Tag Archives: lizzie devereux

TOMORROW 3PM! South Jersey’s talented young musicians perform @ Rowan University

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

Don’t miss the chance to see South Jersey’s Junior Regional and Senior Regional Orchestras perform at Rowan University’s Wilson Hall this Sunday, January 8th @ 3pm.


South Jersey packs a lot of talent into their young musicians!


Happy Birthday, Ludwig van Beethoven!

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux





One of my most memorable experiences so far as a violin teacher is the first time I played Beethoven for a classroom full of 3-6 year-olds.  It was in my first year of teaching private violin lessons full-time, and I taught one Suzuki group class of beginner violinists.  Each month I chose a composer whose birthday fell in that month to celebrate; we would listen to their music, read about them, and share what we thought of them and their music.  My goal was to get these young violinists to care about what they heard, not necessarily to get them to like what they heard.  Beethoven, though, made it easy for them to both care about and like the music.

Beethoven was born on either the 15th or 16th of this month in the year 1770.  On the first Thursday in December when that Suzuki group class met, I played a recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for the class.  The energy of the music IMMEDIATELY infected the students.

We were learning about dynamics: when we heard forte‘s in the music (loud dynamics), we would stand up tall, and when we heard piano‘s (softs), we would crouch down to the ground.  In just the first few minutes of the symphony, we were leaping up and crouching down and feeling the musical contrasts in our whole bodies.  The kids were exhilarated!  And I could tell that they were hooked on Beethoven for life.

Thank you, Beethoven, for your infectious energy!

What’s your favorite Beethoven piece to leap around to?

Rowan Prep Suzuki Play-In: Sunday, December 11th!

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

You’re invited to…



Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
When beautiful music began in the house.
What to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Rowan Suzuki students with holiday cheer!

WHERE? Barnes & Noble Rowan University Bookstore, 201 Mullica Hill Rd, Glassboro, NJ

WHEN? Sunday, December 11th @ 2 o’clock pm

Saturday, December 10th: Play On, Philly’s Holiday Concert!

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

Come support West Philadelphia students of the St. Francis de Sales School playing in the Play On, Philly Holiday Concert!

WHO? Rossen Milanov (Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra) conducts the Play On, Philly! Orchestra, with students in 1st through 8th grade

WHEN? Saturday, December 10th @ 2 o’clock

WHERE? St. Francis de Sales School, 917 S. 47th St., Philadelphia 19143

WHY? Guaranteed great music, excited students, supportive community audience, and good holiday cheer!  Don’t miss it!

Click on the link for more information about Play On, Philly!

Practice Tip: Use a Practice UN-Chart instead of a Practice Chart

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

If you’re taking music lessons, or have EVER taken music lessons, you have probably come across some sort of practice chart before.  It probably looks something like this:

They may be more complicated and specific to your instrument, listing what scales, exercises, and repertoire you’re supposed to practice that week or month:

I’ve seen MANY, MANY variations because I use them ALL the time with my students and I keep my eye out for new ones that might be helpful.


Now, just for kicks, just for this week or maybe two, I want you to take your practice chart and THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW!!!!

Let’s try using a PRACTICE UN-CHART for the next few weeks instead.  It should look something like this, but NOT exactly like this, because the ONLY PRACTICE UN-CHART Rule is that it has to be made BY YOU to take you to UNCHARTED TERRITORY (only you know where that is for you, and it’s different for everyone…):

…Don’t worry, it makes sense to me.  Yours will, too.  I’ll give you a hint: if it doesn’t make sense at first, make up what it means!  If tomorrow you forget what it meant today, make up a new meaning for it then!  Just be sure you’re still practicing.

Apple Season (Thank You, Steve Jobs)

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

Of course, it is apple season in the mid-Atlantic–brisk air and leaves changing color bring the gift of crisp, ripe apples ready to be picked.  With yesterday’s news of the passing away of Steve Jobs, who died at the age of 56 of pancreatic cancer, I’m going to take some time to honor Jobs, co-founder of Apple.  I’ll honor him first by thanking him for some of the life-changing technologies that I use daily, technologies that would have both startled and delighted my grandmother if she had lived long enough to see them.

* Thank you, Steve Jobs, for letting me carry an office in my pocket.  Making a living as a violin teacher and freelance musician means that I am a constantly itinerant worker.  My office is my iPhone, containing my calendar with all of my students’ contact info, keeping track of my ever-changing schedule, allowing me to email myself or parents reminders, and allowing me to study the music I have to learn while traveling from workplace to workplace.

* Thank you, Steve Jobs, for letting me carry a music library of over 1,000 songs in my pocket.  As a musician, listening to music is work for me (however enjoyable).  Music on my iPhone helps me listen both to “work” music, as well as completely recreational tunes while unwinding after work.

* Thank you, Steve Jobs, for helping to greatly reduce the amount of time that I spend being lost in my car.  I take pride in my good sense of direction–so much so that I never used to look up directions or carry many maps in my car…the cost of my hubris was spending many hours lost while driving.  In all honesty, I actually enjoy getting lost and finding my way again–I see so many parts of cities, towns and countryside that I might never see otherwise–but it does take a lot of time.  Now I have the choice of finding my way quickly with my iPhone, or exercising my “sense of direction” muscle.

How has Steve Jobs, or how have his inventions, changed your life?

An Autumnal Acoustical Adventure

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux


Happy First Day of Fall!