Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Wall

Did you hit it today?  The "Thursday Wall"?  That point at ISSI where you feel like you've been in your classes for your whole life, and that you will remain in them for another lifetime?

Sometimes mid-week can be tough, as we come to terms with the amount of energy we've spent, and amount of work and learning ahead of us.

So, kick back, relax, and allow a few of these scenes to pick you up and get you through the home stretch!

 For $5 you can buy a star to honor your favorite teacher, at Institute or at home!  Proceeds raised from this go towards the general ISSI funds, which helps to keep tuition low.  I love seeing how much students and families love their teachers!

ISSI has some great merchandise for sale...bags, shirts, bag tags...Stop by the front desk to pick up yours before they're all gone!  (Didn't you love seeing everyone in their matching shirts today???)

 Donuts, anyone?

I loved sitting in on Carey Cheney's technique class during the last hour of the day.  Among the topics discussed were "how many bow bounces can you do?" and "Thumbderwear."  (Just don't ask; it's a cello thing.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And...We're Off!

ISSI started with a bang this week!  We've already had three concerts, ten class periods, scores of parent lectures...and we've only just begun!

Three of my favorite moments so far include...

This violin group class balancing gummy bears on the tops of their violins as they walk around the room, practicing good balance

This quintessential scene from ISSI: a mother listening to her child practice outside on the lawn during lunch.

And (this has to be my favorite) this little guy snuggling into his brother's cello case during the brother's masterclass.  Yes folks, you read this correctly: this little brother was wrapped in the cello case as if it were a sleeping bag. !

What were some of your favorite moments so far?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tomorrow, Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day!  Student classes begin in just over twelve hours!

Music has been copied, pieces practiced, instruments tuned and polished.  Faculty have arrived, schedules printed, t-shirts folded.  Packets are stuffed, day care forms filled out, bags packed.

Tomorrow, hundreds of wonderful students will arrive with their families to participate in ISSI 2012!

I'm looking forward to the energy, inspiration, and the cello concert on Friday at 1 pm!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Friday, June 1, 2012

ISSI and M&M's

The first year I attended Institute (it was just ISI back then) was in 1989.  I can remember so many things about that first Institute experience: all the kids running around from class to class, the energy and music everywhere, that one crazy cello teacher who was so much fun, and the blue Institute sweatshirt with heart-shaped notes my mom bought for me because it was so cold that week (Institute was in Logan that year and we had neglected to pack any warm clothes).

But the thing I remember the most about my first Institute is that every day for lunch, my mom would buy me a small box of plain M&M's.  I wouldn't eat them right away, but saved them for the afternoon, when we would go watch other classes.  As a beginner, my schedule wasn't all that full, so my mom and I were free to do as we wished in the afternoons.  To be honest, that extra time with my mom was my favorite part about the whole week.  And it's something I remember with fondness and gratitude every single time I enjoy a plain M&M.

There are so may wonderful reasons to attend Institute: the motivation it brings to students, the chance to learn new and exciting pieces for chamber groups and performance classes, the opportunity to work with amazing and inspiring teachers.  But for me that first year, the most wonderful thing about Institute was that time I had with my mom, and the way that experience bound us together with a closeness that was as sweet as the chocolate that melted in my mouth (not in my hand).

I look forward to sharing many memories and M&M's with my own daughters as we begin our own Institute attendance.

So, what are some of your favorite ISSI memories?