Going to Chicago!

May 16, 2007

We have been rehearsing every day this week in preparation for our departure tomorrow to perform in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, on Sunday, May 20th, at 1:00PM.

All 21 students from The Music Within Us program, ages 2 through 8, will join over 300 other students, ages 3 through 18, in the 32nd annual spring concert of the Betty Haag Academy of Music. I myself performed in this concert 14 times from the ages of 4 through 17, and it is a unique personal experience to be able to share this with my own students. They will also get to meet my teacher, Mrs. Betty Haag-Kuhnke, whose life’s work and passion over the past three and a half decades will be showcased in this tour de force performance.

Tickets are $25.00 each and will be available at the Orchestra Hall box office, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.


Lessons from Annika (and Dr. Chu)

May 8, 2007

Annika Sorenstam, the world’s #1 female golfer, had these core beliefs to share in this month’s issue of Golf for Women magazine. I thought I would point out their applicability to the “game of violin” as I teach it. 

1. Be open to feedback.

Annika says: “I’m always trying to improve: If I shoot 65, I want to know what I can do to shoot 64. It’s important to have a trusted friend or instructor who will give you feedback – in bad times and good. When [my coach] Pia sees something that troubles her, or if she thinks my attitude could improve, she’ll tell me. Conversely, if she sees something she likes, she lets me know, because when you get positive feedback, it reinforces the good emotions you feel and encourages you to recreate those feelings as much as possible.”

Dr. Chu says: The dedication to constant self-improvement is an essential attitude for excellence (ie, continuous learning) in any pursuit. Honesty is a cornerstone of my teaching approach, and it is how I build trust with my students. I must constantly cultivate this trust through sharing the truth, whether it is positive or negative. When my students open their minds and listen to me, they see that only when they have truly given their best effort, will they overcome their challenges and continue to improve. This is the truth, and when they see results from it, they actually believe it.

2. Establish a reliable pre-shot routine. Read the rest of this entry »