how I love the organized clutter of a room full of treasures from a loved one’s past.

Some little trinket, tossed aside, never again meant to hold value. 

But to me it is priceless.

Held by one never again to hold. 

Touched by one never again to touch. 

Loved by one never again to love,

but one who’s memory will live on in the organized clutter of my ‘living’ room.

So, I’m a rebel or maybe just a part of the resistance, not blindly following what is in style today.  The pendulum always makes its swing. You might want to hang onto some of grandma’s antiques.  But I will say that being a rebel also means ending up being responsible for what it requires to maintain your uniqueness.  In my case; cleaning it.  No one else wants the responsibility or the effort, and that’s OK, unless I am busy.  So how do I motivate myself to keep order in what could easily fall into chaos when I am distracted by the daily ‘fires’, planned events and slow days when I’d rather be in the garden?

 

 

 

It isn’t that much different than becoming proficient in a musical instrument.

You made a commitment to yourself and to a teacher if you have one, and it could easily begin to snowball in a mush of ideas and hopes and unfulfilled wishes.   When you ponder a ‘change’ or a ‘wish’ or a ‘dream’, there is a nanosecond for you to take control.  Your ‘heart’ needs to win the race to the control center of your mind before your brain gets there.

 

    animatedguppie-10

Here are my thoughts on what it takes to

 

make a dream

 

develop into a vision,

 

and then a reality

 

becoming the driving force for the

 

‘control center’ of the brain

 

****************

 

wednesday-september-7-2016-4

It actually all starts with you.

 

When you activate it.

avatar2419_1

Wait!!!  Before you activate it,

we want to have some steps in place to get you in the drivers’ seat

of the control center.

 

Here’s how in three basic steps

 

************Step One:************

Lean into your new idea.

Don’t jump in.

Explore

the possibilities of your dream

in your mind

Don’t give up what is stable now to be swimming without a life raft tomorrow.  Take it in steps. 

Your brain might agree with you there and you could avoid the battle of the heart and the brain.

Try to see the end results of your goal

Keep that thought with you by planting it in your mind.

 

wednesday-september-7-2016-2

Your eye can’t see

wednesday-september-7-2016-6

wednesday-september-7-2016-13

It’s true

Your eye only

lets in the light

 

      september-newsletter-2-7

 

     view

 

september-newsletter-2222

 

Try this

(This is the green giraffe for the letter G and the G String on the stringed instruments)

wednesday-september-7-2016-14

Look at this picture

september-newsletter-2-11

september-newsletter-2-12

 

      wednesday-september-7-2016-16

 

september-newsletter-2-15

wednesday-september-7-2016-17

 

Again: See the end results of your goal in your mind

and take it with you by planting it in your brain.

Now:  Back up a bit and consider

how you will get to the end result.

 

************ Step Two: ************

Without a plan

 

the dream remains a dream.

 

You stay busy putting out the ‘fires of life’

never giving ‘life’ to the dream.

   

Draw a line.

It’s not a ‘to do’ list.  It is a time line.  On one side of the line write……

Without – (and write the end result).

On the other end of the line write your end result.

Now, divide your line into…..maybe five segments.  Write what you have to do to get to the goal, one item on each line.

Now, take the first item you wrote on your divided segments and put that at the end of another line dividing your new line into segments.  What steps have to be taken to complete that step?  If you need to, again divide into another line, and so on.

Now you have a path and a plan

 

You will definitely

change the goal as you improve,

so be sure to write down even the

impossible.

wednesday-september-7-2016-2

When we study music, the ‘impossible’ dream might be to play a piece up to speed with excellence.

Almost like magic, we can conquer the challenge if we take it in small

baby steps.

On one of the segments of the line you might have, ‘play it slowly’.

The next might be, repeat areas where you have made even one mistake – ten times.

Next segment could be, play with play-along music.

Speed it up…. one tiny ‘bit’ at a time.

If it is too fast, we pull back and work on the short circuits.

Suddenly, the impossible is actually accomplished

 

************ Step Three ************

 

This is the most important step

 

Ask yourself

 

‘why’

ask-why

Why do you want to achieve these goals?

No matter how old you are,

 

If you don’t have a big enough

‘why’ you will never

commit for long

wednesday-september-7-2016-2

Find the ‘why’ by activating your dream. 

You aren’t always aware at first what your ‘why’ is, then suddenly you experience it or see someone else doing it and you say, ‘that’s what I want to spend my time doing and here is why’.

If your dream is to become a soloist, see if that is actually what you want.  Even after you have learned just one song, give it away.

september-newsletter-2-24

 

 

   september-newsletter-2-25

even if only to your mom

      september-newsletter-2-26

 

 

         september-newsletter-2-27

september-newsletter-2-28

Review:

Be sure to have a

well-defined goal

make it

Crystal Clear!!

crystal-clear

*************

Write a segmented path  ….

on paper and in your mind.

*************

More than anything,

be sure to have a

‘WHY’

 

      why

**************

Now..with a clear idea of your dream, how you will accomplish it and why you want to do it, start to think about activating it.  It has actually already become a part of who you are because you spent time planning it but now that you have pushed the ‘let’s make this thing happen button’ what can you do to beat the brain to the control center?

If you start to feel any distraction or hesitation just say over and over…..

“what’s the plan and why?”

animatedguppie-10

and your thinking will shift back to the process you have just gone through, giving more clarity each time you ponder it.

You now own your dream.

Go and make it happen.

 

Claiming that the Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing method works like magic might be a stretch but have you ever seen a small child sight-read Book three Suzuki music?

Two-year old tiny people leave my sun room where I teach after one or two lessons reading rhythms and understanding where they are played on their instruments.   I have seen it happen multiple times!

musette three phrases preview (2)

Using color-coded notes, which I like to refer to as ‘Gum Drop Notes‘, may seem like the quality and mystic of music theory is being made into child’s play.  And you are right,  it is.

Whether an adult of 80 years old or child of two, when playing music with the color-coded notes, magic is happening behind the scenes.  The carefully constructed walls to protect you from the horror of ‘music theory’ or a painful new learning curve seem to melt away and you understand complex music theory concepts.

Join the free workshops and receive weekly play-along music and free sheet music Enjoy!

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a  back door method of working with the unique wiring and learning styles of each individual with the goal of igniting sleeping brains.

It has taken many years of studying learning styles,  how the brain works and music theory to come out on the other side with the “Ten Minute Music theory games” and “The Gum Drop Note Sheet Music and play-alongs”.

*************

Free Workshops

Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂

**********************************

Or start taking a class that includes play-along music, digital books, preview spots and some composer bios.  Check out what you get in the schools here.

guarantee 

Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂

Read my books on kindle or hard copy

Free Workshops

Piano Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Violin Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Pretwinkle books

 

Book One

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

Violin  Book two

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

Violin  Book three

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

Violin Great Extra

Books

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

 

Ten Minute Music Theory

Card Games Series

 

Card Games Series

Install this web app on your Android: Tap menu, more options, and then Add Shortcut To Homescreen.×

Anchors

 

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Sight-reading made easy – The stems are the color of the string on which the note is played (great when shifting) the circle is the color of the note the sharp or flat is moving toward.

Really amazing right?

The structured categorizing of the piano keys by color coding them to match the huge number of books and pieces of sheet music makes learning difficult music somewhat easier without remedial work.

******************

A concept connecting how we learn

and how we process information

with the study of music

I hope that as you progress through this series of newsletters, you begin to realize that the suggestions given can be used to teach just about anything.  I am using music as the example. The principles are universal.

Winter – doldrums

January in the Northeast creates a unique yearly passage I would best define as the doldrums’.

Your intensely faithful students don’t want to practice.

Others don’t even bother to show up for lessons without calling, or they do call and don’t have a real reason why they aren’t coming to a lesson.

This behavior is really out of the ordinary.

Respect for the teacher usually extends to not even being late for the lesson.

It isn’t about the teacher.

It isn’t the music or the instrument.

It’s not even the need for a commitment to ‘another activity’

It is the doldrums.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It would be enormously helpful if we could throw the student  a lifeline that would pull them through the dark days of winter a little early;  somewhat like the paper-white bulbs we have in a glass on the windowsills in January.

Offer a little lifeline.  Maybe a musical one.

The students need a little motivation.

There are four kinds of motivation:

1.- Play this song and get a present

2.- Play this song or my teacher won’t teach me anymore

3.- I really want to play this song

4.- I don’t want to play this song.

Only one of these answers creates positive, sustainable motivation.

Help the student to decide which type of motivation moves them and decide what the cost of holding onto their old patterns would be.

Again remember,

it’s not the distance you have to go

but how you choose to make the journey

that will determine how long it takes

or if you ever get there at all.

 

Here are a few ideas that might be a perfect lifeline for motivation:

1- A carrot on a stick.

carrot-on-a-stick-1

If parents don’t mind, you could offer pleasurable rewards.

Remember though, that rewarding behavior that is already an intrinsic (internal-established) motivation isn’t beneficial and if it is simply an extrinsic (external) motivation it is short-lived at best.

2- Simplify, Simplify, Simplify,

 

simmplify

simplfy2

…………..and be practical about what you are asking of the student.  Simplify the path.  They may be on a road that ends with a very complicated goal, but keep them on track by simplifying every step and learning curve.

Have them start a journal of how long they practice, how they feel, what they played.

Feel free to download the pdf at the end of this blog to send home with the students so they, again, have a path to follow even in writing their journal.

3- Define and Identify a goal:

goal setting

Make the goal as specific as possible for the stage the individual student is in with their studies. Create short and long-term goals.

4- Plan a path

the path to success

Have a timeline.  When do they want to achieve that goal?

goal without a plan is a wish

5- Teach them to visualize

 

 

notepad

1- Verbally define: an exercise, a group of songs or a piece they need to improve.

2- Say: “Just for the next few weeks, think about your goals for music at night before you go to bed”.

Their minds will work on it throughout the night.

And the next day, they will already be mentally prepared to move forward.

3- Encourage them to have a plan.  Write it down.

This is part of the downloadable journal at the end of this newsletter.

6- Overcome procrastination:

Teach the students various techniques to eliminate the causes of the procrastination.

The main cause of procrastination is often a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Again, consider helping them simplify by defining the necessary steps they need to take in their daily practice time. This doesn’t mean reduce.  Simplification can be an act of defining what is expected.

7- Help them prepare for the obstacles.

One of the biggest advantages you can give your student to assure eventual success is to help them plan how they will go around what others may call ‘a failure’ but you will call ‘an obstacle’.

Take the time to have a discussion.

Ask: “What will you do ‘if’. “

Then: “What are a few alternative paths you could take if….?

Talk to the student about how the obstacles can actually be a great ‘teacher’ and will provide a story of success to help motivate others.

Kids don’t realize that everyone will go through the same ‘short circuits’ in their practice time at some point in their path toward success.

Remember, failure is on the same road as success.

obstacles

Kids feel invisible even when in a group. Psychologists will tell you that even the most popular child will feel alone, lonely and isolated.   Ignore what appearances might tell you. I would NOT suggest you share your own failures with the student to create a ‘buddy’ mentality. One of my children had a harp teacher that did this. Lessons with her were short lived.

Here is how I would get the student past the obstacles.

I would offer one goal at a time and let the student feel success.

‘Fight only the battles you can win’.

Sounds contrived…and it is.

This means….even with the bow hold.

Some children simply do not have the muscle strength to have a great bow hold on their own.

Use crutches.

If you have to, duck tape their fingers in place.

(Of course use brightly colored duck tape)

Force success in tiny bite-sized pieces.

 

8- Never be negative,

especially during the winter doldrums

 

think positive

If you have to correct the student, be sure they understand the difference between negativity and constructive criticism.

You have heard it many times, but a negative attitude will drain the precious energy that could otherwise be directed into building their skills.

A positive attitude is essential when hoping for success.

Negativity doesn’t keep you realistic.

It just spends precious energy.

Envision with them the feeling of reaching their goal.

Henry Ford said “If you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are right.

I don’t want to get real ‘Power of Positive Thinking’ here but…..

Positive thinking does breed positive results.

9- Somehow bring happiness into the lesson.

happy face

Don’t be so serious.

You can laugh, not at them but with them.

We still laugh at times over the duck taped fingers years ago but the great bow hold now.

I mean, when they say, “Santa must make a quick stop in China before he gets here because all my presents say they are from China.” and the child is totally serious, your acting ability is going to be tested.

*********************

 

A bright, cheery, warm room with visual surprises

will also lift their spirits.

Some people feed off of what they see with their eyes and if you have a curiosity in the room, this might be a little ‘bait and switch’ from their classic January doldrum behavior.

It’s not the distance you

have to go to get to the top,

it is what you are bringing

with you that holds you back.

 

Explore what mental and physical baggage your student is carrying and see if they would be willing to dump it – or at least mentally set it outside the studio door until the lesson is over.

I like to talk to them about “anchors”.

 

I say, “ok, today we are going to start practicing every day for two whole months.

We start today.

There isn’t a yesterday here.

Just day 1.

Let’s see if we can do it”,

and we mentally set an anchor on that day as the beginning of a new practice schedule.

Every day also means Saturday and Sunday.

I tell them to leave their instrument out and pick it up even on the weekend so they don’t miss a beat.

The ‘control’ here is that there is a beginning and end.

Hopefully, it will have established a willing attitude, teachable spirit, and a better  ‘design’ of their practice sessions on the days after the challenge.

**********************************************************

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Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing™ 

 

A concept connecting how we learn

and how we process information

with the study of music,

developed for over thirty years

To touch lives with a calm and gentle spirit…

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Working seamlessly embellishing Traditional and Suzuki Music Lessons

Carol Anderson

Igniting Sleeping Brains!

Creating fluid thinking

‘Just’ a thought and free sheet music for beginners.

If Music is on your ‘New Year’s Resolution’ list, then I would like to suggest a few thoughts that might help it stick like tacky glue after the

glitter of the fireworks

    

and the resolve that comes

with a fresh calendar wears off.

 

I know the ultimate goal of music lessons is for the child to understand the theory of music and proficiently play an instrument to the point of giving back to others. Having walked this path with so many families, either as their music teacher for what seems a lifetime, or for the growth of our own family, I would venture to present what might be more immediate  ‘gains’ that come from lessons that I might value even more than learning an instrument itself.

 

for 2018

 

************** ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******

#1  – We have all heard how music can open the minds of the listener and actually change the brain. Lots of videos on YouTube, check them out.

I always warn new parents that the little person they bring to me won’t be the same in a month or two. I honestly ask them if they are ready to loose this little child because they will quickly move to the next stage of development.   Lessons create focus, discipline, a sense of accomplishment and autonomy.  This little person, who has an attention span of nearly zero at the first lesson, can easily handle a half hour of instruction in a month or two and only wants to stop because their little bodies are too tired.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******

#2 – For family members:  Spending focused time together. – uninterrupted time to talk, improving a skill, and learning to move past frustration with a positive outcome and a closer connection with one another.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* 

#3 – Scheduling: Having a specific practice area and practice time can teach order in a world where impulsiveness seems to be the style of the day. Let the phone take a message.  Put a sign on the door that you will be done in a few minutes.  Model the whole idea of being in control of your moments, thoughts and decisions.

************** ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******

#4 – Learning to own the results of your efforts – Wait for it!

My absolutely adorable four-year-old granddaughter opened her Christmas gift slowly.  The gift was wrapped multiple times and she took her time peeling each layer back as the whole family peered to see what she had been given.   She looked up at everyone and smiled and with a tiny instructive voice she said,  ‘Wait for it!  Wait….for….it!”

How did she learn that?  Apparently Tinker Bell had something to do with it, but what a great lesson for a tiny person to learn early in life.

Take videos of your child’s musical progress and create a (twinkle) compilation or (Bach Double) ‘As the Month’s Go By’ video, so they can see that it was worth ‘waiting for’.  It is easy to forget where you were when you started.  This goes with everything.  I have put together a life book….many, in fact.  My grandmother used to write a journal but my life, with all the computers and remote whatever’s, doesn’t allow me time to sit and be faithful in writing a journal so I have taken a simple composition book and simply cut out a picture or article that captured my imagination and taped it on the next empty page.  I have so many life books now and as I go through them, I can see my life: The silverware wrapped in a special way for Christmas dinner, the wreath on the door or the garden and the birdhouses. I have a picture of a greenhouse made from old windows.  I have collected the windows….now for the greenhouse.   Our life and musical journey start out simple and so does our mind. It all doesn’t come together magically.  It is a process.  Quickly life and music become intertwined and it is so easy to forget the unbelievable events in the passage of time.  Don’t let them disappear.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******

#5 – Establishing who is boss. – You want your child to pass through the stages of crawling, talking, walking, potty training, and the fun things like learning to read a book and riding a bike yet, you wouldn’t make them responsible for learning it.  How does someone with no ‘history’ of success or failures know where to start?   With accountability as a ‘family group’ to a teacher who prepares for your lesson each week, one person in your family group has to be the voice of the ‘law’ pulling it all together and making it happen.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* 

#6 – Learning to pick your battles. Remember:

You don’t plan your strategies

on the battlefield.

Rise above and overlook some things.  Don’t stand for others.  You want them to hear your voice when you speak so don’t let them learn to tune you out.

************** ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******

#7 – Establish music as part of the household activities.

If you don’t make it something special, neither will they.

Play music as a concert for family members, have it playing throughout the day throughout the house. Add a time of playing to holidays either around the piano, around a fireplace or a bonfire on a summer’s evening.    On a summer’s night I can hear my neighbors gathering around a bonfire and playing music.  What a gift of companionship and a sense of rest and peace flows through the air.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******

#8 – Look at the process of learning anything, but especially music, as a gift, defining your family.

Each vacation, I picked a different song to play regularly in the car or hotel room. One May morning we walked out of our hotel room and stood on the porch of the massive Victorian hotel on Nantucket Island. We met the couple who had been in the next hotel room. ‘This is the first time I shaved to Vivaldi’, was the man’s comment.  We ate at the quaint pancake house on the cobblestone street and the owner must have been a kindred spirit.  He played ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ over and over as we ate.  As we walked through a historic house once back home, I lost track of my little people for a second and found them standing, mesmerized, at the doorway of a roped off room,  listening to a quartet playing the canon ‘in person’.  Now memories of car rides and hotel rooms and pancake houses are ignited when certain songs are heard.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* 

#9 – Establish a nurturing attitude and just consider each mistake as part of the process.

Remember:

Success is at the end of the road

where mistakes crowd the way

 

Try to develop a calm and gentle spirit. Don’t raise your voice but be firm.

‘Do you want to try that one again?’ is a great response to either a bad attitude or sloppy attempt at Twinkle.

Every child will hit a ‘wall’ and create a resistance that you didn’t bargain for when you began this exciting journey and, unfortunately, every parent seems to have more piled on their plate than they can possibly accomplish. Although you are learning together and creating a bond, you need to be the parent and decide whether this is a battle you are going to fight.

Ask yourself: If I were looking back on my life after the kids have been raised, would I be thankful for the experience of studying music with them and all it offered or would I resent the ‘challenging yet teachable’ moments that created a bit of discord because the student fought the work of practice?  If it is the second and yet you feel a commitment to giving this a try, sit down with your family at your newly established ‘family meetings’, and write a manifesto. Let them have a say.

I want to become__________.

This will take _________.

I am willing to practice everyday.

I am willing to go to lessons every week, well prepared with a great attitude.

I am willing and want to listen to the music I need to learn.

I will make concerts and events a priority even if it conflicts with something else I want to do.

I want to accomplish ______ this year.

Of course, these are just a suggestion.

At our house, I had completely had it with coats or hats dropped on the floor so we established where they should be put and what the consequences should be if they weren’t put in that place during one of our family meetings. I told them my frustrations and let them decide the consequences.  I hung  the printed ‘minutes’ low on the mudroom door.  One day I couldn’t find one of the  children and looked around only to discover she was sitting by herself in a bedroom.  She was giving herself  ‘a time out’ for something on the ‘minutes.  If you allow them to have a say in their lives, they can be harder on themselves then we would have been. You don’t need to be their policeman all the time.  That is the difference between establishing the ‘intrinsic’ or ‘extrinsic’ motivation to do something.  Is it coming from inside themselves or through constant prompting and nagging.

Hang the ‘minutes of the meeting’ in a place where the shorter family members can see it daily.

Draw pictures to explain if they can’t read yet.

#10 – One of the best lessons gleaned during the parent’s turn at violin lessons is through the study of using the violin bow. I always try to get the  parent to realize that we guide our bows and they will produce a great sound.  If we try to control the bow, well…..we just can’t.  We don’t lift and replace the bow with a tight hold,  basically choking the sound. Instead, we push the bow and guide it with a proper and firm bow hold. Sounds like how we deal with kids.

Just a thought for the New Year.

You will receive a weekly email with a thought for teaching and studying music, as well as a link to download gum drop note and black note sheet music with a play-along video that will embellish your weekly study with your teacher.  Although you can learn a great deal through videos online, having a great teacher is essential if you want to really become accurate and proficient in your study.

Free Workshops

 

Totally Beginner Piano

Totally Beginner Violin

Violin Students having studied at least one year.

Canon Workshop –

free sheet music and play-alongs

limited number of subscribers

Piano Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Violin Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Pretwinkle books

  

 

Book One

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

Violin  Book two

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

Violin  Book three

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

 

Violin Great Extra

Books

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes

Ten Minute Music Theory

Card Games Series

Please sign up for free workshops

 

Let me know what you think.  How has the free sheet music established a mental picture for you or your student?  Be sure to sign up for the newsletter suggesting thoughts on how we learn and process information and how to embellish our lives to enhance our learning styles.

Drop me a line:  carolanderson@scalesarentjustafishthing.com

You will receive a weekly email with a thought for teaching and studying music, as well as a link to download gum drop note and black note sheet music with a play-along video that will embellish your weekly study with your teacher.  Although you can learn a great deal through videos online, having a great teacher is essential if you want to really become accurate and proficient in your study.

Install this web app on your Android: Tap menu, more options, and then Add Shortcut To Homescreen.×

Superheroes-burnout or stress?

Super heroes have special super human qualities.  But truth be told, we are human and often  are ‘short circuited’ by our lack of ‘super powers’.  At this point in the year, we have put so much into the weekly lessons, concerts and maintenance that we are tired. This is your time for renewal.  Here is my take on what some of you might be having to cope with.

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing™ fishlogo.gif

By Carol Anderson

Super Heroes work hard

Can they burnout or feel stressed?

Regret is a big player in causing stress or burnout.

You regret something and then shame takes hold.

And shame is a major destroyer of the quality of one’s life.

Shame is a feeling that is worse than almost anything.

It attacks even those who are contented with who they are.

Shame creeps in because you haven’t lived up to your own standards – not someone else’s.

You might be someone who has achieved great things, you have few enemies…you are  liked by everyone

but in some private area of your mind,

you aren’t fulfilling your beliefs about yourself – your activities – your plan – and

Whammmmooooo!!!!…shame creeps in.

 

Did you ever wonder why some people seem to be running a great race and then stop to

(what I call ‘cut themselves off at the knees’)

They just seem to loose the race on purpose.

They do something that destroys their chances of reaching their goal or being successful.

 

They have it all.

Why give it up for……..?

Actually, sometimes it is because what is required of them is something outside their ‘ideal- self’.

As easy as regret is to set aside, shame seems to permeate.

I know that I will never remember the circumstances that surrounded a choice I might have made twenty years ago but  even after all that time it could be a source of ‘shame’.

I made a pack with myself long ago not to second guess the ‘why’ for my choices.  I would never remember that one kid had a fever and the other couldn’t find their shoe so I didn’t go visit a sick relative and they died.  Ok, maybe a little dramatic but that’s the way life often is.  If you let it, it is constant drama.

I had decided to set aside self-condemnation for what was or wasn’t done but offered myself the respect I would give to anyone else if they were willing and pro-active in making choices and following through with establishing ‘goals’.

Since I teach music, I’ll use that as an example.  If you stop taking music lessons or never start, weigh that against the level of importance that music holds in your life.  True, it will create more activity in your home for sure – more accountability – yet, if you never do it and you always wanted to, it may introduce regret and eventually shame ergo an underlying cause of stress and burnout.

Life choices hold far more power than a simple passing thought.  They build a nest and raise a brood.  (family) Why do you think we call it brooding when we mull over issues?  Ha  …. I made that up. But it is true to a point.  A passing thought doesn’t affect us but ‘self-image’ (the private, sometimes secret nest of self-image we have in our heads) does.  And if we aren’t feeding that self-image with what it takes to get us there, then we can develop regret, shame, burnout and stress.

Stress is something you need to address with a professional. Don’t sit on it.  It won’t just go away and it will begin to affect your health.

For those who are identifying with burnout or regret,

see where you are on this path and undo what took you there.

If you are feeling sorry for yourself

self-pity leads to an unforgiving spirit

An unforgiving spirit leads to resentment

Resentment leads to anger

Anger leads to bitterness

Bitterness leads to depression.

And depression can make you feel like life is not worth living.

Busyness hides depression

Don’t go down the ugly mental path that got you in the ‘muddy road to depression’ or disappointment in the first place.

As much as all of us want to be ‘Super Heroes’, we have to contend with the fact that we are human.  

Being human brings with it a bit of fragility.  

Knowing the ‘face’ of our bodys’ enemy gives us a clearer path to running the race as a Super Hero. 

Sometimes we get confused as to the definition of ‘STRESS’ vs ‘BURNOUT‘.

Here’s how they compare.

Stress is characterized by a response of ‘over-activity’

Burnout prompts backing off…’disengagement’

******

Stress shows in an overactive emotional response.

(Others think….’Where did that come from?’)

Burnout is where you can’t seem to feel anything….

your emotions are blunted.

******

Stress makes your body shutdown….

you have a loss of energy but a mental state of anxiety.

Burnout creates a shutdown of  your dreams, hopes and motivation.

*******

Stress creates anxiety

Burnout leads to depression

*************************************

Stress and Burnout are two paths that seem to run parallel 

but actually are quite different.  

It is like the common cold vs cancer.

One can just put you in bed for a while.  

The other can kill you.  

********

When stressed, the primary damage shows itself in your physical health.

When experiencing burnout, the damage is evident in your emotions.

*****

Stress can kill you

Burnout makes you lose your desire to live.

 *******

So…..What to do?  

It takes work to be a Super Hero

1) Unrealistic goals are a major player in creating both stress and burnout.

2) Create boundaries.- Just say no sometimes

3) We all have 24 hours a day and some of that time needs to be refreshing your spirit so even though you have an amazing work ethic, develop a ‘relax’ ethic too.

3) Don’t try to control what is out of your control.  

ie: people.

Don’t manipulate or coerce.

4) Don’t violate your personal moral hierarchy –

but be sure to establish a moral hierarchy or

you will be tossed around with every suggestion.

Regret is a big player in causing stress or burnout.  

You regret something and then shame takes hold.

And shame is a major destroyer of the quality of one’s life.

 

Shame is a feeling that is worse than almost anything.  

It attacks even those who are contented with who they are. 

Shame creeps in because you haven’t lived up to your own standards – not someone elses.  

You might be someone who has achieved great things, you have few enemies…you are  liked by everyone

but in some private area of your mind,

you aren’t fulfilling your beliefs about yourself – your activities – your plan – and

Whammmmooooo!!!!…shame creeps in.

 

Did you ever wonder why some people seem to be running a great race and then stop to 

(what I call ‘cut themselves off at the knees’) 

They just seem to loose the race on purpose.  

They do something that destroys their chances of reaching their goal or being successful.

 

They have it all.

Why give it up for……..?

Actually, sometimes it is because what is required of them is something outside their ‘ideal- self’. 

As easy as regret is to set aside, shame seems to permeate.

I know that I will never remember the circumstances that surrounded a choice I might have made twenty years ago but  even after all that time it could be a source of ‘shame’. 

I made a pack with myself long ago not to second guess the ‘why’ for my choices.  I would never remember that one kid had a fever and the other couldn’t find their shoe so I didn’t go visit a sick relative and they died.  Ok, maybe a little dramatic but that’s the way life often is.  If you let it, it is constant drama.

I had decided to set aside self-condemnation for what was or wasn’t done but offered myself the respect I would give to anyone else if they were willing and pro-active in making choices and following through with establishing ‘goals’.

Since I teach music, I’ll use that as an example.  If you stop taking music lessons or never start, weigh that against the level of importance that music holds in your life.  True, it will create more activity in your home for sure – more accountability – yet, if you never do it and you always wanted to, it may introduce regret and eventually shame ergo an underlying cause of stress and burnout.

Life choices hold far more power than a simple passing thought.  They build a nest and raise a brood.  (family) Why do you think we call it brooding when we mull over issues?  Ha  …. I made that up. But it is true to a point.  A passing thought doesn’t affect us but ‘self-image’ (the private, sometimes secret nest of self-image we have in our heads) does.  And if we aren’t feeding that self-image with what it takes to get us there, then we can develop regret, shame, burnout and stress.

Stress is something you need to address with a professional. Don’t sit on it.  It won’t just go away and it will begin to affect your health.

For those who are identifying with burnout or regret, 

see where you are on this path and undo what took you there.

If you are feeling sorry for yourself

self-pity leads to an unforgiving spirit

An unforgiving spirit leads to resentment

Resentment leads to anger

Anger leads to bitterness

Bitterness leads to depression.

And depression can make you feel like life is not worth living.

Busyness hides depression

Don’t fake it, 

challenge yourself 

and don’t allow boredom to open the door to the ugly mental path that got you in the ‘muddy road to depression’ or disappointment in the first place.

Back off and have fun.

I try to think like my little grandsons.  We watch the Bee Movie and within seconds someone is on my back buzzing as I run around the room.  I teach the same way.

Did you know that Handel probably never performed the Messiah the same way twice? I think I might have liked him.  He never had the same players but was flexible enough to adjust to the moment.  I never teach Twinkle the same way twice since I’m never teaching the same student with the same learning style.

 Be sure to watch for the newsletters and get your name on the mailing list if you aren’t already. The newsletters are more than motivational.  They could help increase your IQ. Discovering your learning style can be a key to making you look smarter.

My studio is full of teaching tools, toys, games, cards, computers, pianos and instruments of all types. (that are color-coded according to my ‘gum drop notes’ so no matter which instrument a student is trying that day, they can read the music and play the instrument)

I make it fun – for me and then I think they too have fun.

I would wake up and do this job even if no one paid me. And that leads me to my last point.  If you economically need the money from teaching or find that you can’t afford lessons but want them, that adds to the stress in your life.  I can’t give any suggestions here other than, lessons are free for those who can’t pay in my studio, and people are a ‘blessing’.  Losing the experience of sharing life and music with someone would be a greater loss than the loss of their tuition or the purchase of another thing for the house.

Try to make it a WinWin Super hero experience for all whether you are a teacher, parent or student.

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